12 Responses to Penguins, Butterfly and Open Thread

Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis Together Finally

Saturday, July 3, AD 2010

Sly, Ahnold, and Bruno finally make my dream action flick I’ve been waiting for since the 1980’s called the Expendables.

Unfortunately, Ahnold and Bruce only make a cameo appearance.  But the film is packed with 80’s and contemporary action stars, from Dolph Lundgren to the under-rated Jason Statham.

The rest of the film looks real good, so I’ll be watching this movie at my first opportunity.

Here is a preview from Reuters:

It is the action hero dream team. Sylvester Stallone will shoot a scene with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger soon for his upcoming adventure “The Expendables,” due to hit theatres in 2010.

The man behind the successful Rambo and Rocky franchises has also brought Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren on board for the story of a team of mercenaries who head to South America on a mission to overthrow a dictator.

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8 Responses to Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis Together Finally

  • Stop beating around the bush Tito! We all know the real question here! Who would win in a fight: Rambo, the Terminator or the cop from Die Hard? One of the burning unresolved philosophical questions from the last century!

  • This movie is a must see for me. That’s a hard one to answer Don. My pick is Rambo. I have to be honest my favorite isn’t among the actors- Chuck Norris. I believe that Chuck could kick all their butts.

  • It’s a draw between Ahnold and Sly.

    I just find it hard to see an NYP hardcase beat up on two weapons and survival experts.

    As for Chuck, that’s a different universe.

  • Wow, that is great news. I usually can’t bother with the expense, dirt, noise, crowds of a movie theater, but for this I will make an exception. But that question. Tough.

    I think that the Terminator can be defeated – after all Sarah Connor ‘killed’ him once, in the past, or is that the future? Whatever. As for Rambo and McClane, I suppose that has to do with the setting. I mean Rambo ran circles around Brian Dennehy and David Addison couldn’t stand a chance against him, but McClane, he is more like Rocky, he keeps getting his behind kicked, he bleeds, he gets knocked down and yet he keeps coming. Drago said of Rocky, “He’s not human. He’s like a piece of Iron.”

    Rambo is better than Commando.
    Arnold did beat the Predator, but I think Rambo can take the Terminator.
    Cobra would lose to McClane.
    Since McClane is more like Rocky than Rambo is – I give it to John McClane – yippee ki-yay!

    In any event, I am pretty sure that Clint Eastwood could beat any of them. And we all know that John Wayne kicks Eastwood’s behind.

    So the winner is Hondo or Rooster G.

  • From Rick Atksinson’s second ETO book, a GI (in Naples) asked Bogart how he could buy a pistol like the one Bogie used in “Sahara” that could fire 16 shots without reloading. Bogie said, “Hollywood is a wonderful place.” That was before the Glock 9mm.

  • Wayne? Are you kidding me?

    “You feeling lucky, punk?!?”

  • hi folks i cannot wait 4 the expendables to come out! It’s going to be awsum!

4 Responses to Hot Dog on the Rocks

Bye Bye Big XII, Hello Pac-16!

Saturday, June 5, AD 2010

The college football 2010 expansion scramble is on!

The Pac-10 is flexing their muscle for the first time in many years and I’m not talking about winning championships, I’m talking about dinero, mullah, the almighty dollar!

As I have mentioned previously, the Pac-10 will not expand unless it includes Texas or Colorado.  Not Utah or BYU.

Colorado brings in the Denver metropolitan T.V. market and Texas brings in… the entire state of Texas with a nationwide following that is only eclipsed by the University of Notre Shame Dame.

So what has happened since then?

To summarize all the rumors these past three days, the Pac-10 will take Texas, Colorado, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State.

But the Pac-10 needs to hear from those schools, specifically Texas, before the end of 2010 in order to be in a position to negotiate a new television contract for their college football programs.


This is beyond what I expected but it certainly is intriguing and prudent.

It’s prudent because Texas wants Texas A&M in ANY scenario available.  The Big-10 didn’t bring Texas A&M to the table in prior rumors and that is why those rumors died down.

How did this all come about?

There were various variables that occurred simultaneously to bring us to this point.

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61 Responses to Bye Bye Big XII, Hello Pac-16!

  • I think Texas will do what’s best for Texas. As long as they get to play each other, Texas doesn’t care where A&M goes. The TX state legislaure simply wants to make sure A&M and Tech don’t get left out in the cold. So if Texas can make a lot of money in the Pac-10 and A&M wants to go to the SEC, I think that’ll happen.

    As for the SEC invites, I think Maryland and NC State are ridiculous; those schools give nothing to the SEC (well, Maryland gives the TV market of Baltimore, but the SEC doesn’t care about tv markets but rather the product. Neither school has a good football program). I doubt UNC would ever leave Duke and Duke isn’t coming to the SEC (b/c those two want the conference games in basketball).

    I doubt TCU leaves the Mountain West for the SEC, especially with Boise now going there and under your scenario them picking up the Kansases.

    The virginias are an intriguing possibility. I think VT is more likely than Virginia: VT is a football school whereas Virginia cares more about the better academics found in the ACC (nice way of saying their football team isn’t very good). WV is really interesting, b/c I don’t think the Big East in both football and basketball is very appealing. The problem is that they’re a little north but it’s an option.

    I don’t buy your arguments about the no-invites. The question is money, not recruiting. I think Georgia Tech, FSU, and Miami are very much on the table, as they add to the quality of the SEC’s product, which has been the main drive behind the SEC’s success. We don’t need a tv network b/c our teams have been good enough to make money by winning BCS games and titles; those schools add to that quality. It also should be said that some schools may have more than a say than others: LSU, Bama, Florida, Georgia, and Tenn get says. South Carolina is just thankful to be at the party, and will get laughed at if it tries to stop Clemson. That said, Houston, Memphis, and Louisville won’t get invites b/c they’re not good enough, especially in football, to merit invites. There are too many better teams to invite first before spots trickle down (unless the SEC started booting Vandy and Miss. St.).

    While I hate the expansions, the “what if” scenarios and guessing games are a lot of fun.

  • Michael,

    I love “what if” scenarios as well.

    As of this comment, the scenarios have changed again.

    Before I get into that I want to address the SEC and your insightful comments.

    I agree, the SEC doesn’t care much about anything (why did they invite South Carolina in the first place?).

    They want proximity and rivalry.

    But if I were to guess where the SEC wants to go it is with Miami and FSU. The problem lies with Florida.

    Do they want to share the Florida recruiting pools by legitimizing their two in-state rivals?

    Ever wondered why TCU, SMU, Houston and Rice never got invited to the Big-12? It’s because Texas wanted to protect their recruiting areas of Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. Do you think Waco and Lubbock add anything to the table? C’mon!

    Same for Florida. I could see FSU coming in… maybe. Only because they are in a small market but they are a powerhouse.

    Miami I find difficult to join. First of all they aren’t ‘southern’.

    Second of all Miami is way-off the beaten track.

    I lived in the deep south (Alabama) and I enjoyed watching SEC fans criss-cross the state with their school banners waving from their car windows.

    Miss, LSU, Miss State, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, etc. All those schools are within a 4-8 hour driving distance. Heck even Florida and Georgia play in a neutral site just to cut down on driving!

    Hence why Miami is the longest shot of them all.

    North Carolina and NC State would be tough. Yes, they don’t want to part from Duke, but Duke brings nothing to the SEC table (football wise). VoTech won’t go unless UVA comes along. Especially when UVA alumni worked over time to bring VoTech into the ACC. VoTech should return the favor.

    W.Virginia, Maryland, and TCU are the last bunch to get in.

    I don’t think TCU would hesitate for a second to leave the MWC. Yes, the MWC is a very good conference, but TCU wants BIG TIME and SEC is that.

    The TCU alum are still smarting from being left out of the Big 12 (they can thank Texas) so they want to return to big time football.

    Remember, TCU has won a national championship before.

    I think Maryland would be a natural fit bringing in Washington DC-Baltimore into the mix.

    West Virginia has the SEC spirit in fan enthusiasm, but they are far as you mentioned.

    Now to the breaking news.

    The Pac-10 commissioner, Larry Scott has been given full authority by the university presidents to pursue expansion under any model as of this Sunday (June 6).

    So hello Big XII!

    Baylor seems to have Texas legislators working over time to ensure that Baylor gets in when the Pac-10 invitations come around. Which means that Colorado gets bumped.

    Ironically, this all hinges on Nebraska.

    The Big XII has given Nebraska (and Mizzu) until this Friday to commit to the Big XII or leave (for the Big 10).

    So if Nebraska leaves, the Pac-10 will be issuing invitations to UT, TA&M, TT, UO, OSU, and Colorado/Baylor.

    The Big 10, Delany, doesn’t want to be a spectator in all this.

    So with the Pac-10 giving the go-ahead to Larry Scott to expand, he’s not going to sit on the fence.

    Expect Delany (Big 10) to invite Nebraska (and possibly Mizzu) before Friday of this week.

    Which would trigger the Pac-10 invitations.

    Which would spell the end of the Big XII.


  • Which legislators have been clamouring for BU? we should have cut that bear carcass years ago. I would much prefer Colorado, but I could see them following Nebraska to maybe revmp their rivalry.

  • On second thought of Baylor bumping Colorado…

    If BYU can’t get into the Pac-10 I find it hard to believe the they would ask Baylor.

    Texas is happy that Tech and A&M will be getting their invitations (if they come) to come join them along with Oklahoma.

    As far as Baylor alumni saying they just bumped Colorado, I find it hard to believe considering the rich athletic tradition of CU AND the large metropolitan area of Denver matching up with Baylors rich tradition of ??? and the greater metropolitan area of Waco.

    Maybe Oklahoma State may be bumped, but Colorado?

  • C Matt,

    Baylor regent Buddy Jones. He is the one lobbying the Texas legislature of pushing Baylor to be the sixth invitee.


    They are really worried down there in Waco!

  • Hot off the presses:

    The Mizzu board of regents meet this Thursday and Friday.

    Nebraska has an emergency meeting this Friday with their board that was requested by AD Tom Osborne a little over a month ago. The email request was sent the day after Ohio State head coach visited Tom Osborne.

    This Friday afternoon could be the most tense moment in Big XII history.


  • Rich athletic tradition of CU?

    C’mon! What a frickin’ joke! They have one National Championship in football that was a complete fluke after being given an extra down to score a TD. Otherwise a 10-1-1 season is a shaky 9-2-1 season. No way an undefeated Georgia Tech (11-0-1) should’ve had to share a national title with the Fluffaloes. What else do they have besides a bunch of hippies and flakes in Boulder? Admittedly, that bunch would fit in better with the Pac-10 weirdos than the straight-laced folks down in Waco.

    As for Baylor’s rich athletic traditions, y’all don’t know squat about what you’re talking about. Baylor’s football program has fallen on hard times over the last decade (so has Colorado’s, by the way), but had a proud history before then. Baylor’s basketball program (men’s and women’s) have been quite successful lately, including a women’s National Championship. And they’ve been solid in baseball, track and field (Michael Johnson? Jeremy Wariner? Ring a bell?), tennis, etc., for decades.

    Colorado brings nothing to the table athletically that Baylor doesn’t also bring. All they have to offer is the Denver market.

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  • Fluffaloes… Ha! I expected Jay to chime in as it pertains to Baylor. Frankly, I (a proud Texas Aggie) would rather have Baylor than CU. There is tradition between Baylor and the other schools in Texas. CU strikes me as a school that, well, would do well to join their in-state rival, if that were ever an option. In the same vein, I don’t expect Okie Light to get bumped. Intrastate rivalries in conference are a big deal. Why do you think t.u. wanted A&M and Tech to come along for the ride? They are big games, with high attendance and viewership, which translates to more revenue.

  • Jay,

    If it helps any I was using Colorado’s “rich tradition” relative to Baylor’s.

    And yes, I also don’t agree that Colorado deserved that Fifth-Touchdown Mythical National Championship.



    Colorado’s campus and academic culture mirrors that of UCLA, secular, hedonistic, and shallow. Hence why Colorado is more of a “wine-and-cheese” football watching crowd as opposed to Texas A&M’s “beer-and-bratz” football watching crowd.

    Plus the Denver market. The Waco market falls a bit short in delivering a large television market.

  • I don’t even buy that Colorado has a richer athletic history relative to Baylor’s, at least not across ALL sports.

    MAYBE in football with the single fluke of a National Championship. But, even then, I struggle to name more than 1 or 2 Colorado players that had any success in the NFL, whereas Baylor has a history of players that went on to excel at the next level. Let’s take, for example, arguably the best player to come out of Baylor – Mike Singletary. One of the top 2 or 3 middle linebackers to EVER play the game, captain of a Super Bowl championship team, and current NFL head coach.

    The best player to come out of Colorado? His NFL team couldn’t even decide which position to put him at – thus the “Slash”, and he wasn’t all that good at either one of them.

  • Jay,

    I’d be happy to default to your point because you grew up in this part of the country and probably know more than I do about the comparisons.

    Which brings us back to whom the Pac-10 will choose.

    This just in:

    Colorado has already received an invitation.

    The Pac-10 (allegedly) will extend invitations to TX, TXA&M, TT, OSU, and OU soon.

    Those remaining five invites will be extended the moment the Big-10 invites and Nebraska accepts an invite (no word on Missouri).

    So all the late breaking politicking that Baylor has done has come to nought.

    Read it and weep poor Baylor students, alumni, fans, and staff: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=5270048

    Remember, both Nebraska and Missouri are meeting with their Board of Regents tomorrow (Thursday and Friday). So expect it to be quite hectic in the sporting world tomorrow morning!!!

    Bear Down!



  • OK, I’m gathering information on all these news updates, but I’ll post them here as I get them…

    It is being reported that an invite has been extended and will be accepted tomorrow, Thursday (June 10).


    It’s all but a formality now.

    The Big XII will be on life support for two more years.

    It’s interesting to note that Missouri is not mentioned anywhere (at least I haven’t found it among the Internet or my network of AD officials).

  • This writer claims the SEC is pursuing A&M. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/06/10/aggies.options/index.html

    Not sure where that’ll go; still looks most likely that a&m follows Texas to the Pac-16 but we’ll see.

    If this all happens as expected, the questions then shift: is the Big 10 done now that it has its prize of Nebraska? Where does Kansas & co go? Did the MWC hold off including Boise b/c it expected to snap up the Big 12 leftovers? And what does Notre Dame and the SEC, who both claimed they wouldn’t change unless something big happened do? Was this big enough for them to start considering losing independence and start raiding the ACC/Big East?

    And of course, does this push us closer to making a playoff an unfortunate reality?

    And also, how awesome is it that USC won’t be in a bowl game for 2 years? haha!

  • The whole thing is a travesty for college football, and who knows how it will all shake out.

    But my despair is definitely tempered by seeing the Trojans (and their little boy coach) get their comeuppance.

  • Looks like Nebraska will formally accept the invitation on Friday.

    The Big 10’s next step is either Notre Dame or Rutgers if they decide to add more schools. And after those two, surprisingly, Maryland!

    Late last night (Wednesday, June 9) it has been reported that Texas AD gathered all the TX coaches and told them they tried their best in keeping Nebraska and the Big XII together.

    Which means that in all likelihood that they and TXA&M, TT, OU, and OSU will be headed to the Pac-10.

    Colorado also met last night and will jump to the Pac-10.

    Funny that Missouri, that started all this, is thus far snubbed.

    Big East is interested in Kansas and Kansas State.

    Texas A&M has spoken with the SEC, but will opt for the more superior conference the Pac-10.

    If the Big XII does stay together, in whatever format, there is a strong possibility that Missouri will be kicked out of the conference due to the obvious reasons.

    There are no strong reports that the Big 10 will add anymore teams beyond Nebraska, which isn’t good news for Missouri. Especially if the Big 10 adds more teams Missouri is not in any rumors thus far.



  • I think the SEC is actually a MUCH better fit for A&M from a tradition standpoint. Alabama (with the Bear Bryant ties) and LSU would be natural rivalries for the Ags.

    Besides, East Texas, including Bryan-College Station, is far more Southern than it is Western.

    I wonder if the Big 10 would be willing to take a chance on Baylor or Tech just to get their feet into the Texas market. Waco may not be much of a market, but it is fairly centrally located between the Dallas and Houston markets. The Big 10 network could possibly find a lucrative spot on cable networks in those cities.

    Heck, if the Big 10 ever entices Notre Dame to join, that’d create a natural rivalry between the wayward Catholics of ND and the wayward Baptists of BU.

  • You know, after reading Big Tex’s article, a move by Texas A&M to the SEC is almost a no-brainer.

    Get out of UT’s shadow into a great conference. Travel would be less and the potential rivalries enormous.

    Plus the opportunity to catch up and pass UT in AD dollars and prestige.

    Good one Big Tex.

  • Moreover, the Ags and ‘sips keep their T-Day rivalry going with a super cross-conference clash… imagine the revenues for something like that. I’m leaning towards the SEC for my beloved Aggies, albeit a tough conference in which to stand out. Yet, I’m not opposed to them joining the PAC-10/16 since I currently reside north of Seattle. Oh to see them play football and basketball again without the need of an airplane!

    And if A&M does happen to bolt for the SEC, this leaves an additional spot for Baylor to grab in the PAC-10/16. And just my opinion here, but I’ve always thought the SEC to be a better conference than the PAC-10.

  • My heart wants us (the Aggies) in the SEC, but my head says Pac-10. We would excel in all sports in the SEC, except for the revenue one. It’s the best football conference – they know it, we know it, and I’m a bit afraid of it.

    There’s been some Big 10 talk, but I think it’s smoke. texags.com forums is the place for legit, informed gossip (amid all the bs).

    Fun times…..

  • It’s official:

    Colorado is now the Pac-10’s 11th member.


    Announcement at 12:30pm Central time.

    If Nebraska doesn’t jump to the Big-10 and the Big-XII remains intact, Utah would be invited to the Pac-10 to become the 12th member.

  • Pac-10 Announcement on Colorado being the 12th member:


    Missouri nervous about lack of Big-10 invite. If Big-XII remains alive, Missouri may be voted out.


  • You beat me to the punch Big Tex (and thanks by the way 🙂

    If I were TX and A&M I would leverage the Pac-10 offer to the hilt.

    From their perspective, the SEC is a logical choice.

    But apparently they want the Big-10 considering that Notre Dame has been in weeklong discussions (this past weekend) about joining the Big-10 on condition it remains at 14. Which would contradict “rumors” of TX and A&M possibly joining (and throw in Rutgers to boot).

    Apparently to the links you provided, the situation is “fluid”… which is an understatement.

  • With Nebraska departing the Big 10 the likelihood of the mass exodus of the South is near certainty. I hope the remaining Big 12 North schools negotiate a deal with the Big East.

  • Nebraska officially now a Big-10 school.


    Boise State jumps to Mountain West.

    Missouri has no invite, Big-XII remaining members not happy with a new Big-XII with Missouri, may vote out.

    Texas to make decision on Tuesday.

    TX A&M pursuing SEC.

    OU & OSU rumors are they will join Pac-10.

    TX Tech will go wherever Texas goes.

    KU, KSU, IS, and Baylor left out of any expansion plans.

    Rumor is Big East interested in KU and KSU. As well as Mountain West.

    Iowa State and Baylor left out to dry.

  • Last update until Saturday.

    If Texas A&M goes to the SEC, which has been confirmed that A&M AND the SEC are in talks, then Kansas and not Utah would replace A&M as the part of the “five” Big-XII schools to go to the Pac-10.



  • Nebraska can’t stand the heat (Texas) so they are getting out of the ktichen. Too bad Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa will also beat them. I wonder where the Cornhuskers will go next in search of the elusive championship season.

  • I think it would be great if the Big 2 didn’t give up rights to the name forcing the Big 10 to stay the Big 10 with 12 schools

  • If Texas A&M jumps to the SEC, Texas has said they WILL NOT schedule anymore games with the Aggies.

    A direct response to the rumblings of A&M wanting the SEC. Sources say they have the votes on their Board of Regents to jump to the SEC.

    Wow, talk about political arm-twisting.

    It’s official, Texas has turned down the SEC. They are leaning heavily towards the Pac-10 over the Big-10. No decisions will be made until this coming Tuesday at the earliest.

    Oklahoma wants to go the SEC, and the SEC is interested, but the SEC won’t take Oklahoma State. OU needs OK legislature approval where OSU grads outnumber OU grads, so Pac-10 here the Cowboys and Sooners come! Plus OU has stated they will go where TX goes. Same for Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, they will go where Texas goes.

    TCU has vetoed all talk of the Mountain West extending an invitation to Baylor. Sore feelings after getting snubbed by the Big-XII in favor of Baylor.

    Sources confirmed that Kansas has jumped ahead of Utah to enter the Pac-10 if A&M goes to the SEC.


    This is interesting: IF the Pac-10 became the Pac-16, the league would split into two divisions, BUT have NO championship game. Instead they would opt the BCS for a second AQ BCS spot (I’m assuming they think they will inherit the Big-XII spot– MWC may be a bit upset about this).

  • Sick and tired of the waiting. Wish Texas would just make their desicion public and get this all over with.

  • Texas seems to be playing their hand close the their chest right now. The remaining Big 12 South schools will go wherever they go (except A&M might join SEC) and poor Baylor is shut out in the cold. For their sakes (and Iowa State in the North) I hope Texas decides to remain a big 12 member

  • Some interesting speculation on the whole drama… the why’s behind it all. Texas (UT) doesn’t come out looking pretty.


  • This is interesting. I forgot how much money the remaining schools could make from the penatly fees. The remaining 5 schools could try to broker a football alliance with the Big East but remain the Big 12 in name.
    Officials from five Big 12 schools — Kansas, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor — held a conference call on Saturday, The Kansas City Star reported. The schools agreed they would like to continue as members of the Big 12.
    The five potential teams that could be left in the Big 12 if the exodus of five others continues to the Pac-10 would be wise to remain together, a conference commissioner with experience dealing with expansion told ESPN.com’s Andy Katz.
    The reason is simple: The five remaining schools would be due a huge payday and ultimately could salvage automatic berths to the NCAA tournament and possibly the BCS through expansion themselves.
    The commissioner, who didn’t want to be identified because he’s involved in the ongoing realignment of college athletics, told Katz it would be critical for Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Baylor and Iowa State to maintain the Big 12 as an entity or corporation.
    “The assets, the amount of money that they would be due by exit fees back to the corporation would be huge,” said the commissioner. “Rather than dissolve the Big 12, they are better off as a Big 12 entity then moving to the Mountain West.”
    Taken from:

  • Thanks Big Tex!

    Breaking (rumors) News:

    Big-XII Commish Beebe seems to have convinced UT to stay with the Big-XII. Gene Stallins (A&M) Regent is of the same mind of staying with the Big-XII.

    Of course this is all rumor, but personally (I’m a HUGE Pac-10 fan), I like this outcome.

    Arizona gets to stay with the LA schools instead of being shipped out to the Texas boondocks and away from their prime recruiting areas.

    Funny, the Big-10 has 12 teams and the Big-XII has 10 teams.

    So if the Big-XII remains as is (10 teams), Kansas and A&M staying, then Utah jumps again to the forefront of getting an invitation.

    Remember the Pac-10 wants only Colorado and UT. No UT (packaged deal with Utah), no Utah.

    But stranger things have happened.



  • Big Tex,

    What kind of self-respecting Aggie refers to Texas as “UT”? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    (Note: the 3 or 4 people in my vast extended family who didn’t attend Baylor are/were Aggies.)

  • Jay,

    My bad as well.

    I normally refer to “them” at TU-Austin.

  • I think the Big 12 should take TCU and Houston and call themselves the … “Southwest Conference”.


  • Ah, hell, throw in SMU just for old times’ sake.

  • I want TCU. And toss in SMU. Ship OU and Okie Lite to the North.

    Jay, it was a lapse in judgment. UT is in Tennessee. t.u. is in Texas.

  • I admit to having started liking the idea of playing Texas A&M every year. I’m going miss that idea. I also feel like I just wasted a week for nothing. I think Texas A&M is stupid for not joining the SEC and continuing to dwell in Texas’s shadow.

    That said, I am very glad that college football will remain regional and not move towards these hideous mega-conferences that would have destroyed the close-knit nature of the game. In that, I guess I’ll take the sacrifice of not having another SEC West rival. Hopefully LSU will indulge us and schedule a home & home with the Aggies as that would be a lot of fun.

  • Jay & Big Tex,

    Considering now that 4 of the remaining ten are the original SWC and by adding TCU, SMU, and Houston, the old SWC members would outnumber the leftover Big-8 6.

    Now the fun of speculation.

    BYU was the original “12th” member until Baylor cried like the annoying little brother wanting in on the new Big-XII in ’96.

    What two teams could you all see entering the Big-XII.

    BYU? TCU? Arkansas? Utah?

    TCU seems like a natural fit.

    There has been speculation of Arkansas wanting into the Big-12 in the past and Utah seems on the verge of being the next BCS powerhouse if they keep crashing the BCS as they do each year.

  • Michael, not sure what your affiliation is, but as an Aggie, I was hoping to join the SEC. It’s a natural fit, culturally speaking. Heck, we even had a list of a few “demands” going in:

    1. NASCAR? Not so much. Come check out a rodeo.

    2. BBQ – beef brisket, not pork. We’ll let you put slaw on your slow cooking, but don’t expect us to like it.

    3. We like our tea sweetened to individual taste after brewing. Its ice tea, not sweet tea. Don’t worry, all of our restaurants have sugar and sweet ‘n low at the table

    4. The Alamo – some of your state’s settlers probably died there. You better remember it!

    5. As much as I don’t like Austin, their country music is much better than Nashville. Pat Green’s older stuff, Corey Morrow, Roger Creager, the Derailers, etc… You should broaden your horizons, throw out that Faith Hill crap, and get some of the good stuff.

    6. On April 21, don’t bother calling on your Aggie friends. We’re busy that day.

    7. Absolutely NO bonfire jokes! I am unaware of anything off limits, so please feel free to inform us. But the only time I have ever punched an adult is when a t-sip made a joke about it. (To be fair, we dont joke about the tower sniper either.)

  • So, if the Big XII goes back to twelve or so members, the conference MUST court TCU. They’ve had tremendous success in football lately. SMU would probably be another ho-hum game. Not sure that they have fully recovered from the death penalty yet. Houston? Cougar High? Sure, what the heck!

  • Big Tex,

    Michael is an alum of LSU.

    I call it graduating from 3rd grade.


  • I prefer my “sweet tea” with the sugar brewed along with the tea.

    That is Southern!

  • Learn something new everyday.

    That makes sense.

    When I moved from Alabama to Houston I had the hardest time finding Southern sweet tea. Now I understand why, it ain’t Texan.

  • And now I’m going to have to issue another “shame on you” to Big Tex for failing to list his fellow Aggie alums Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett among the Texas music artists who kick the crap out of anything that comes out of Trashville.

  • Hey now… that was a copy and paste job. I didn’t want to corrupt the original source. But Roger Creager is an Aggie.

  • Just got chills watchin’ that.

  • Hey Big Tex,

    REK’s playing in Cincy tonight and then in Columbus next Tuesday.

    Unfortunately, he’s opening for the Dave Matthews Band on both nights, and I can’t afford the $80 ticket (plus travel expenses) to then have to suffer through getting a 2nd-hand high off the doobies of a bunch of hippies.

    I could get probably get roughly the same qualitative experience for a lot less money by buying some pot and accompanying paraphernalia, scrounging up some smelly socks to replicate the smell of unshowered, hairy-pitted flower children, and putting “Live at the Ryman” into the CD player.

  • He comes out to the Seattle area later this year. 🙂

  • Cool. Hope you get to go.

    I saw him at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville when we were visiting my wife’s family at Easter. It was even better than the show I saw down at Floore’s Country Store last summer.

  • Big Tex:

    I think Texas A&M would have been a great cultural fit for the SEC. I enjoyed reading some about our previous rivalry (A&M v. LSU) and I hope the interest shown by a lot of LSU fans towards a&m will spur a series between the two schools in the future.

    As far as courting SMU or TCU, I think it’s out of the question. The Big 12 is banking on smaller being better i.e. that by having smaller slices of pie to make, each school can make more money. If TCU or SMU come in, there is less money for Texas to make. So no SMU/TCU for the Big 12.

    Of course, this theory of the Big 12 is apparently based on estimates of TV revenue. If those estimates are too high (which I would imagine they probably are) then we’ll be right back here.


    I love that blog you quoted, by the way.


    I would have hoped that between Arizona and ASU, one of them would have taught you the creativity necessary to come up with insults more original than “graduating from 3rd grade.” Sadly, it appears those vaunted Pac-10 academics aren’t quite up to the billing outside of California.


  • Pac-10 has invited Utah.

    Utah will have a board of trustee meeting tomorrow (Thursday, June 17) to vote on the move, which should be a formality. But then again similar minds said the same about Texas up until this past Sunday.



    I wanted to make sure you understood the joke considering where you graduated from.


  • Rumors abound on the makeup of the Pac-10 assuming Utah accepts.

    The latest is a North-South division format.

    Arizona, ASU, USC, UCLA, Colorado, and Utah in the South.

    Washington, Oregon, California, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State in the North.

    I like the setup better than the Pac-16 format.

    Arizona and ASU remain with USC and UCLA, plus we get to kick around lightweights Colorado and Utah.

    Thanks for the Denver and Salt Lake City markets boys!


3 Responses to Weekend Video Clip: The Scarlet Pimpernel

Civilization V Coming Fall 2010

Saturday, March 20, AD 2010

Sid Meier’s Civilization V is finally going to be released this Fall of 2010.  This famous turn-based conquer the world strategy PC game has gotten me hooked ever since I first encountered it in college.  In fact, it is the only game I play.

Civilization V is the sequel to Civilization IV, but like its predecessors, it will probably stand alone on its own.

What’s new in this edition?

Five things that I can share with you are:

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12 Responses to Civilization V Coming Fall 2010

11 Responses to The Infidel

  • Many errors with this premise. But let’s assume it could be as it was — would you think it good if they did a show called The Pagan about someone who thought they were baptized and found out they were not? Or someone who thought they were a priest and not?

  • That is hilarious Tito! No doubt the humor impaired will deny it, but it is!

  • Here is a clip from the Four Lions, a comedy about four inept British muslim terrorists.

  • What if someone did a show about “someone who thought they were a priest and were not?”

    I dunno about that, but I have seen that premise done in reverse — someone who WAS a priest and thought they weren’t. The character of John Black on “Days of Our Lives” (Drake Hogestyn), when he entered the story about 20 years ago or so, had been brainwashed, or had amnesia, or something, and forgotten his previous identity. Only after his beloved Marlena (Deirdre Hall) became possessed by the devil did he discover that he had been a priest in his past life, and he ended up exorcising the evil spirit from her. Then, of course, he dropped his vocation like a hot potato.

  • LOL!

    “I used an I.R.A. voice.”

    I will be putting that on my Netflix cue now.

  • There have also been several comedies where everyone thinks someone is a priest when in fact he is not.

  • Too funny… I agree that in premise it has errors. Any Jew or other religion can be accepted into the Muslim community. In Islam it is believed that every one is born Muslim – period. If you say you are Christian – Jew or other – you are wrong and need to be corrected through Dawa first.

    But this is histerical, I can only imagine how it will turn out and who will be upset about it….

  • Nice to see the Brits haven’t yet succumbed to political correctness!

  • CMinor,

    They may well be the last bastion of common sense left in Europe!

  • The fact that Islam accepts conversions from any faith (which faith doesn’t?) doesn’t delegitimate the story, since Jewishness is perceived ethnically as well as religiously. There are secular Jews just as there are secular people from a Christian background, etc. The fact is that people who’ve found out they’re Jewish halfway thru life- and there are many, for obvious reasons – are generally turned upside down by the news. What’s more interesting is why a filmmaker would feel this premise is important to us now as something to laugh at and learn from – it’s the zeitgeist and a conversation (and laughter) that needs to be had.

  • Interesting that Islam isn’t so tolerant when people convert away from Islam.

Joe Bidens Forehead Makes An Appearance

Wednesday, February 17, AD 2010

[Update below]

It’s Ash Wednesday and comic relief has arrived with our illustrious Vice-President Joe Biden!

Biretta tip to Thomas Peters of the American Papist.

Update I: Curiously funny video clip of U.K. Sky News host and self-identified Catholic Kay Burley mistakenly thinks the ashes on Biden’s is a bruise.

0:29 minute mark of the video clip – Kay Burley makes above remark.

…you can skip the intermittent video of VP Biden bloviating about the successful stimulus package until the…

3:06 minute mark of the video clip – Kay Burley’s mea culpa.

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54 Responses to Joe Bidens Forehead Makes An Appearance

  • Did Obama think Biden’s smudge/cross was a fly and try to swat it?

  • Ashes from the burned babies.

  • I had ashes once on my head when I was in court and a judge thought that I didn’t realize my forehead was dirty. He apologized profusely when I told him it was Ash Wednesday and I had just come from Mass.

  • Kristan,



    When I first moved to the South to Charlotte, NC, my coworkers were laughing themselves silly all morning when I arrived with ashes on my forehead.

    In the afternoon one of them finally came up to my office, giggling and smirking, and apologetically tried to tell me I had dirt on my forehead.

    I laughed, but that was my first encounter in the U.S. where Catholics weren’t as prominent I suppose in everyday life for my coworkers to have a laugh or too.

    I laughed to. It gave me an opportunity to evangelize and explain the meaning behind the ashes.

  • Yes, but what lies behind that forehead? That is what mystifies me.

  • Back in law school, way before I was Catholic and was still a Southern Baptist, I was (and still am) close friends with another evangelical named “X”. Up to that point in out lives, neither of us had had much exposure to Catholic culture (apart from our 2 Catholic law school roommates and my rarely seen Catholic relatives on my paternal grandmother’s side), having both been raised in thoroughly Protestant enclaves of the Bible-Belt South. However, I was ahead of “X” in my knowledge of things Catholic because of my father’s relatives. So I wasn’t completely in the dark about certain things.

    “X”, on the other hand, was absolutely clueless. His naivete was on full display during our first year of law school when the season of Lent caught him completely unaware. On Ash Wednesday, I was sitting with our Catholic roommates in the student lounge reading the school newspaper when “X” came rushing up to us and told us there was something wrong with that day’s paper. According to “X”, everyone had “newsprint smudged all over their faces”.

  • I have a friend from Lutheran-dominated northern Germany, who had never seen ashes before he moved to the US. He thought aliens had landed.

    I work for a multi-national company, with many Indian and Chinese employees. Ash Wednesday always gives me an opportunity to explain Christianity to them. Nothing like dirt on your forehead to ignite conversation.

  • It’s a shame Joe went to Mass where the priest has no testosterone. Of course, under Abp. Donald Wuerl, any priest who told Joe the truth (“You are a promoter of mass murder, and therefore not a practicing Catholic, and not a sincere penitent.”) would be in heap big trouble. According to Abp. Wuerl, promoting mass murder is NOT a sin. Abp. Wuerl has taught this repeatedly, each time he has declared that pro-aborts like Joe may receive Communion in the Archdiocese of Washington.

  • Sir, if you wish to be a faithful priest, you will not encourage the faithful to think ill of their bishop. That is not the way of Christ.

  • I’m not aware of any law or custom restricting who may receive sacramentals.

  • M.Z.,

    I believe Father Fitzpatrick was making a general statement in regards to Holy Communion.

    But to the point of recieving ashes on the forehead, I’m in agreement with you, I don’t believe there are no restrictions to receiving the ashes.


    Can non-Catholics receive the ashes?

  • I’m not a Catholic – but I play one on TV

  • Can non-Catholics receive the ashes?

    Yes. I think our Ash Wednesday mass even made a point of saying anyone is welcome to receive ashes.

  • That’s pretty cool.

    It’s interesting to note that many Protestant denominations are picking up this practice. As well as picking up the practice of fasting and abstinence of Lent and Advent.

  • When I was in Florida a friend of mine who was a Methodist minister would go to get ashed.

  • Yeah, Tito, it is pretty cool, isn’t it? I have a friend who was raised and is Presbyterian, and standing at the threshold of becoming he-cares-not-what as long as it’s not Protestant. One thing he said to me once is that Protestants are mostly either becoming entirely non-Christian or else “discovering” all sorts of things like bringing communion from church to the homebound, and advent wreathes, etc.

    It’s a real sign of spiritual stirring, and I believe we should eagerly encourage it and judiciously guide it as we’re able.

  • Ryan Haber:

    What you say is true in the case of a bishop who is not scandalizing and dividing the faithfrul. As it is, I don’t agree.

    When a bishop’s public actions are scandalous, the scandal must be resisted and repaired as much as possible. Archbishop Burke has published a full exposition, explaining precisely WHY and HOW Archbishop Wuerl (who is named by Burke) and other bishops are scandalizing the faithful by their refusal to obey Canon 915. Note that I said “obey,” not “enforce.” While Canon 915 has to do with the Eucharist, Joe Biden, as a person who is notoriously ineligible to receive the Eucharist, is also perpetrating a public scandal by flaunting ashes and in general posing as a practicing Catholic. All bishops and priests who are in a position to stop him, or at least to correct him, and thus lessen the deception and scandal, but choose not to do so, are accomplices in scandalizing the Church and society.

  • Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick:

    Sir, are you then made judge over bishops? If you are judge over bishops, why shouldn’t your parishioners set themselves up as judge over you. Archbishop Burke is a peer of Archbishop Wuerl’s, and to some extent, in a position of authority over him as Prefect of the Signatura and as a member of the Congregation for Bishops.

    I will leave it to the Archbishop’s peers and superiors to correct him. It is impossible for a subordinate to publicly berate his superiors without undermining the very structure of authority that connects them. We do not instill confidence and love for bishops in general by undermining them in particular. It would be better to observe the error made in simple, objective terms and leave it at that. If animosity prevents us from praying for a person – really praying for him, it is perhaps best not to speak of him either.

    I understand entirely. There are public figures whose existence makes me sputter. That’s my problem. I try to refrain critizing them while I still have a hard time praying for their authentic needs in a sympathetic way, as I would for a sick friend.

    The correction of superiors has been undertaken by some saints, it is true… but there are more Martin Luthers and Girolamo Savonarolas who gave it a whack than there are St Catherine of Sienas. St Francis of Assisi’s example is instructive on the point. I hesitated to say these things to you, Father, because I feel the same trepidation about seeming to criticize a priest that I hope a priest would have with regard to critizing a bishop. If there were a way of approaching you privately, sir, please believe me that I would have done so.

    Very sincerely yours,

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • I would like to point out that this so-called “Fr Vincent Fitzpatrick” is unlikely a priest and unlikely someone with that name. The famous priest with that name is dead, and I think he is putting that name to shame. I would like to ask where he is a priest of and who his Bishop is.

  • I haven’t said a word of judgment about any bishop. I have described actions.

    The scandal I am discussing is eating the heart out of the Church in America. The failure of all but a handful of bishops to carry out their STRICT duty in regard to the scandal of pro-abortion politicians, and those politicians’ sacrilegious Communions, is an open sore, a cancer, a case of leprosy. It is not a secret. It is not a matter of confidentiality. It is all taking place in public, and poisoning the Church.

  • “Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick” are you a priest or not? Who is your bishop? Do you know there are canons against pretending to be a priest, if you are not one?

  • “Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick”:

    Certainly many bishops have given scandal over the years, starting with Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter, and many continue to do so. Even to say, “Bishop X did Y and that is scandalous,” is a serious matter because of his office, and you, sir, said a good deal more than that.

    Henry Karlson’s question stands. Are you truly a priest? What is your real name, so that you may be public and honorable rather than anonymous and a snake, and who is your ordinary? Of what diocese or congregation are you a member?

    Please state yourself openly or be quiet, sir.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • I honestly can’t see how seeing the Biden sporting ashes scandalizes anyone. Although it would be of benefit to the faithful if the bishops would use their shepherding powers more forcefully at times when addressing Catholic leaders who actively support abortion, euthenasia, torture, etc., ashes are a sign of repentence and thus an acknowledgement that we are sinners. Further, any practicing Catholic knows that lots of people show up to get ashes on Ash Wednesday who won’t show up again until Easter, if then. How they’d be scandalized by the fact that a politician who does not follow Church teaching is seen with ashes escapes me.

  • Yes, Fr. Vincent –

    Just be quiet and humbly submit to all authority, no matter how outrageous, sacrilegious, or obscene. Don’t raise questions and don’t encourage fellow Catholics to do likewise. Just be quiet.

    That’s exactly how Jesus handled the Pharisees, exactly how the saints handled corrupted bishops and popes in the Middle Ages, etc.

    Unless the Bishops, say, start advocating policies that reflect the agenda of Republican instead of Democratic research staff. Then by all means rebel, please, and be quick about it.

  • but there are more Martin Luthers and Girolamo Savonarolas


    A man gets burned at the stake for heresy once — once!! — and for that you see fit to yoke him with Martin Luther?

  • Joe once again shows he has no respect for the Church and its ecclesiology. Which is not surprising, since he came from an agitated past and continues to promote agitation as his response. There is nothing wrong with Biden getting ashes (if he were Eastern, I would ask what he was doing at an Ash Weds service– but that’s something else). The fact that people get upset that he went to church — priceless.

  • No, there’s just a difference between what I call respect, and what you do.

    In my view, a criticism that doesn’t contain vulgar language, that doesn’t question personal motives or judges a person’s soul, that addresses a legitimate concern, is a respectful criticism.

    I might also add, doesn’t raise the irrelevant issue of a person’s past instead of simply addressing the merits of a point or argument.

    And if we don’t have the right to make a respectful criticism, then what are we? Are we men?

    I don’t know what you would consider such. I hope “respect” means more than “keep your mouth shut and do what you are told.”

  • Joe once again shows he has no respect for the Church and its ecclesiology. Which is not surprising, since he came from an agitated past and continues to promote agitation as his response.

    For a few moments I thought you were talking about the Catholic Anarchist.


    I think only one person got upset, and that’s stretching that father is commenting about the ashes, but more about reception of Holy Communion.

    I made this post in friendly jest to my favorite VP, not because he did anything wrong.

  • “Just be quiet and humbly submit to all authority, no matter how outrageous, sacrilegious, or obscene. Don’t raise questions and don’t encourage fellow Catholics to do likewise. Just be quiet.”

    Seems you presume much there, and misrepresenting Catholic understanding of authority and respect. And misrepresenting what others are saying in respect to how to deal with issues of concern.

    As for addressing a person’s past, it is important if the habit of the past remains and the person has yet to deal with that habit.

    Respectful criticism is good; your rant wasn’t respectful, nor was this “Fr Vincent’s”.

  • Tito

    Do you know he is a priest? If it is the same person who has posted on Vox Nova, the info behind the nick appears — well, contrary to the that. The way he speaks isn’t like a normal priest, and he appears to have fundamental problems with basic principles of Catholic ecclesiology. I somehow doubt he is a priest, and going with the name as if he were is a violation.

  • Actually, Tom, I rather appreciate Savonarola, at least as an historical figure, if not as a role model. Lol.

    And Joe Hargrave, none of that is what I said. Your parody of me makes me think that you have not got an honest, rational response.

    The importation of American political agenda into this particular conversation is entirely your own doing. I couldn’t care less about the Democrats or Republicans. We do the Church a great disservice by importing particular political paradigms and agendas into her way of thinking and living. We are supposed to be exporting our values into the world. Of course there is a legitimate time and place to express concerns about the life of the Church; the American way of vocal, organized dissent is very appropriate to the American democracy, but very inappropriate to the Catholic Church.

    Vitriol and mockery is never constructive, and is positively unchristian.

    For the record, my challenge to “Fr. Vincent” was to identify himself. I was echoing Henry Karlson, who like me, you, Tito Edwards, and numerous others, posts only under our true identities. Doing so is a sign of integrity. Taking a pseudonym for public debate, particularly in a place where speaking your mind isn’t a shooting crime, is not a mark of integrity.

    As for me, I will obey Christ. He, as God-in-flesh, took great liberties with the Pharisees and had authority to do so. He never pretended that we should do likewise. Rather he commanded us:

    Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. (Matthew 23:1-3)

    And Joe, if you read the accounts of Brigid of Sweden or Catherine of Siena, I think you will find their words both more compelling and more respectful in addressing directly, not snarking on a blog, the men God had placed in authority over them. We have given up faith that God can work conversion through us if we turn from our prayers to ridiculing and backbiting on a blog that the intended victims don’t even read in the first place.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • “misrepresenting Catholic understanding of authority and respect”

    I never presented as such, but your reading skills continue to impress me.

    “And misrepresenting what others are saying in respect to how to deal with issues of concern.”

    I was more fair than Ryan was to Fr. V, characterizing his criticism as a “berating” – it was no such thing. It also seems that “thinking ill” of one’s bishop is somehow a greater danger than the potential scandal caused, a notion which is about on the same level of a soldier placing the reputation of one of his officers ahead of a matter that could affect the entire company. In both cases, completely cowardly and unacceptable.

    “As for addressing a person’s past, it is important if the habit of the past remains and the person has yet to deal with that habit.”

    Ah. So you, you are going to lecture me on bad habits. I see.

    You see, Henry, there’s a difference between an argument, and its cause. The validity of an argument can be tested against the objective standards of logic which are independent of any personal, subjective motivation I might hold.

    Those personal, subjective motivations are matters best discussed with one’s priest, one’s family, one’s friends – and they have absolutely no bearing on the validity or invalidity of an argument.

    In a debate, they are what we call an ad hominem – attacking the man, to distract or deflect from the main point. It is a tactic of people I would describe as losers and scoundrels, or at best, people who just aren’t very bright.

    Since I think you’re probably better than that, I trust in the future you will recognize that I am not interested in personal advice from you, and pay basic respect to the elementary rules of a logical debate.

    Consider this a warning. Destroy me on the issues, take a chainsaw of logic to my arguments – but leave the personal insinuations out of it, or your posting privileges here will be taken under review. And if you want to consider that an act of censorship on my part, I can’t stop you. But I’m making a clear distinction here. I welcome any and all criticisms of a person’s actual argument, but I will not tolerate attacks on a person’s character, mine, or anyone else’s.

  • Henry K.,

    I understand and we’ll monitor him for now.

    To be on the safe side I’ll refer to him as a priest.

    Do Eastern Catholics have Ash Wednesday on their liturgical calendars?

  • Tito

    I think Maronites might do something on Ash Weds (I’ve heard something about it before, but I cannot confirm). But Byzantine tradition has Lent start earlier (Sunday evening, Forgiveness Vespers). There is no ashes, rather, there is a Vespers service, an anointing, and a ritual where the priest asks the congregation for forgiveness, and the congregation asks everyone else for forgiveness. Then on Monday, it is a strict day of fast (no meat, no dairy). But we don’t do Ashes. This week is called “Clean Week.” The tradition is to clean out one’s home and to have confession this week ( I plan to go tomorrow – due to all the snow and blizzard, and a few other issues, it’s been about 5 weeks; normally I go once a week).

  • Ryan,

    My response was a mockery of the completely disproportionate response you gave to Father V.

    About the only questionable thing he did was to question the “testosterone” levels of the priest in question. Everything else he said was, as far as I’m concerned, perfectly fine and worthy of more than a lecture more befitting a fifth-grader being admonished for picking his nose in class.

    You said “Vitriol and mockery” is not acceptable – neither is silence in the face of sacrilege. Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple and broke the laws of the Pharisees. If we are to be like Christ, that means knowing when to be mild, and when to be strong.

    “For the record, my challenge to “Fr. Vincent” was to identify himself.”

    That was based on your criticism of his comments, obviously. Your first challenge was whether or not he had any right to say anything about a bishop at all. You said,

    “It would be better to observe the error made in simple, objective terms and leave it at that.”

    Well, he did that and you continued to go off on him.

    “Taking a pseudonym for public debate, particularly in a place where speaking your mind isn’t a shooting crime, is not a mark of integrity.”

    That’s a separate matter, and if you want to pursue it with the man, fine. I’m not interested in that – only the arguments. And there was certainly more to the exchange between you two than this man’s (alleged) anonymity.

    “He, as God-in-flesh, took great liberties with the Pharisees and had authority to do so. He never pretended that we should do likewise.”

    Aren’t we supposed to follow Christ as an example? It obviously doesn’t mean defiance for its own sake, but in defense of the truth. And what Father V. was doing, and what most loyal Catholics who are concerned are doing, is far less than what Christ did to the money changers at the temple.

    This isn’t, moreover, 1000 A.D. during which the argument that the average peasant couldn’t possibly know enough to comment on a Church dispute or teaching had some actual foundation in the conditions of the time. Now, as Fr. V did, we can cite canon law on the internet.

    “We have given up faith that God can work conversion through us if we turn from our prayers to ridiculing and backbiting on a blog that the intended victims don’t even read in the first place.”

    I don’t think your “if” follows at all, first of all, because the “victims” are not the only ones intended – how about all of the genuine victims of their scandal? They need to hear the criticisms as well.

    Secondly it doesn’t follow because these things are not mutually exclusive, and who are you to know that the criticism might not be the chosen instrument of God for the conversion of the heart?

  • Joe,

    There is something between silence and vitriol. The fact that silence isn’t acceptable doesn’t mean that vitriol is acceptable. And I am not sure you are right that silence is an unacceptable option.

    We certainly need to know when to be mild and when to be strong. The two aren’t contrary, coincidentally. Jesus, never weak, called himself “gentle and lowly in heart,” (Mt 11:29-30). Furthermore, St. James writes, “Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God,” (Ja 1:19-20).

    We are supposed to follow Christ as an example, but not without qualification. After all, we are called to be his disciples, and not Him. Anyone here trying following Christ on foot over the Sea of Galilee lately? Lolol.

    Commenting on the life of the Church isn’t about education or not being peasants; I commended the examples of medieval saints who commented very vocally on the life of the Church precisely because you mentioned that medieval saints did so. I only added specific names and mentioned that they made their criticisms respectfully and in a manner otherwise appropriate.

    You’re right, Joe, kinda – my original concern with “Fr. Vincent” was how he did what he did. Voicing concern about the state of the Church or about our bishops or even a particular bishop – that’s all legitimate. The way he did it was disrespectful. His psuedonymity is a perfectly legitimate additional concern on the same matter of how he undertakes legitimate actions. If he wishes to object publicly to something another man, whose name is publicly known to the world, let him at least do so with his own proper name likewise publicly known.

    You wrote that you are only interested in the arguments; if by that you mean “Fr Vincent’s” original post, I believe you are stretching the definition of “argument.”

    As Henry Karlson wrote, given the shared name of an earlier, deceased priest, the radically different tone from pretty much anything any priest I’ve ever known has written, and his sudden silence when asked for credentials, I think “Fr Vincent” is itself a stretch.

    I’m sorry, Joe, but I do not think that you will convince me that the kind of comment “Fr Vincent” made constitute the productive or virtuous response of a Christian man to seeing a bishop derelict in his duty.

  • Ryan,

    Re. meekness and courage, mildness and strength:

    “We certainly need to know when to be mild and when to be strong. The two aren’t contrary, coincidentally.”

    And, as I hope you acknowledge, I did not say that they were in an absolute sense – both capacities should co-exist within the same person – but in a situational sense. Some situations call for us to be soft, and others, to be hard. In that moment the two are indeed contrary.

    “Anyone here trying following Christ on foot over the Sea of Galilee lately?”

    Well, forgive me if I’m not as amused by your joke as you are 🙂

    Following Christ’s indignation at the defilement of the temple is, obviously, within our means as mortal men.

    “Commenting on the life of the Church isn’t about education or not being peasants”

    It is a little bit, though. Because I would have agreed with clergy of the Middle Ages that people who, because of the limitations of the time, could not read or write (even if they were naturally blessed with intelligence) probably had little to no place in a debate of this kind. Let’s say, it would have been much more cautious and guarded.

    Today we can’t say that. I love the middle ages as much as any historian of the era but the inevitable consequence of literacy is democracy. Now I DON’T think the Church should be a democracy like some on the left do, I totally reject that – but I DO believe that lay Catholics need to have a way to express their grievances and that some degree of accountability has to exist. If doctrinal and liturgical disputes don’t show that, then the sex-abuse scandal does.

    As for Fr. V,

    “he way he did it was disrespectful.”

    In what way, beyond his crack about “testosterone”?

    “You wrote that you are only interested in the arguments; if by that you mean “Fr Vincent’s” original post, I believe you are stretching the definition of “argument.””

    Actually, I mean more his second post, in which he built upon his initial point and included references. That looked like an argument to me.

    So, I’m talking about his second post. And yes, he would have done his cause more good had he began with that instead of sarcasm, as would I. If there is a bad habit here, it is on the part of those of us who would resort to sarcasm first. Whatever faults I see in your approach, at least that isn’t one of them.

  • At Mass last night, I had quite a few who came forward for ashes that, at communion, came up for a blessing instead the bread. Every oak began as a tiny seed.

    I understand that among at least some Hispanics, there is a belief that you will die within a year if you don’t receive ashes on Ash Wednesday. Has anyone else heard that?

  • Patrick,

    Never heard of it. I’ll ask my mother and my aunts about this though.

  • Hey Joe,

    I’m glad we’re both maintaining or regaining civility. I found myself irritated, and have been praying, and think that two men who love the Church as she is can come to some sort of understanding about how to address her features that need, well, let’s just say, more love.

    Meekness, courage, mildness, and strength aren’t contrary to each other. They can’t be, because they are both virtues, and as you note, reconcile in an absolute sense. That being true, they are always reconcilable in the particulars, since the particulars depend upon the absolute. It takes a great deal of sanctity to reconcile apparent opposites – which Christ did in everything he did: always strong, always gentle; always direct, always discreet; always active, always recollected. These things only seem to us to be at odds with each other because we do not understand them deeply enough, we do not know what is at their heart.

    We set aside one virtue for another at great peril to losing them all.

    “Anyone here trying following Christ on foot over the Sea of Galilee lately?”
    Well, forgive me if I’m not as amused by your joke as you are 🙂

    Sure. But I think my point still stands. We follow Christ in one sense, in another sense, we are each called to blaze our own trail, to follow his light in our own circumstances. Recourse to WWJD isn’t terribly helpful if the question “What would Jesus do?” is precisely what needs answering. Lolol.

    I agree that people uninformed in a matter shouldn’t discuss it, and those informed should freely admit the point at which their information ends. I wasn’t saying that “Fr Vincent” didn’t know anything, but that he make his contribution to the discussion badly.

    But since we’re on the topic, “Fr Vincent” clearly has not been following news in the DC area. If he had, he would know more. Archbishop Wuerl, whom “Fr Vincent” thinks something of a weakling or liberal intent on punishing anyone with testosterone, has been publicly sparing with the city council because of its increasingly militant and intrusive laws about gay “marriage”. Most recently, they have passed a law prohibiting discrimination in adoption services based on the sexes of a “married” couple. Yesterday the Archbishop and Catholic Charities shut down the Church’s adoption agency here because we cannot comply with the terms of the wicked law in question. This action followed months of wrangling and being vilified over the Church’s refusal to comply with another law requiring spousal benefits for gay “married” couples – I believe that case is now pending in federal court. These aren’t the acts of spineless cowards.

    As for Fr. V,
    “he way he did it was disrespectful.”
    In what way, beyond his crack about “testosterone”?

    “Other than that, how was the theatre, Mrs. Lincoln?” Lol. Sorry, another bad joke, but meant in good fun. His general approach of smearing the archbishop is hardly respectful, and fits in better with the secularist MSM’s approach than with a Christian’s. He also wrote, “According to Abp. Wuerl, promoting mass murder is NOT a sin,” based upon evidence from which it hardly follows.

    “Actually, I mean more his second post, in which he built upon his initial point and included references. That looked like an argument to me.”

    Fair enough. His first one has been a show-stopper for me, which is the principle rhetorical problem with such posts. It is a show-stopper for me because of the more issues underlying it, and so on. Thank you for your compliment, too. I continue to find you an honorable gentleman.

    I think that one of the archbishop’s more admirable and useful qualities in a place as political as DC, though one least likely to endear him to his allies, are his tact, deliberation, and moderation. Fools rush in, and Archbishop Wuerl is no fool; but nor is he a coward, or opposed to the truth, or seeking to undermine the Church.

    One good reason to reserve judgment of the actions of our superiors is that, just like our parents, they often know things – either experience or concrete facts – that we do not, cannot know. Though I certainly do not understand the actions of many of our bishops, I can trust that they know more than I do, and I can – God help me if I cannot – trust that God has put them in authority over me, and not the reverse, for my sanctification and theirs.

    There is some consolation in that, I hope.

    When in conscience I must challenge a clergyman, just as with a brother, it is always best to do so in private, even if the cause of my concern is public. That is, after all, how our Lord instructed us to handle such things. It’s all the more important because any semblence of rebelliousness causes only further scandal.

    It has become a useful spiritual habit of mine to write a letter of support to bishops when they get bad press for doing good things. I’ve written a number of such letters, and am deeply impressed always to have received a personal response.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • Ryan,

    The point about private criticism is valid, but only to a certain extent. There is also something to be said for the argument that a public figure invites public criticism and ought to be subject to public scrutiny.

    Here is a point on which we may disagree.

    “Though I certainly do not understand the actions of many of our bishops, I can trust that they know more than I do”

    This may be true, but as opposed to earlier times, there is nothing they know that we cannot also know. If those responsible for promulgating and enforcing laws do not themselves respect them, then by example and inference they argue that there is really only ONE law; that the strong dominate the weak.

    Obviously in church matters there is no physical coercion as there is in politics, but the same principle applies. If those responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing rules do not abide by them, then all you have is a naked, raw, exercise of power.

    This is not order, this is not respect, this is not stability and proper hierarchy. This is an affront to our dignity as creatures endowed with reason and moral sense.

    I don’t mean to accuse you, or the bishops for that matter, of going so far. I don’t think you do. But I do think that this is a trap that good-hearted people can fall into, and I would like to avoid.

    “It has become a useful spiritual habit of mine to write a letter of support to bishops when they get bad press for doing good things.”

    I’ve done that myself from time to time. We ought to do both. We ought to be informed and involved as Catholics, as we ought to be as citizens.

  • …getting back to the original post.

    I haven’t watched the video yet but I often get the same response from self proclaiming Catholics at work.

    “You have something on your forehead, oh, Ash Wednesday?. Oh-ya I knew that…”

  • Joe,

    I think the central point of our disagreement is ecclesiological after all.

    “This may be true, but as opposed to earlier times, there is nothing they know that we cannot also know.”

    Joe, nothing could be further from the truth. There is TONS of stuff that we should NOT know as Christians. Canon law requires bishops to keep a safety box with such documents, literally called a secret archives, for his eyes and the eyes of his general vicars only – and their eyes only on a need to know basis. It has nothing to do with our education level, our rights, or the times we live in. It has to do with discretion – perhaps the virtue most sorely lacking in contemporary American culture, and therefore probably in most of us as individuals as well.

    “If those responsible for promulgating and enforcing laws do not themselves respect them, then by example and inference they argue that there is really only ONE law; that the strong dominate the weak.”

    I fully agree. It is not manifest to me that this description applies to the present situation. Moreover, “Fr Vincent” said nothing of anything remotely like it.

    My bishop is not answerable to me. That is a fundamental difference between life in the Church and life in a representative democracy. They just aren’t at all. They are accountable to Jesus Christ, and he will do justice upon them.

    “We ought to be informed and involved as Catholics, as we ought to be as citizens.”

    Again, no. We ought to be informed and involved, but in a very different way than citizens do. We are not citizens of the Church, but sheep in Christ’s flock. I am not advocating a “pray, pay, and obey,” mentality, and tire of the cliche. That has never gone over well with laypeople. I think an angry nun in the sixties invented that one, Joe.

    But we must be very markedly different from the world in how we do so many things.

    “If those responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing rules do not abide by them, then all you have is a naked, raw, exercise of power.
    This is not order, this is not respect, this is not stability and proper hierarchy. This is an affront to our dignity as creatures endowed with reason and moral sense.”

    I fully agree with you. I do not think that this is what is happening.

    All the best.

  • Patrick

    Yup!Just little ol’me.

    …by the way that’s for the Free Lenten Books tip!

  • Ryan,

    “There is TONS of stuff that we should NOT know as Christians.”

    Maybe on specific matters, sure – “need to know” is usually about the details of specific cases.

    What should be obvious here, though, is that we are talking about what is required from bishops, and what is required from lay people. All Fr. V and others bring up is their duty with relation to canon law, and more broadly, their general obligation to avoid scandals.

    In that sense, and yes, in stark contrast to the situation many years ago, there we absolutely can know.

    “Moreover, “Fr Vincent” said nothing of anything remotely like it.”

    I wasn’t responding to him, though – I was responding to you. And what you seem to be saying at times is that authority is its own justification.

    I said “seem to be”; its how it might be interpreted. And that is why I brought it up, not by way of accusation, but simply to reinforce the main idea.

    ” I think an angry nun in the sixties invented that one, Joe.”

    Invented what? That we ought to be informed and involved? We ought to be. It may be the only defense mechanism we have left.

    “I do not think that this is what is happening.”

    It happens every time someone is told to be quiet and take orders without question. Reason exists to be used, even in the Church. I agree that it is often used in combination with rudeness and disrespect, because people who feel or know they are right also feel entitled to be haughty. This is a failing and it should be admonished.

  • Ryan,

    Just to add – watch Tito’s clip of Cardinal Arinze. He is making an appeal to reason, not authority.

    THAT is what we need. And when bishops defy this reason, when they attack it or deny it, our dignity is on the line in choosing how to respond to it.

    To go too far, or to say too little, each diminishes our dignity.

  • I’m not a theologian, but it is my understanding that ashes are a “sacramental,” NOT a “sacrament.”

    Sacramentals are objects or actions of significance that carry a blessing with them, and include things like religious medals, rosaries, blessed palms, and holy water. Anyone, including non-Catholics, children who have not yet been baptized or received First Communion, and Catholics not in good standing, may receive a sacramental.

    Receiving ashes is not the same as receiving Communion or any of the other six sacraments. Receiving a SACRAMENT (other than Penance) while not in a state of grace is a mortal sin in and of itself (sacrilege); but it is NOT a sin, as far as I know, to receive a sacramental in that state.

    It is not a sin, for instance, to give a religious medal or blessed object to a lapsed Catholic or one who has married outside the Church, but it would be a sin to knowingly give them Communion or encourage them to receive it without first going to confession or having their marital situation rectified in some manner. I presume the same rule would apply to Catholics who are or may be in an objective state of sin due to their public advocacy of abortion. And I presume the same rule would apply to blessed ashes.

    Again, I’m not a theologian or canon lawyer but I am familiar with the Church’s rules on this matter and I find it very suspicious that “Fr.” Vincent seems to not be aware of this distinction.

  • Yeah, and to be clear, I don’t even agree with Fr. Vincent on this issue.

    I just disagree with the general idea that the possibility that people might “think ill” of their bishop is a higher priority than exposing legitimate malfeasance and defending truth.

    I disagree with, and feel compelled to argue against, even the slightest whiff of the idea that power and authority justify themselves without reference to higher principles, without reason and objective truth.

  • That’s good, Joe, because it’s not what I was arguing. I argue that in the Church authority comes from Jesus Christ and is answerable to Him, and Him through one’s superiors.

    I never said anything remotely like authority is self-justified in the Church. Nothing remotely like it.

    When I joked that a nun made up something, I meant the bit about “pray, pay, and obey.” It was a nice smear employed widely by modernists in the Church during the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. I’ve had a bellyful of it; though I admit there is a kernel of truth to it. The period from the 1930s to the 1960s saw a dramatic increase in Priest-as-Prince-of-the-Parish syndrome, and it was a vile debasing of the moral capital accrued by hardworking, holy missionaries in this country during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Unfortunately, Fr. Bluejeans did not end the clericalism but rather compounded it – I spent 3 years in the employ of such a priest who not only wanted to be pampered and obeyed, but also wanted us all to “feel” (i.e., pretend) that he was “one of us.” The handling of the sexual abuse in this country, and of the Church’s finances, is simply a public exposition of the most monumental instance of clericalism yet. Clericalism is essentially an exaggerated sense of the distinction of priests and clergy.

    The solution to that is not:

    (1) The ’60s approach of stand up and make yourself heard, expose the problems in public;

    (2) To pretend that there is no difference between priests and clergy;

    but rather

    (3) To accentuate the difference where it is appropriate, and close the divide whenever at all possible.

    In the liturgy, in spiritual formation of seminarians, etc., the role of the priest should be clearly 100% different from that of his people – our clerics are a priesthood among a priesthood, a sacred people among a holy nation. That should be crystal clear in the conduct of the liturgy and in the rectitude of their lives, which should shine even among us – who should shine before the world.

    In day to day life, without ever abandoning the distinction, we should feel very comfortable with each other and spend gobs of time together.

    That would solve so many problems in the Church. We need to love each other – and that means prayer for each other, spending time together, building each other up.

    That’s not what “Fr. Vincent” was doing in his post. Nothing like it.

    I am in essence saying that if we keep operating as the world does, we can expect the same results within the Church.

  • “I never said anything remotely like authority is self-justified in the Church. Nothing remotely like it.”

    I know that. You were quite clear in your rejection of that. I was stating, for Elaine, what my mindset was when I first commented, before it was AS clear to me.

    My apologies if it came off differently.

    “To accentuate the difference where it is appropriate, and close the divide whenever at all possible.”

    Yes, possible being the key word. At a certain point it may no longer be possible. Then public pressure is an effective tool.

    “That’s not what “Fr. Vincent” was doing in his post. Nothing like it.”

    In his second point, he made a legitimate argument that could have been addressed. It is a shame he could not have made it his first post, but, even so, its there.

  • Oh, my apologies vis-a-vis your response to Elaine. Rereading it, what you wrote in response to her, yeah, it’s all good.

    It’s late. You’re a good man. God bless.

  • Ryan,

    Elaine is a woman.

    Must have been really late for you last night.


College Football, Pac 10 Wants Texas and Colorado

Saturday, February 13, AD 2010

The Pac-10 is seeking to expand for the first time in 33 years when they last added my two alma maters, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University (sometimes referred to as Temple Normal Women’s Teacher College).

Speculation has been rampant with initial reports announcing the the University of Utah had accepted and will become the 11th member, but those were quickly shot down (sort of).

Not since the Texas legislature blackmailed both the University of Texas and Texas A&M University into retracting their acceptance into the Pac-10 in 1994 have rumors been so rampant as to possible candidates.

The Pac-10 is the premiere all-sports conference in the country, more importantly, they have the most athletic and superior football programs as well.  No conference comes close with NFL-level talent to that of the Pac-10’s.

Why the expansion?

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19 Responses to College Football, Pac 10 Wants Texas and Colorado

  • I’m surprised it’s taken as long as it has for the PAC-10 and Big Ten to get their big-revenue championship game. Tradition is one thing, but tv money you take to the bank… I mean investments… I m ean bigger athletic facilities and fat coaching contracts.

  • “[M]ost athletic and superior football programs”? Heh. I think the SEC would have something to say about that. Top to bottom just no contest. And no, I’m not an SEC fan at all. I’m a Dukie and it is ACC all the way for me.

    That said, these conference re-alignments are indeed driven by dough, but they do fatigue fans who are care more about tradition and rivalries.

    The 12-Pac is a great name, though. Won’t happen of course for obvious reasons, but too bad.

  • Todd,

    You have a point.

    But when you have the Rose Bowl locked in, at the time, you are at the top, so why change?

    I hope the new commissioner is able to change the minds of Pac-10 presidents. They accepted a men’s basketball tournament, so things can change.

  • Mike,

    If you’ve ever watched Pac-10 football, you’ll see what I mean.

    Especially if you grew up in Pac-10 country, nothing compares.

  • Tito,
    You need to head to GA, ALA, FLA, LSU, etc. You’ll change your tune. And if you think that head to head the Pac 10 could beat the SEC from top to bottom we’ll just have to disagree. But just know you are in a small and not very well-informed group if you think that.

  • Mike,

    I foresaw all of these arguments hence why I provided the link embedded into my article.

    I have lived in many southern cities.

    The passion passes those of Pac-10 fans, but the product on the field can not be measured up against those on the Pac-10.

  • Well, then Tito, the NFL apparently disagrees, don’t they?

  • Mike,

    I appreciate your passion and resolve.

    In the end, it’s just a game.


  • Indeed, Tito. And for the record, the SEC lead over the the PAC-10 in NFL players is not as dramatic as my link might suggest at first glance, because the SEC has 2 more teams. The SEC has about 22 players per team playing in the NFL (more than any other conference) compared to the PAC-10’s 18. While significant, that is hardly dramatic. Somewhat surprisingly, the Big Ten is second with 21, with the ACC close behind at 20. One might argue that this suggests that PAC-10 coaching is superior to Big Ten coaching (i.e., they get more out of their talent), though that is probably taking unfair inferential liberties. The truth, I think, is that overall quality among conferences is probably pretty doggone close.

  • Sorry, Tito, but as a proud Gator, I have to side w/ Mike Petrik on this one! 😉

    At least wrt football, there’s genuinely no comparison about pure talent among athletes or pure enthusiasm among supporters when comparing the SEC and the PAC-10. But then again living in Texas as I do, I’m unlikely to travel to the Left Coast and support any of those PAC-10 teams by buying a gameday ticket, either, so take my viewpoint only for the $.02 that it’s worth!

  • Let me toss a bomb in here, possibly slightly off-topic.

    I think these conferences have to accept a national tournament. Eventually. Automatic bids for every conference champion, plus at-large slots to fill the field to 16.

    I would love to see all the bowls moved to August through Labor Day weekend. I know it kicks against the Rose Bowl tradition, but why not hold a second Rose Bowl each year as a semi-final? The first might always be last year’s Big-11/Pac-10 champs. Same for any other big bowl willing to take random playoff teams.

    Holding bowl games in August maximizes the possibility for a nice weather game anywhere–and you can always play a Fiesta Bowl at night, eh? And you could get good college cities like Boston hosting a nice game.

    I would suggest limiting any 12-school conference team to 10 games, plus one August bowl, plus a poetntial league championship, plus a potential four playoff games. Schools in leagues without that December playoff get eleven games. Schools that don’t qualify for an August bowl can opt for an 11th game.

  • The Big 12 south has a three way rivalry – Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M (the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, respectively). It would be difficult to split the rivalry, although the UT-OU rivalry survived many years as non-conference. They would have to figure some way to keep that in place.

    August bowl games, are you kidding?!?! In 100+ weather – no thanks.

  • You are all on crack. 😉 The money is in the Big Ten. The Big Ten Network has changed the game. Also, the Big Ten is an academic conference mostly made up of large land grant research intitutions. Texas is a perfect fit. Can you imagine a football conference with historical heavyweights like Texas, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State? The mind boggles.

  • Nick,

    The Pac-10 and Big Ten, or more correctly, the Big-14, are both fine academic and athletic institutions.


  • “August bowl games, are you kidding?!?! In 100+ weather – no thanks.”

    Good to see one less in the ranks of climate change truthers.

    That said, what makes you think evenings are going to be 100 degrees-plus? August bowl games would spread out over the whole month, and most of those games, as they are now in December and January, will be played at night.

    College football in August would get the jump on baseball pennant races, the NFL, and the start of school. It would be almost like an exhibition game, only it would count when BCS emerges from a rock in October.

  • Well, I miss the Big 8, I liked playingthe same teams every year, and you could actually drive to a lot of the away games.

    I don’t want to be a part of the Pac 10.

    -CU alumnus

  • Pingback: Bye Bye Big XII, Hello Pac-16! « The American Catholic
  • Assuming the Big 12 South bolts (which is going to happen with Nebraska’s anouncement) I would like to see the remaining North teams make a bid to join the Mountain West. It could be pretty sweet. Mt West Conf – West division – Boise St, BYU, Utah, Air Force, Wyoming, UNLV, San Diego St, New Mexico. East Division – Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Mizzou (If they don’t bail to Big 10 given the chance), Baylor, TCU, Colorado St, Houston, UTEP, or somebody like that.

Res et Explicatio for AD 2-3-2010

Wednesday, February 3, AD 2010

Salvete TAC readers!

Here are my Top Picks in the Internet from the world of the Catholic Church and secular culture:

1. On ABC’s “This Week” this past Sunday Arianna Huffington, of the Huffington Post accused Glenn Beck of “inciting the American people” to commit violence against Obama by talking about “people being slaughtered.”

Here is Glenn Beck’s response from last night:

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7 Responses to Res et Explicatio for AD 2-3-2010

  • Safari and Chrome are superior to Firefox in page loading speed and web standards compliance. Firefox uses the least memory but the #1 reason I stick with it is because of the extensions. All this competition is producing rapidly improving browsers.

  • “Here is a neat story of how a kitty cat at a nursing home in Rhode Island curls up to patients just before they are about to die.”

    Oscar, The Cat of Doom!

  • RR,

    I agree. Competition makes everyone better. And if they don’t get better they wither and die!

  • I have found Google Chrome to be the superior browser, at least on my home computer. I don’t do much except browse the internet, and it is super fast. I have two problems with it, though they might be unique to my circumstance. For one, last I checked it still wasn’t syncing with PayPal to enable me to print out shipping labels (I have some ebay business), and for whatever reason whenever I attempt to write out blog posts all but the first paragraph disappears when I attempt to publish.

    I do like Safari as well, and Firefox works great on my work computer but for some reason is slow as heck at home.

  • Thanks for the post about Glenn Beck and for your pro-life stand.

  • Paul,

    Some of the online and evening classes I’m taking requires that I use Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox to access my assignments.

    Ironically they never configured their secure sites for Google Chrome, but Chrome works infinitely better than IE and Firefox!

    Go figure.

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Alabama Wins Mythical National Championship and Other College Football Rants

Friday, January 8, AD 2010

[Updates below]

The University of Alabama football team won the B.C.S. National Championship* or what I like to refer to as the mythical national championship for N.C.A.A. football.  Alabama beat an over rated University of Texas team 37-21 last night without having the opportunity of playing the only other undefeated team in the country, Boise State University.

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14 Responses to Alabama Wins Mythical National Championship and Other College Football Rants

  • Go BSU! Though having said that, Alabama would win.

  • Most likely, but we’ll never know.

  • Drop the BCS farce, but NO PLAYOFF! Go back to the old bowl alignment system (which, fortunately, is what the university presidents have said will happen if the BCS is ever scrapped).

  • I’m with Jay. That’s a truly conservative view. I heard on the radio that there is now a PAC to support congressional candidates who favor a bowl playoff system – sign of American decline #3,712.

  • Alabama is certainly deserving of mention as one of the top teams in the country, but without a playoff system there will always be doubt as to whether or not Alabama is truly the undisputed number one team in America.

    I’m for a playoff, and I’d love for teams like Boise State to get a chance. But Alabama is the best football team in the country, and they would whomp Boise State.


  • Okay. My suggestion is to return all the bowl games to their traditional alignment, and play them in August.

    Then do what division i, ii, and iii college football does. 16 teams. Fun. And money, money, money.

  • I’m no Bama fan, and love upsets. But Bama would have handled BSU as easily as Florida handled Cincinatti.
    And like other posters, I think the playoff idea is overrated.
    While Texas’s loss of McCoy was huge, it is pretty clear that the nation’s best team won.
    That said, it is far more likely that Texas would have taken Bama if they had had McCoy than BSU would have beaten Bama had it had the opportunity.
    There will always be ifs and buts (e.g., would Iowa have gone undefeated and displaced Texas had it not lost its QB for its only two losses — very close games to good teams?)
    Congrats to Bama for a well-earned championship.

  • Boise State would have rolled over the Tide and Bear Bryant!

    Scrap the BCS if there is no playoff system.

    At least have a 2 + 1, ie, take top two teams after bowls and have a championship.

    So revert to the old bowl system and just pick the top two teams.

    And we’ll see if the Big East gets ANY real bids after that!

  • “Craig James voted them # 7 overall”

    Somebody needs to lock Craig James up in a closet/shed. Guy’s a jerk.

  • Boise State would have rolled over the Tide and Bear Bryant!

    Quick, someone slap Tito! He’s going into hysterics, defaming the honored memory of the great Bear Bryant.

  • Tito,

    The PAC-10 went 2-5 and got owned my the Mountain West. Are you finally ready to relent on your baseless claim that it is the best conference in the country?

  • Bama barely held on to beat a QB who had thrown 26 college passes coming into the game and they gave up 50% more yards and points as Nebraska did when they shut down the Colt McCoy version. If McCoy doesn’t get hurt, Texas would have won that game.

  • Big Tex,

    Thanks for the slap.

    I think when I started reading the Vox Nova blog the devil overcame me and I lost it when I said that about Bear Bryant.

    Thank goodness I was near a Bible and quickly read Revelation. I’m out of it now.


  • Matt G.,

    The Pac-10 doesn’t recognize the existence of any conference besides the Big-10, so those scrimmages don’t count.


15 Responses to For the record…

  • Chris,

    I tried valiantly to fight that battle a decade ago. Since then, I’ve decided that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

    Happy New Decade!


  • Chris:

    I have to take issue with you. I’m a stickler for this sort of thing, and I was one of those who refused to start the new millennium/century in 2000. Decades, unlike centuries, are not counted ordinally. We don’t say we’re beginning the 202nd decade. Decades refer to a random set of 10 years, unlike centuries, which refer to a specific set of 100 years. Thus the 2010s do indeed begin today.

  • Paul,
    You raise a fair point, but it is not altogether persuasive. First, strictly speaking I don’t think that either millennia or centuries must be counted ordinally, though they certainly commonly are. Similarly, I don’t think decades are necessarily not counted ordinally, though I concede they mostly are not. Shoot, even a year can be any random or assigned set of 365 days (e.g., fiscal years), but that does not mean that we don’t also count years ordinally. It is difficult to ignore the fact that today’s common practice of counting decades starting with year zero, even if technically not incorrect, is almost certainly the result of the same erroneous thinking that caused most people to regard January 1, 2000 as the first day of a new century and new millenium. The bottom line is that while starting decades is not technically incorrect, the custom is probably the result of fuzzy thinking; and this same fuzzy thinking is commonly applied to centuries as well (for the exact same reason) and will quite possibly lead to an analogous custom there as well.

  • Fuzzy thinking, maybe. Perhaps just a harmless and useful categorization. When people refer to a particular decade it’s usually a casual reference and the mind is probably just focusing on the numeral in the “ten” place. i.e. Reagan was elected twice in the 80’s. Super accurate, no. Useful and meaningful, yes. Similarly, in the tech field they use base 10 – the ten numerals start with 0 and go through 9. I think it’s just a similar mode of thinking. Besides, you may not want to make an issue of it because it will change nothing and might make you seem like the types who can’t distinguish between conservative and liberal in a given context – and you sure don’t want that. 🙂

    Happy New Year, all, and blessing in this new decade!

  • Thank you Chris.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

  • Where’s a Magisterium for numbers et al. when you need one? 🙂

  • Of course this is the last year of the decade. And 2000 was the last year of the 90’s, and 1990 was the last year of the 80’s, and 1980 was the last year of the 70’s…

    Actually I TRULY TRULY doubt that any of the pedants who insist on reminding everyone that there was no year “zero” and thus every decade starts at a 1 would say that a person born in 1980 was born in “the seventies” and the lack of consistency irks me a lot.

    This pointless bickering about how to divide the decades / centuries / millenia turned up ten years ago, too, and it’s primarily the fault of insufferable know-it-alls that we have these ridiculous arguments in the first place. There’s a difference between the LINGUISTIC way of referring to the decades, in which speakers of English divide them beginning at the zero year of a decade, and the MATHEMATICAL way of dividing them, which calculates them according to how many full ten-year periods have passed.

    It feels like writing the number seven as “7” and then having a computer scientist come and say, “No, that’s wrong, it’s 111”. Believe it or not there are just different standards for calculating these things and I absolutely can’t stand the smugness of people who insist on bringing this up when it’s REALLY a non-issue. Just move on people.

    Sorry to take out all my frustration at this site but I’m getting sick of rehashing this conversation and this was the last straw. And it wouldn’t even be a problem if the “decades start at 1” constituency didn’t insist on talking down to everyone. We’re all aware of your argument and don’t really give a (you know).

  • If you want to get REALLY picky on this question, the Year 1 A.D. (Roman year 754) WASN’T the actual “Year One” of Christ’s life on earth, which is supposed to be the basis of our year numbering system.

    Scholars have long believed Christ was born sometime during the period we now reckon as the years 8 to 4 B.C. He could NOT have been born any later than 4 B.C. (Roman year 750) since that is the year Herod the Great (who tried to kill the infant Jesus) died.

    So technically speaking, the “third millennium” Anno Domini really began sometime between 1992 and 1996, and all our year, decade, century, etc. numbers are probably off by about 6 years anyway.

    Happy Year of Our Lord 2016 everybody! 🙂

  • Chris, one man plus the truth makes a majority. Stick to your guns.

  • SJG, tell us how you *really* feel. 🙂

  • I hope my post didn’t come across like SJG’s. There was no frustration, or derision behind mine. Frankly, I don’t care how people view it and was only trying to express what I consider valid observations.

  • I see both arguments having some validity; however, the fact remains that we use a dating standard, which is far more recent an occurance than commonly beleived in order to regulate our interactions, especially in a global 24/7/365 world (I know a year is not exactly 365 days – leave it alone). We do need to agree on time and date in order to interact with each other in some manner of order.

    There is another less practical and more important aspect. Elaine discussed it very well above. We date from Anno Domini, the Year of Our Lord. Is it cosmically and methematically accurate? No. Then again we also know that The Nativity of Christ is not on December 25th. So what? That is the number the Church has fixed and our liturgical years are set by it. 25 Chislev is the day the Temple was rededicated – so it is an important date.

    I think that part of our obedience (and this is not obligatory because it is not a matter of fatih or morals, but it is important) is to follow the Church as accurately as possible. Especially in the liturgical cycle.

    If we count the year that occured 2,010 years ago as the first Year of Our Lord, then this year ends the first decade of the third millenium, which began on January 1, 2001.

    As the world tries to crowd out God and His Son, we need to take every opporunity to remind the world that she has a Savior. I notice this website is one of the few places where I see dating using A.D., mostly it is ignored and far too often it is C.E. – what the heck is so bloody common about this era anyway?

  • Rick, I thought you made some excellent points, e.g. “the 80’s”, which SJG echoed with his reference to linguistic/mathematical conventions. And I certainly found no derision or frustration in your post.

  • On the bright side we only have to revisit this question every ten/eleven years! 🙂

  • When we are born, we start from a few seconds old, and as we grow through the days, weeks, and months, we achieve our first year – we are ONE year old, after we have journeyed through our first year.
    When we have done this for ten years, at our 10th. Birthday, we have lived for one decade.

    Similarly, in 2010, we have lived through that number of years since the agreed Anno Domini.

    2010 is therefore the end of the old decade, and therefore the commencement of the new.

    BTW, we had a Blue Moon on New Years Eve.

    Does that portend anything cataclysmic for the future? 😉

One Response to I'm Down, But We Can Still Dance!

4 Responses to Chickenheart

  • …what could be more American than that?

    What – the chicken, or the Australian?

    Actually, the Aussies have available a lot of roast chicken in the State of Victoria – and wombat, and kangaroo, and beef etc etc.
    Our closest neighbours have suffered the worst bushfires in their history – thousands of homes destroyed, 230 odd people burnt to death. The fires started on Sat. 14th. Feb, and are still burning, despite being brought under control. But there is still a 1000 km. front of partially controlled fires, and their weather this weekend is going to be hot – up to 42 deg C – with hot dry nrtherly winds which could reignite the fires.

    They are in need of our prayers. My cousin who moved from Victoria recently to New South Wales, has lost several friends to the fires.

  • They have my prayers Don. I have read about the fires and they are horrifying.

  • Salvidor Dali lives!

    And yes, the weather down there is … frightening.

  • Don the Kiwi,

    Your friends have my prayers as well.

4 Responses to The Laughing (Four of Them) Babies

  • Thanks, Tito, what a great video! Laughing babies are one of the most delightful sights and sounds on this planet.

    One of my nephews went on laughing jags when he was a baby that lasted so long his mother got worried. He’d not only tear up but put his hands on his tummy, he’d laugh so hard. Now he’s a college freshman – and yes, he’s still quite the joker, he had me laughing like crazy at Christmas dinner.

  • Holding his belly, that is to cute!

  • Donna V.,

    This is only a suggestion, but you should put up a pic for your ID. It would make AC look so much more spiffier! (shameless AC marketing).

  • They remind me of my twin sons when they were babies, multiplied by two! Babies, God’s reminder of the innocence we once possessed in the Garden of Eden.

30 Responses to Some Bus Slogan Fun

  • Hmm. Your bus slogan seems to deny the Catholic belief in the social nature of the human person. Did you mean to imply such a denial?

  • Is it because your guest commentator Tito Edwards said so?

  • Keep the laughs coming Michael.

    You make me laugh and I like that.


  • Uh, Mike- is Tito laughing at or with you? Choose.

  • “He’s Probably GOD, So Stop Complaining, And Fall To Your Knees!

  • This blog has elements that remind me of meetings of the College Libertarians that got too rowdy, you know, whenever too much Mountain Dew was consumed and too many stories of first adolescent encounters with Ayn Rand were shared.

  • Michael,

    I would like to point out that the nature of slogan is necessarily brief, often to the point of excising almost every important detail. If people could tell an entire dissertation in a slogan, they would, but mathematically, the information simply vanishes when you compress it that much. When you take a complicated topic marked by social interaction, psychology, personal culpability weighted against circumstance and environment, and so on, and reduce it to a cute saying, you lose a lot of the crucial points.

    That being said, no, that denial is nowhere intended in my little slogan. Instead, I’m merely making a message to people that their lives are their own to live, so they should take charge of it. It is kind of like with that Despair.com poster, entitled “Dysfunction”, with the caption “The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you.” It glosses over a lot, but has a pointed message, and it is fun to read.

    Lighten up, Michael. Have some fun. What would your bus slogan say?

  • Mark,

    Ah, yes, those were great days, weren’t they? Oh, wait, you’re being sarcastic… Dang.

    So, same call as to Michael. What would your bus slogan say?

  • “This blog has elements that remind me of meetings of the College Libertarians that got too rowdy, you know, whenever too much Mountain Dew was consumed and too many stories of first adolescent encounters with Ayn Rand were shared.”

    heh. I thought that was pretty funny, although I’m not sure how accurate it was given Rand’s hatred for all things Catholic.

  • too many stories of first adolescent encounters with Ayn Rand were shared.

    It’s true that Ayn could be a bit predatory, but I think all the guys hear can claim to be innocent of having enjoyed her charms…

    Oh, you meant reading Ayn Rand.

  • Ryan,

    …just having fun with you…

    For whatever it’s worth, I enjoy quite a bit of your posts.

    You put much thought in what you write and attempt to be very fair with your interlocutors.

    I also see that you are not afraid to alter your opinions, having the healthy awareness and the humimility to realize that we are all “on our way”, in the attainment of a fuller wisdom.

  • heh. I thought that was pretty funny, although I’m not sure how accurate it was given Rand’s hatred for all things Catholic.

    Nevertheless, I wonder how many AC bloggers appreciate Rand’s thought. It’s not uncommon for Catholics to “overlook” her anti-Christian views because they are just oh-so into her philosophy. My Jesuit alma mater’s business department literally hands a copy of Atlas Shrugged to every incoming freshman business major and sponsors an Ayn Rand lecture series.

    What would your bus slogan say?

    I’ll certainly think about it.

  • Mark.,

    Thank you. I really appreciate it. And don’t worry. I was just having fun in my reply. I’ve read some of Ayn Rand–a collection of essays, and I might someday try to finish Atlas Shrugged. But while I consider myself a fairly staunch capitalist, I think she goes way, way, way too far. Her economy theory of the virtue of selfishness is, in my opinion, off the mark and quite naive in many ways. I do, however, have something of a love affair with Mountain Dew that I’m trying to break off before it ruins my marriage…

    Still, this is supposed to be a threat where we have fun with bus slogans. What would you post up? (And by the way, this goes to everyone, not just Mark and Michael.)

  • Ryan,

    I am a theological sap. I think Id put something like , “Jesus humbled himself to share fully in all our humanity, so that we may fully share in his divinity. Know him.”

  • Nevertheless, I wonder how many AC bloggers appreciate Rand’s thought. It’s not uncommon for Catholics to “overlook” her anti-Christian views because they are just oh-so into her philosophy. My Jesuit alma mater’s business department literally hands a copy of Atlas Shrugged to every incoming freshman business major and sponsors an Ayn Rand lecture series.

    If so that’s pretty pathetic. Rand was lousy as an economist, as a political philosopher, and as a writer. I’m pretty sure that the economics departments at places like University of Chicago and George Mason would never hand out Atlas Shrugged to freshman as if it were serious writing. If the business department at your college did, they sound like they were clueless more than free market.

  • Did I not read somewhere that Alan Greenspan is a big fan of Rand?

    Anybody hear likewise and able to fill me in on the details?

  • Mark,

    Do we lose to much of what you want to say if we abbreviate to: “Jesus humbly shared in our humanity…”? I don’t want to break the phrase across colors, but your first clause is too long to fit entirely in the purple.

  • Ryan,

    I always need an editor (even after 5 self-edits) :). Whatever it takes.

  • My first encounter with Rand was right after highschool. A few of my friends had fallen in love with her stuff and just wouldn’t shut up about her. Finally, after a lot of cajoling, I agreed to read Atlas Shrugged. I got about two thirds of the way through it, but when they arrived at the libertarian paradise where no one did anything for anyone except for pay and therefore everything cost a nickle, I was no longer able to continue.

  • Mark, some websites I found. I don’t know how reliable they are.

    From Noble Soul, a timeline of Greenspan and Rand interaction.

    From Wikipedia (take it or leave it).

    From the New York Times, which is mostly about Rand but has a fair amount of stuff about Greenspan, as well.

    As note, he did contribute a number of essays to that collection of hers I mentioned earlier: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

  • Atlas shrugged was a pretty puerile novel, as most overtly political novels are. It sold well no doubt due to the dollops of sex that Rand poured into it, at a time when such elements were still a relative rarity in respectable novels. Whittaker Chambers had Rand’s number as both a novelist and a philosopher in perhaps the most devastating review written in America in the last century.


    Since that review “Objectivists” and main stream conservatives have largely gone their separate ways.

  • Did I not read somewhere that Alan Greenspan is a big fan of Rand?

    He was in her inner circle. In fact, as I recall, he was one of the few people privileged enough to have an essay appear in one of Rand’s books. It was about how abandoning the gold standard would lead to disaster. Given Greenspan’s time at the Fed, I think it’s safe to say he’s a lapsed Randian.

    Rothbard wrote a pretty funny one act play about Rand, called Mozart Was A Red. If you google it you can find a transcript and video of a performance from the 1980s.

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for the websearchs. Now I see I could have easliy googled it myself.
    I am embarassed to admit, but I got a ‘little drunk and enamored’ as a 17 year old, reading The Fountainhead. But looking back, I wonder if I understood even a word of what she was getting at. I read so voraciously and indiscriminately pre-college.

  • To be fair, a number of good friends went through Randian phases, before getting over it and going on to become thoughtful adults.

    On slogans, could would I be overly caustic to suggest:
    What you’re thinking is at least partly wrong,
    So have some humility and don’t say things you’ll regret.

  • Mark,

    There’s certainly various aspects of Ayn Rand’s works that greatly appeal, especially to a society that has become increasingly materialistic. Before my reversion back to the Church, I held her economic policies as absolute, and it has taken a while and some earnest soul-searching to understand why she was so devastatingly wrong overall. But hey, life is about learning, about approaching Truth and appreciating it as it is, as opposed to how we selfishly want it to be, right?

    And speaking of selfishness, one of the things that finally convinced me how Rand was wrong was her extolling the capitalist’s selfishness. The whole reason her “looters” looted was because of selfishness. How could selfishness be a vice for one group of people, but a virtue for others? Ah, but the others were enlightened, and thus their selfishness was good. At which point I can only scratch my head and say, “huh?”

    What I find amusing here is that BA described the point in Atlas Shrugged where I kind of gave up reading. The Utopian society was part of the problem, but I also had an issue with the main female protagonist sleeping with every main male protagonist across the course of the book. It is hard to keep sympathizing with someone who you feel is unfaithful in one of the most devastating ways to be unfaithful.

  • DC, I have to edit yours as well to make it fit. Let me know if the corrections are okay!

  • Sorry, but every time I hear Ayn Rand mentioned, I flashback to the South Park episode in which Officer Barbrady learns to read.

  • My Jesuit alma mater’s business department literally hands a copy of Atlas Shrugged to every incoming freshman business major and sponsors an Ayn Rand lecture series.

    Oy vey! — The Jesuits have a bad reputation as it is. Let’s not further ridicule them with such anecdotes.

  • Let’s not further ridicule them with such anecdotes.

    Right. Let’s ignore their conservative tendencies so you can keep insisting that they are “liberals” and “dissidents.”