Monthly Archives: November 2010
Dear loyal readers,
We, TAC, have completed our upgrade.
We were down for roughly 24 hours and now we’re back up!
You’ll notice a few changes, but more changes are coming, but not anything that will disrupt service.
So enjoy our posts, comment to your hearts delight, and pray for our evangelization efforts.
In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,
The TAC Editors
I have been a political conservative since 1964 when I was 7 years old. Brit Hume has a fascinating history, Right All Along, of the modern American conservative movement running on FOX News on Sundays at 8:00 PM Eastern. Part 2 is being broadcast tonight: A Time For Choosing.
The success of the modern American conservative movement is truly remarkable. 42% of adult Americans identify as conservatives, more than twice the number of self-identified liberals. This has been accomplished in the teeth of almost all of the media, academia and the entertainment industry being hostile to the movement. In a way this opposition has been of assistance to conservatives politically. Most institutions in this country have come into disrepute since the 60′s, so a political movement which is perceived as being opposed by the powers that be can often find favor with many voters for that reason. Politically conservatives have often prospered in defeat, the aftermath of the elections of 1964, 1976, 1992 and 2008, for example, while victories have usually led to a fracturing of the movement, and political defeat. Continue reading
Dear TAC readers,
The American Catholic is going through an upgrade this next week in order to better serve our readers and engage the world.
This means we will be down for roughly a 24 hour period and will return tomorrow evening, November 14 around 6pm Central time.
Thank you for your patience!
By now most are familiar with the story of the boy whose school told him to remove the American flag from his bicycle. If not, here is the story at Creative Minority Report. After the public outcry reached a fevered pitch the school reversed its decision. But of course no decision to ultimately do right can be made without a lame explanation.
Ed Parraz, the Superintendent of the Denair School District told us a school supervisor asked Cody to take down the flag. The supervisor will not be fired or face repercussions. Parraz says the supervisor had information that Cody Alicea’s safety was at risk because of the flag. Some students had complained about it and had apparently made threats.
“The last thing we wanted was to deny Cody his rights,” said Parraz speaking about the boy’s wish to fly the American flag.
Parraz said national flags were banned from campus after a Cinco De Mayo incident when tensions escalated between students displaying the Mexican flag and those waving the Stars and Stripes. Recently, several students complained and there was even one threat.
“I think it would be irresponsible of us if we kind of shined it on and let him have the flag and he got jumped or something like that and got hurt,” said Parraz.
So the proper way to respond to threats is to cave in to the people doing the bullying? Is that really the lesson we ought to be imparting to our children?
Of course, this rationale is probably a poor attempt by the school to cover its, err, behind.
Something for the weekend. I have never been particularly fond of Country and Western music, a musical genre that my late parents perhaps overdosed me on as I was growing up. However, I have always been fond of the rollicking Rocky Top. The video at the beginning of this post melds the song with pictures from the Volunteer State. Continue reading
This may seem somewhat ridiculous, but I’ll ask it anyway because I’m curious what people think. What is a reasonable amount of money to spend on a couch? At what point does the expense of the couch become an excess? How does the quality of the couch and the time that you will be able to use the couch affect the legitimate magnitude of the expense? Is it absurd to buy an all-leather sectional?
I ask because I want to know what Christian discipleship looks like in all things in life. And because honestly, I’m not sure. Sometimes, it’s easy to know what Christian discipleship looks like. For example, I know that willingness to die for the faith is very Christ-like. I know that prayer is an essential part of Christian discipleship. And I know that adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is our highest good as human beings. But these are high and holy actions for our faith life; what about things not as obviously related to our faith life, like putting furniture in a house or apartment?
I look forward to hearing what you may think, or not think if the question totally bores you. So please let me know – am I the only one who asks these types of questions? Should I just chill out? Or what? In the meantime I think I will try to ask God in prayer.
The appalling murder of dozens of Christians at Our Lady of Deliverance Cathedral by Al Qaeda on October 31, gives us another opportunity to look into the minds of these butchers.
“Upon guidance issued by the Ministry of War in the Islamic State of Iraq in support for our downtrodden Muslim sisters that are held captive in the Muslim land of Egypt and after accurate planning and selection, an angry group of righteous jihadists attacked a filthy den of polytheism,” according to the statement, which was obtained by The Long War Journal. “This den has been frequently used by the Christians of Iraq to fight Islam and support those who are fighting it. With the grace of God, the group was able to hold captive all those in the den and take over all its entrances.”
Based on the statement, it appears that al Qaeda in Iraq had hoped to hold the Christians in Baghdad hostage for at least two days, as a deadline for “the release” of Egyptian women supposedly being held in Coptic churches in Egypt was issued.
“The mujahidin in the Islamic State of Iraq give Egypt’s Christian and belligerent Church as well as its chief of infidelity a 48-hour ultimatum to disclose the status of our sisters in religion, who are held captive in Egypt’s monasteries of infidelity and churches of polytheism,” al Qaeda demanded. “The mujahidin further demand the release of all of them together with an announcement of the release via a media outlet that the mujahidin can access within the deadline.”
“Afterwards, various attacks will be launched against them inside and outside this country, in which their lands will be destroyed, their strength will be undermined, and they will be afflicted by the humiliation that God ordained for them,” al Qaeda said.
The jihadists want us dead because we are Christians. They have absolutely no compunction about slaying Muslims who oppose them, and in their eyes Christians are fit only to be killed or to be slaves. The alleged reasons given by Al Qaeda for the attack on the Cathedral are completely delusional and demonstrate yet again that to them the murder of Christians is, in itself, a positive good. Continue reading
When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today. Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Division at Kohima.
We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, God permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame. CS Lewis, Screwtape Letters
Sometimes simple questions can help illuminate great truths. Why do we honor veterans?
Today is Veterans Day. Ironically, many veterans will be working today as the “holiday” is mostly one solely for government workers, and most veterans in the private sector will be on the job today. Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day and was observed to recall the ending of that conflict on November 11, 1918 and to honor the American veterans who served in it. After World War II, veterans of World War I, many of whom had sons who served in World War II, spearheaded a move to change the name to Veterans Day to honor all Veterans. Legislation changing the name of the holiday was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower on May 26, 1954. All well and good, but why do we set this day aside to honor those who have served in the military?
One veteran of World War I, CS Lewis, perhaps can help us understand why we honor veterans. Lewis served on the Western Front as a Second Lieutenant in 1917-1918 until he was wounded on April 15, 1918. Lewis, the future Oxford Don, was an unlikely soldier and he wrote about his experiences in the War with humorous self-deprecation. However, he had immense respect for those he served with, especially the enlisted men under his command, for their good humor and courage under the most appalling circumstances. His war experiences had a vast impact on Lewis, as can be seen in his Screwtape letters, where Lewis writes about war. Continue reading
On November 10, 1775 the Continental Congress passed this resolution authored by John Adams:
“Resolved, That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant-colonels, two majors, and other officers, as usual in other regiments; that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no persons be appointed to office, or enlisted into said battalions but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve with advantage by sea when required; that they be enlisted and commissioned to serve for and during the present War with Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress; that they be distinguished by names of First and Second Battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered as part of the number which the Continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.”
The Marines have fought in all our wars and by their conduct have lived up to this description of the Corps:
“No better friend, no worse enemy.” Continue reading
When a politician says something that’s this on the money, one wonders if there is a “but” in there to soften the message. Not with Jim DeMint:
You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.
Naturally this bothers AllahPundit and some of the other shrieking libertarians at Hot Air, but DeMint is of course right. Continue reading
Gulf Coast Catholic is a blogsite that will be serving the Catholics of the the great Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. A group of writers got together over a year ago and have been working and planning together to get this site up and running. I am their Chief Editor and we will be writing on activities, events, apostolates, and other things Catholic that are occurring in Houston area.
We hope you all take a look at it give us some feedback on this new endeavor.
There will be a slight emphasis towards young adult Catholics, but like anything Catholic, there is always something for everyone.
We will be serving the laity and clergy of the Gulf Coast region in establishing a strong, vibrant, and orthodox fellowship among Catholics!
For the Gulf Coast Catholic link click here.
From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion. Actually this isn’t too much wilder than various other scams my elderly clients have brought to my attention over the years. One scammer wanted one of my clients to defray the costs for an expedition to reopen the lost King Solomon diamond mines in Kukuanaland, in exchange for 25% of the profit from the mines for ten years. I explained to my client that I was impressed that the scammer had read H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, or at least seen one of the film adaptations, but I was unimpressed that he had mispelled Africa.
Twenty-one years ago today my wife and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64 (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers. It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was. Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things. Not Ronald Wilson Reagan. He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer. His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors. In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989. Continue reading
Picture it: Upper East Side of Manhattan, November 9, 1994. There is a buzz throughout the halls of Regis High School, and it’s not just because today is student exchange day and there will actually be girls in our school. The previous night the Republicans had won control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years, and my friends and I – little Republicans in training that we all were – were quite joyous.
First period was US History, and our teacher knows that I am certainly excited about the election. So he writes on the board the following:
His point? As was the case in 1946, the Republican victory would be short-lived. Republican gains in 1946 were wiped out – and then some – in 1948. On top of that, Harry Truman was re-elected. History would repeat itself.
I scoffed at this ridiculous notion. There was certainly no way that Slick Willy Clinton could possibly earn a second term as US President. I had been counting the days to his 1996 electoral humiliation since roughly November 7, 1992. Surely this was the first stage on the road to that inevitable defeat.
Fast forward to November 5, 1996. Needless to say I was as disappointed on that night as all us Regians were at the end of that November day in senior year. (I mean come on, we’re talking about a bunch of nerdy kids from an all boys school. It took most of us a full year of college before we could properly talk to members of the opposite sex.) Mr. Anselme was right.
But not entirely. Though Bill Clinton had indeed won re-election, the election was not a total repeat of 1948. The Republicans lost a few seats, but in the end they retained control of both houses of Congress – something they had not done in successive cycles since the Hoover administration.
History is informative, and we certainly should be aware of the lessons of elections past when we think about what will happen down the line. But we should refrain from assuming that events will necessarily repeat themselves. Continue reading
This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife Shannon. On Tuesday, she gave birth to our son, Benedict Michael. Do you know where she wanted me on Saturday? In Death Valley, watching LSU end Alabama’s dreams of a national title. It need not be said that I love my wife, very, very, very, very much.
With LSU’s glorious victory and TCU’s pasting of Utah in Salt Lake, the national title race has narrowed down considerably. The Big 12, with Oklahoma’s loss to the Aggies and the near loss by the Cornhuskers to freaking Iowa St., will almost certainly not send a team to the BCS title game. I imagine the same will also be true for the Big 10, though I suspect Ohio St. has the best chance of proving me wrong there. Still, the Big 10 will likely get 2 BCS bids, which is not too shabby.
To me, there are 5 teams in contention: Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise being the obvious, with LSU still an outside shots. For LSU, they’d need 2 out of the 3 of the Ducks, WarPlainsTigersEagleMen, or Horned Frogs to lose. I don’t think LSU needs Boise to lose. Before you call me a homer, look at the computer rankings. LSU is already above Boise in the computers and we have an opportunity to improve that ranking when we play Arkansas. The human polls may revolt against LSU if it gets close (b/c they really don’t like the idea of LSU playing for the title) but there are plausible scenarios where LSU makes it in-even if LSU doesn’t win the SEC. Of course, if LSU jumps Boise without winning the SEC, there will be a riot. While I expect Oregon to remain undefeated, the other three undefeated have at least one more test left. Auburn, a team weak against the pass, has to face AJ Green and Julio Jones (as well as possible Florida). Boise still has Nevada, and TCU has to avoid the let-down game against a San Diego St. that’s 7-2 and getting some votes in the polls. It ain’t over yet, and it’s so much fun!
This would all be simpler if the NCAA did its job and declared Cam Newton ineligible. Seriously, do you think he decided to not play for Dan Mullen b/c he was impressed with Gene Chizik’s record at Iowa St.? The whole thing stinks, and someone is going to get busted for it. It would be a tragedy if the NCAA waited to finish this investigation until it’s too late (i.e. after the SEC title game).
When on earth did the Big 10 decide to play like the PAC-10? I’m looking at you, Michigan & Illinois. At least the Big 10 has a bunch of bowl eligible teams. Speaking of teams that may not get into bowls, what happened to Texas? We knew it’d be a down year, but losses to Baylor, Iowa St. & Kansas St? At least Texas fans can watch their beloved Cow… oh. Same goes to Notre Dame. They have to win 2 out of 3 against the Utes, USC, and Army. While I’ll be rooting for them against the Utes and USC (yeah, this is the time of year where I root solely to hurt other teams in front of LSU. You do it too), if they don’t get in one perhaps may start considering an Obama curse. Since Notre Dame invited Obama, they haven’t been to a bowl.
Important games of the week:
San Diego St. v. TCU, Georgia v. Auburn, VT v. UNC, South Carolina v. Florida,
I may want to explain the VT v. UNC game. Boise’s big win is against VT; LSU has a win over UNC. If UNC beats VT, VT might fall from the rankings and UNC get in. While the humans may not care, the computers will, and LSU will get even stronger in the computers. Furthermore, a VT team with 3 losses, including the one to James Madison, isn’t going to motivate voters to support Boise. On the other hand, a VT team that goes through the ACC undefeated with only another loss that’s almost excusable (you’re an idiot scheduling a Sat. game after a Mon night game, even if it is James Madison) is a very strong win. Combined with wins against Nevada, Boise would have a very strong case to make it in if people start losing ahead of them.
Alright, let’s get to the rankings!