Monthly Archives: March 2012
Here’s some news out of Egypt.
An Egyptian court has ordered the government to ban pornographic websites in order to protect society and its values.
The decision and a similar initiative in parliament has fed into fears by liberal and secular Egyptians that their country is moving down the path to fundamentalist Islam, following a sweeping victory by Islamists in parliamentary elections.
The ruling came from a lower court and can be appealed. Three years ago a court made a similar ruling, but it was not enforced because at the time, officials argued filtering systems were not effective.
Meanwhile, in California . . .
Desert Sun Resort owners and Orange County residents John and Elizabeth Young filed a lawsuit March 16 in Orange County Superior Court against 500 unnamed defendants asking a judge to rule that the resort’s policy against children does not violate state law.
KNX 1070?s Margaret Carrero reports the couple were dumbfounded when they received a letter last month seeking penalties and damages over their policy against allowing kids on their property.
…The lawsuit was filed in response to a letter the Youngs received Feb. 17 from Palm Springs attorney David Baron — written on behalf of “certain individuals” — which threatened legal action against the clothing-optional resort “for maintaining and enforcing a No Children Allowed Policy and a Couples-Only Day Pass Policy”.
Listening to some individuals on the left you would think that America is but a regime away from a full-throated theocracy. Something tells me we are very, very far away from realizing the delusional nightmares of said individuals.
Something for the weekend. No hymn seems to me more appopriate for a Palm Sunday weekend than Abide With Me, a song that reminds us that we all must die and that death is only a new glorious beginning for those who die in Christ. The song was written in a magnificent act of faith by Henry Lyte, a supporter of the Oxford Movement, as he lay dying of tuberculosis in 1847.
In the movie A Bridge Too Far, wounded survivors of the British First Airborne Division are shown singing the song as they await capture by the Wehrmacht at the conclusion of Operation Market-Garden.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis Continue reading
It has been amusing to witness the left side of the blogosphere over the three days of hearings before the Supreme Court. By and large they were absolutely certain that it was smooth sailing for ObamaCare at the Supreme Court prior to the hearings and were dismayed when arguments against ObamaCare that seemed to gain traction were made in the oral arguments. John Podhoretz today in the New York Post captures the surprise on the Left well:
The panicked reception in the mainstream media of the three-day Supreme Court health-care marathon is a delightful reminder of the nearly impenetrable parochialism of American liberals.
They’re so convinced of their own correctness — and so determined to believe conservatives are either a) corrupt, b) stupid or c) deluded — that they find themselves repeatedly astonished to discover conservatives are in fact capable of a) advancing and defending their own powerful arguments, b) effectively countering weak liberal arguments and c) exposing the soft underbelly of liberal self-satisfaction as they do so.
This came as a startling shock to the liberals who write about the court. Continue reading
Yesterday Pope Benedict capped off his visit to Cuba with a huge mass in Revolution Square in Havana. The theme of his homily, freedom, probably made the Cuban officials at the mass squirm, at least I certainly hope so. Here is the text of the Pope’s homily:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
“Blessed are you, Lord God…, and blessed is your holy and glorious name” (Dan 3:52). This hymn of blessing from the Book of Daniel resounds today in our liturgy, inviting us repeatedly to bless and thank God. We are a part of that great chorus which praises the Lord without ceasing. We join in this concert of thanksgiving, and we offer our joyful and confident voice, which seeks to solidify the journey of faith with love and truth.
“Blessed be God” who gathers us in this historic square so that we may more profoundly enter into his life. I feel great joy in being here with you today to celebrate Holy Mass during this Jubilee Year devoted to Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre.
I greet with cordial affection Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, and I thank him for the kind words which he has addressed to me on your behalf. I extend warm greetings to the Cardinals and to my brother Bishops in Cuba and from other countries who wished to be in this solemn celebration. I also greet the priests, seminarians, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful gathered here, as well as the civil authorities who join us.
In today’s first reading, the three young men persecuted by the Babylonian king preferred to face death by fire rather than betray their conscience and their faith. They experienced the strength to “give thanks, glorify and praise God” in the conviction that the Lord of the universe and of history would not abandon them to death and annihilation. Truly, God never abandons his children, he never forgets them. He is above us and is able to save us by his power. At the same time, he is near to his people, and through his Son Jesus Christ he has wished to make his dwelling place among us in.
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31). In this text from today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals himself as the Son of God the Father, the Saviour, the one who alone can show us the truth and give us genuine freedom. His teaching provokes resistance and disquiet among his hearers, and he accuses them of looking for reasons to kill him, alluding to the supreme sacrifice of the Cross, already imminent. Even so, he exhorts them to believe, to keep his word, so as to know the truth which redeems and justifies. Continue reading
The most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history salutes Planned Parenthood aka Worse Than Murder, Inc. Somehow he manages to do this without uttering the A word, but all Planned Parenthood supporters know that when it comes to the sacred right to kill their offspring, Obama will always have their back. Any pro-lifer who does not think that giving this man his walking papers is priority number one this year, take a good, long, hard look at this video.
A very long day in the Supreme Court today with the severability argument this morning, and the expansion of medicaid under ObamaCare in the afternoon. Continue reading
Recently I followed the twitter feed of the National Institute of Marriage (NOM), an organization that is fighting efforts to permit gay marriage. There is another twitterer with the blog handle Ifollowhate, and he (or she, or maybe they) follows every person who follows the NOM account, and promptly tweets to said person, “why do you follow a hate group?” I thought little of it and didn’t bother to respond, so I just blocked this account. Then I thought about this. There is a person (again, maybe more than one person is attached to the account) who spends their entire day parked on twitter, seeing who follows another twitter user, ready to pounce on any individual who dares follow this group. (NOTE: Not exactly – see comments. This is an automated program, though the Ifollowhate twitter account does followup with other twitter users.)
What a sad existence. Imagine if your entire life was spent devoted to nothing more than harassing people you disagree with politically, accusing them of being (or following) a hate group. Yet the mentality that drives such a person (or group) is more and more common.
Charles Sykes, of the Wisconsin Policy Institute, has a superb article on the Entitlement Mentality which is sinking the country:
The cultural shift has become so pronounced today that even some progressives are showing signs of unease. Were it not for her impeccable ideological pedigree, Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House, might have irreparably damaged her standing with her mother’s friends when she produced a brief video for HBO about her recent encounters outside a New York welfare office. In the Pelosi video, a man waiting in line is drinking beer and smoking cigarettes as he admits that he’s fathered five children by four different mothers. “I’m here to get a check … whatever they’ve got to offer,” he explains. “It’s not like they’ve got a checklist … I’m just here to get what I can get.”
Of course he was.
In the video, Alexandra Pelosi quizzes one man: “Why should I help you? Why should my tax dollars be going to you?” He replies, “Because my ancestors came here to help build this place – my ancestors, the slaves.” The last time the man worked, he says, was “half a decade” ago. Continue reading
There is some excitement that oral arguments are going well for opponents of Obamacare. Though oral arguments are not perfectly indicative of how the Supreme Court will vote in the end, there is some cause for guarded optimism. That being said, even if the Court completely strikes down Obamacare, it will be something of a hollow victory.
Don’t get me wrong. There is no other correct course of action for the Court to take than to strike down the individual mandate and thus effectively kill Obamacare. It is one of those remarkable monstrosities that happens to be both bad policy and unconstitutional. The problem is that something this monumental is essentially being decided on the whims of a single Justice. How did we reach the point where our basic liberties come down to what Anthony Kennedy may have had for breakfast one day?
I don’t mean to be flip, but it feels like we’ve taken a very wrong turn somewhere along the line. Continue reading
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it, “all men are created equal except negroes.” When the Know-nothings get control, it will read, “all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.” When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty–to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Joshua F. Speed, Aug. 24, 1855
SHADOWED so long by the storm-cloud of danger,
Thou whom the prayers of an empire defend,
Welcome, thrice welcome! but not as a stranger,
Come to the nation that calls thee its friend!
Bleak are our shores with the blasts of December,
Fettered and chill is the rivulet’s flow;
Throbbing and warm are the hearts that remember
Who was our friend when the world was our foe.
Look on the lips that are smiling to greet thee,
See the fresh flowers that a people has strewn
Count them thy sisters and brothers that meet thee;
Guest of the Nation, her heart is thine own!
Fires of the North, in eternal communion,
Blend your broad flashes with evening’s bright star!
God bless the Empire that loves the Great Union;
Strength to her people! Long life to the Czar!
So Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1871 in honor of the visit of Grand Duke Alexei, fourth son of Tsar Alexander II, as a good will ambassador to the US. He encountered in the Northern states a vast reservoir of good will towards Russia for its steadfast support of the Union during the Civil War. Russia and Great Britain were enmeshed in the cold war known as the Great Game for control of Central Asia. The Russians viewed the United States as a power traditionally hostile to Great Britain and viewed the Civil War with alarm as a possible diminution of the power of the United States, along with a potential Anglo-Confederate alliance if the South achieved independence. From the beginning the Russian government publicly proclaimed its support for the Union and its opposition to any attempt by other powers to intervene in the conflict. Continue reading
Day 2 of oral argument on ObamaCare. Go here to read the transcript. Go here to listen to an audio recording of the oral argument. Today’s argument focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the argument did not seem to observers to go well for the Obama administration. Jeffery Tobin, CNN’s legal analyst, put it succinctly:
“This was a train wreck for the Obama administration,” he said. “This law looks like it’s going to be struck down. I’m telling you, all of the predictions including mine that the justices would not have a problem with this law were wrong… if I had to bet today I would bet that this court is going to strike down the individual mandate.”
“I don’t know why he had a bad day,” he said. “He is a good lawyer, he was a perfectly fine lawyer in the really sort of tangential argument yesterday. He was not ready for the answers for the conservative justices.”
Apparently, he’s staying busy.
SuburbanBanshee has two very good posts on the topic– the first has the great opening of “seldom have I enjoyed myself more watching a speech at an airport.” The second one is on what he said at Mass, with the bonus of an honorary mention of the Swiss Guard Ninja Death Squad Elite. (Which doesn’t exist.)
Have I mentioned lately that the fellow has guts?