Monthly Archives: August 2009
I made the mistake of following a link to a Frank Rich column this morning — an activity liable to cause lowed IQ, severe irritation, or in extreme cases, the gnawing off of one’s own arm. In an effort to channel possible side effects into a vaguely positive outlet, I hope that readers will forgive me if I revisit a topic that I already touched on once before: the increasing attempts by Democratic partisans to insist that the only people who could possibly oppose their agenda are evil, racist, gun-toting, potentially-violent freaks.
Like many of Rich’s pieces, this one is wandering and somewhat inarticulate. However, the basic thread is that the right as a whole is made up of violent extremists who should not be a part of the current health care debate in congress. In support of this, he points to the handful of 2nd Amendment activists who have been showing up at Townhall Meetings and other public venues in states that allows the open carry of firearms and exercising that selfsame right. This, he argues, proves that they are just like Timothy McVeigh (after all, one of them quoted Thomas Jefferson, who was also quoted by McVeigh), and to cap it all off some Republicans opposed counter-terrorism bills proposed in the wake of the OKC bombing. Got all that?
A couple things strike me about the unreasonableness of this line of thinking. Continue reading
You may have heard by now of the case of Rifqa Bary who fled her Ohio home to Florida to escape her father’s grasp. The reason being is that she converted to Christianity and her family are extremist Muslims. Meaning that she will be put to death for being a kafir, or apostasizing from Islam. This is in line with most mainstream Islamic jurisprudence (see the Koran verses such as 2:217 and 4:89) that calls for the death of a convert away from Islam.
Andrew Bostom of the American Thinker wrote an excellent piece concerning Rifqa Bary:
Rifqa Bary faces death for her apostasy from Islam, while the media ignores the solid religious and institutional grounding for the practice.
John Wayne died on June 11, 1979. Like many Americans at the time I felt as if a personal friend had died. Growing up, Wayne was a part of my childhood both on TV and at the local theater. Remarkably, more than three decades after his demise, he still routinely appears among the top ten favorite actors in polls. For three and a half decades he dominated American film screens and became the archetypal Western hero. Frequently savaged by film critics in his life, something which bothered him little, his appearance as a Centurion in the film The Greatest Story Ever Told, the video clip which begins this post, was a special target, Wayne’s work has endured the test of time. A staunch conservative, Wayne upheld a love of country when such love was popular and when it was unpopular. Eventually he became a symbol of America, recognizable around the globe. What is less known about Wayne is his religion, and, at the end, his conversion to Catholicism. Continue reading
Salvete AC readers!
Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in Catholicism:
1. The Reform of the Reform project continues as the Congregation for Divine Worship recommended the following:
- Voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the [Latin] rite.
- The recovery of the sense of Eucharistic worship.
- The recovery of the Latin language in the celebration.
- The remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentation’s, and inappropriate creativity.
In addition they declared the reaffirmation of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue.
Pope Benedict XVI continues in correcting the abuses and misinterpretations of Vatican II with these rectifications and tweaks.
On August 19, Obama told a group of rabbis on a teleconference to support ObamaCare that “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” The always indispensable Iowahawk reveals here that Obama was speaking literally. I guess this is in line with the joke, at least I hope it is a joke, going around the country. What is the difference between God and Obama? God doesn’t think He’s Obama.
As Obama goes on vacation, the Administration saw fit late Friday afternoon to release the news that the projected deficit was going up over the next ten years from 7 trillion to 9 trillion. No doubt the Congressional Budget Office will have even more dire numbers, as the administration has consistently put the best face on the increasingly dire deficit numbers. As I have constantly warned on this blog, our economy is about to hit a debt wall that will lead to a horrendous economy for years to come. Fiscal lunacy, simple fiscal lunacy. Some of my prior posts on the process by which we are careening towards national bankruptcy are below. Continue reading
A strong belief in free will is an essential component of happiness. We are free to choose good or evil; true happiness consists in choosing what is good. It follows that belief in determinism cannot produce true happiness. It is important that we work, as Catholics and other people of good will, to remind people of the true way to happiness, and to steer people away from thinking that they are helpless with respect to their state of soul.
Darwin Catholic’s post about the educational system and the possible benefits of promoting a myth of equality got me thinking about the essential differences between liberals and at least the kind of conservative I think I am becoming.
That is, a kind of conservative that is opposed to excessively concentrated wealth in private hands, for the following reasons: 1) it can easily lead to concentrated political power that is less accountable, 2) in the midst of poverty – even if one wishes to argue that it is not a cause of poverty – it inspires class envy and hatred, 3) it has the potential to be terribly and sinfully wasted on frivolities instead of charity and/or social investment.
People at various points in the ideological spectrum have pointed out it’s a little odd to see conservatives objecting to the idea of the government deciding what medical procedures ought not to be covered, when they’re apparently okay with insurance companies deciding what procedures ought not be covered, or with people not being able to afford procedures because they lack good insurance. However, it strikes me this difference may actually make a fair amount of sense, both for some pragmatic reasons and some emotional/ideological ones.
An ad put together by Dick Morris for the League of American voters. Morris is Bill Clinton’s campaign manager from 1996. I’ve always regarded him as 80% bovine droppings artist and only 20% shrewd political analyst, but I think this is a highly effective ad. The elderly are quickly becoming aware that any cost savings in regard to ObamaCare are going to be wrung out of medicare. As a lifelong Republican, I also find it hilarious that Democrats, Democrats!, are coming a cropper on medicare. Payback may not be an angry female dog, but it is rarely pleasant for the recipient.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 10:33 pm CST for 8-20-2009 AD]
The 13th Day is a film based on the true story of the Marian apparitions to three shepherd children at Fatima Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May. The three children were Lucia Santos and her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto. These apparitions at Fatima were officially declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.
[This is the first in a loose series of posts attempting to articulate the implications of inequality, of various sorts, in our society and economy. ]
It seems counter-intuitive to claim that we should hold something to be true when it isn’t, but it seems to me that there are at least a few cases in which we should act as if something is true even if it is not. The example that I have in mind has to do with equality.
As Catholics we believe that all human beings are of equal dignity in the eyes of God. In the US, all people are equal in the eyes of the law. However, this does not necessarily mean that all people are of equal ability in regard to any specific quality. And indeed, it’s readily apparent that people are indeed not equal in regards to ability. Some people have greater physical abilities than others. There is huge variation in mental ability, and among different kinds of mental ability. And there is a fair amount of evidence that much of this variation is either genetic, or determined by experiences so early in life as to be much more the result of your relatives choices than your own.
Blackadder has had a couple very interesting posts lately arguing that a public health insurance program wouldn’t sound the death-knell to private insurance companies (and hence competition for the consumer) which many have been arguing it would.