14 Responses to DC Metal

  • Thanks for the laugh! That video was funny.

    I don’t understand the problems the diarist has with building smaller cars, though. Does the Catholic Church have a problem with small cars? WWJD (What would Jesus Drive)?

  • It’s difficult to shoehorn four children into a Focus.

  • Then you must have less children!!!!!!!!

  • Clearly, Jesus would drive a beat up old pickup with the apostles all riding in the back. James and John’s mother would then show up and ask if one of them could ride shotgun.

    And lo, when you enter into the Chevy, who will sit at the right hand of the Son?

    I was always kind of charmed by those post-war German micro-cars, having a fondness for small cars. Still, there’s no point in making cars that people don’t want, it’s simply wasteful. The evidence doesn’t seem to point to a situation where everyone wants tiny cars but Detroit refuses to make them. Rather, the reason why they don’t make more small cars is because there’s a limitted market fo them.

    That may change, but in the meantime there’s the danger that the administration is pushing GM to make a car that will simply push them deeper into trouble.

  • What would Jesus drive?

    Let’s see. A guy with long hair and sandals who goes around preaching peace and love with a bunch of other dudes with long hair and sandals. I’m guessing he’d drive this:


  • Suffice it to say, Jesus would’ve needed to drive something large enough to accomodate 13 fully-grown men on numerous round trips between Gallilee and Judea.

    But then, I’m guessing those who ask the question in the first place are probably likely to peg Jesus as the sort who would’ve used public transportation to get him and his disciples from Point A to Point B.

  • “It’s difficult to shoehorn four children into a Focus.”

    Hell, it’s difficult to get four children into a minivan when each one of them is required by law to have his or her own car seat/booster seat. We could easily fit a 5th and maybe even a 6th kid into our minivan if it weren’t for the booster seat requirement for the older kids.

    It’s pretty much gotten to the point where larger families (i.e. more than 4 kids) have to take 2 cars to get where they’re going.

  • DarwinCatholic,
    When I visited Europe I loved seeing those teeny little cars, too! I would never buy one – it just wouldn’t be safe, and no room for kids, groceries, mutt!

    I do think more people want fuel efficient and safe cars. There is a concern that the smaller cars are not safe because there are so many large trucks and SUVs on the highway that upon impact would destroy the small car, regardless of how many airbags it has.

    For me, I want to see more people buy smaller, lighter cars so we don’t have those worries (being trampled by the Suburbans, etc), but it’s also like circumcision. I want more people to reject circumcision so that the boys who aren’t circumcised become the majority (disclosure: my son is not circumcised).

  • Jesus and his twelve comrades were all illegal immigrants engaging in border crossing protests to emphasize the sinful structures of society! They drove around Palestine in a low-rider pickup camel with flames painted on the side.

  • Viona,
    I do think more people want fuel efficient and safe cars. There is a concern that the smaller cars are not safe because there are so many large trucks and SUVs on the highway that upon impact would destroy the small car, regardless of how many airbags it has.

    When you have only 2 feet of steel in front of you a concrete wall is deadly too, not so much with 8 feet of American steel. Big and small cars can be fuel efficient, but small cars just can’t be made as safe as big cars can. I’ll stick with big, safe and efficient… with the emphasis on safe.

    For me, I want to see more people buy smaller, lighter cars so we don’t have those worries (being trampled by the Suburbans, etc), but it’s also like circumcision. I want more people to reject circumcision so that the boys who aren’t circumcised become the majority (disclosure: my son is not circumcised).

    I also want more people buy smaller, lighter cars so that my wife and child will be even safer in her truck. Thank you to all of those people buying smart cars for making the road safer for them.

    I’m with you on circumcision by the way, but we certainly don’t want the government to levy heavy taxes on those who chose to circumcise, right?


    VW van is dead on!

  • i,

    You’ve read Miguel Diaz.

  • Jay: I think you’re right. But the van needs a groovy paint job with gospel verses written in Day-Glo orange and purple.

    When my dad nagged my big brother to get a haircut back in the late ’60’s, my brother’s best argument was to point at the print of the “Last Supper” we had hanging in the kitchen and say “Dad, do you see any buzz cuts there?”

13 Responses to Nope, There Are No Limits To What People Will Tolerate On a Pizza

  • Considering how disgusting Dominoe’s is, you have to slather quite a lot on there to make it edible.

  • When I was an undergrad at the University of Illinois where cold pizza from the night before was a food staple, we used to say that the only bad pizza was one crawling away under its own power!

  • I like the idea of wrapping it up and deep-frying it — that might actually be good

  • I’m from New York, so I am a bit of a pizza snob.

  • I’m from Chicago, so I can out-snob Paul.

  • Anyone remember the take that MAD Magazine did on the various uses for Pizza?

    (Maybe I’m outa line here – it was back in the early 60’s – showing my age) 🙂

  • I remember that too Don!

    Pizza has to be pretty bad for me not to eat it. I can only recall one instance and that was a frozen pizza which literally tasted like cardboard. Even then I had a pang when I tossed the remaining pizza into the trash.

    I’d probably even try the Krusty Krab Pizza:

  • I am a pizza purist – mushrooms, sausage and onions are the true and correct pizza toppings, although you can make an argument for pepperoni and I don’t turn up my nose at extra cheese either. Get outta here with your spinach and ham and shrimp and (ugh) pineapple.

  • Don: yes, cold pizza was my undergrad breakfast of choice too. And chili.

    There’s a diner called “Real Chili” near the Marquette campus and they actually sell bumper stickers: “Real Chili: It’s not just for breakfast anymore.”

    A couple of years ago, I was on the MU campus, and went into Real Chili for a bowl. Serious heartburn ensued. Ah, for the cast-iron stomach of youth!

  • Anyone for a mayonnaise sandwich? On seven-grain bread, of course.

  • Sorry, not doing too well ‘muscling past that gag reflex’–and I haven’t even started the video yet.

  • I’m from Detroit, home of Domino’s and Little Caesar’s so I technically can’t outsnob anyone, but I can ditto Mike. Chicago style pizza rules.

  • I like Sauerkraut on pizza, I think that is one of the more unique toppings out there.

12 Responses to Geekier Than Thou

  • ….WTF did they do to Romulans!?!?!?!

  • That does look rather strange doesn’t it? However, I think the program was not set up with dogs in mind.

  • I went to the site, as well, ‘cus I couldn’t tell what the heck… that thing looked like a TOS Klingon gone all tribal….

    Just more weight on my “we’ll see it when it gets to the cheap theater” impression. (Hey, they want a trek movie that “isn’t aimed at star trek fans”– they’ll get fans that aren’t aimed at their movie.)

  • Here’s a question for your geeky-ness:
    Have you ever considered where the heck the Church is, in Star Trek?

    I’ve said since high school that Vulcans would be very good Catholics. (yes, even before Mr. Wright’s joke)

  • Gene Roddenberry had little use for religion and therefore religion was downplayed in the original series, except for the Bread and Circuses episode:

    “McCoy: (to Kirk) I read in your report that Flavius was killed. I’m sorry. I really liked that sun worshipper.

    Spock: I do wish we could examine that belief of theirs more closely.

    Uhura: I’m afraid you have it all wrong. All of you. I’ve been monitoring their old style radio broadcasts. The Empire’s spokesman trying to ridicule their religion. But he couldn’t. (after a brief silence) Don’t you understand? It’s not the sun up in the sky. It’s the Son of God!

    Kirk: Caesar and Christ. They have them both.

    Spock: It will replace their imperial Rome, but it will happen in their twentieth century.

    Kirk: And the word is spreading… only now. Wouldn’t it be something to watch it happen all over again?”

  • Not sure how many of you know this, but Archbishop John Myers of Newark, formerly of Peoria, is a big Trek fan and in fact submitted some suggested plots to the producers of one of the early-90s shows (not sure whether it was “Next Generation” or “Deep Space Nine”) with his friend Gary K. Wolf (of “Roger Rabbit” fame”). They weren’t accepted, however.

  • Mr. McClarey-
    I know why there isn’t any showing, but if you treat it as a “world” instead of a show, you can make a lot of interesting stories– at one point I had a pretty good lineup of “evidence” that religion had been systematically repressed.

  • Interesting. My wife has devoured Star Trek fiction. I read a book by Esther Friesner where Aaron Stemple of the Here Come the Brides show was revealed to be an ancestor of Spock. The inside joke of course that actor Mark Lenard played this role, in addition to his role on Star Trek as Spock’s Vulcan father.

  • Et al.,

    After living life and becoming aware of the social themes of star trek, my enthusiasm dipped a bit when I realized that Star Trek was a Communist Utopia. Where there was no money and people pursued their vocations, not necessarily trying to survive since everything was taken care of.

    Of course this is incredibly unlikely with the demise of the Soviet Union, but I can see why some of the appeal being where there are no conflicts and people lived to fulfill themselves rather than God.

  • Star Fleet is the UN in space– part of why I enjoyed DS9 so much: socialist utopia gets smacked in the face with the folks they don’t control.

  • Of course the Star Trek episodes rarely took Roddenberry’s philosophy seriously. No war: The episodes of the show usually revolved around military conflict. No money: mentioned but never taken seriously. Just ask Cyrano Jones or Harry Mudd. The Prime Directive: Stamped on almost every time it came up. No religion: Star Trek Deep Space Nine reveled in religious themes. Utopia: Hardly, just ask the Maquis. Star Trek works because it barely pays attention to Rodennberry’s view of how the future might turn out. It is grand, and entertaining, Space Opera. Long may it go on providing amusement!

  • Mr. Roddenberry’s vision is kinda like the vision of most anything else: when it hits reality, it changes a lot.

    Communism: from each by their ability, to each by their need. Reality: nobody works to the height of their ability, and the folks managing the “to” always seem to end up with a bit more for their trouble.

    Ideal: “we hold these truths to be self-evident…”
    Reality: anyone who’s been into a history class in the last ten years got those bashed into their heads.

    ideal: Men and women are morally equal
    reality: women have to act like men to *be* the same.

2 Responses to Deadly Greenbacks!

2 Responses to I've Seen Worse

  • O’Hare exists to give us an idea of what Purgatory will be like. The next time I’m tempted to sin, I need to remember “Think of it, Donna, another 10,000 years spent changing planes at O’Hare.”

    LaGuardia is another pit.

  • O’Hare always reminds me of a maze constructed by a psychologist when I was in college who really did not like the white mice who ran through it.

2 Responses to Happy Belated National Atheists' Day

  • Such an exemplary model for the relations we are to have with those in the world without God, whom we are called to attract with nothing spare the saving power of Christ’s glorious, self-emptying love.

    I’ve got to hand it to you, you have such style…

  • Thank you Mr. DeFrancisis. I will attempt to be more biblical next time although I suspect the humor quotient might go down if I work in “brood of vipers” and speaking of worms that dieth not and fires that are never quenched. However, I will keep your suggestion in mind for next year. Many thanks.

More Commencement Controversy

Wednesday, April 1, AD 2009

As America’s premier Catholic university and football franchise, Notre Dame University had grabbed headlines over the last few weeks with its controversial choice to have President Barack Obama deliver the 2009 commencement address and and receive an honorary law degree. However, other less  high profile Catholic colleges are not without controversy in their commencement choices this year. Some critics accuse these traditionally less recognized colleges with simply following after Notre Dame in an attempt to get attention, but college officials insist they are merely fulfilling their mission of maintaining a vibrantly Catholic and intellectual environment. A sampling:

kmiecPerhaps no announcement could have caused greater feelings of betrayal within orthodox Catholic circles that Franciscan University of Steubenville’s announcement that law professor, former Reagan administration official, and prominent Obama supporter Douglas Kmiec will be delivering their commencement address and receiving an honorary PhD in theology this year. Kmiec will speak on the Catholic intellectual life and its intersection with public life.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue said, “I am shocked and deeply saddened that a mindless shill for the most pro-abortion president in history has been invited to speak at what had generally been recognized as one of the most orthodox and pro-life universities in the nation.” Catholic journalist Ross Douthat, often recognized for his moderation on political issues, was asked for a balancing comment, but simply responded, “I think mindless shill is probably a pretty good description of what we have with Doug.”

FUS president Fr. Terence Henry, TOR dismissed outrage saying that the invite was in keeping with the Franciscan tradition,

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14 Responses to More Commencement Controversy


Friday, March 27, AD 2009

It is hard bearing the awesome responsibility of being TOTUS (Teleprompter Of The United States) and having the fate of the world resting upon your screens.  TOTUS deserves the best of working conditions.  Courtesy of Iowahawk, the world can now watch a private message between TOTUS and the guy who reads his screens.  Caution, the language is a bit rough as it often can be in political circles.

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39 Responses to Yeah, But When Does He Burn Persepolis?

  • What’s the Archbishop doing with this honor of President Obama? He must be pro-abortion.

  • BTW, that was sarcasm, in case people take my quote out of context.

  • Nah, probably just a sycophantic suck up. Although I would note this letter from Father Seraphim Bell to the Archbishop:


    The Archbishop has also come under attack in pro-life Orthodox circles for having time to participate in Obama the Great’s inauguration, but not in attending the March for Life.

    Here is a good statement of the position of the Orthodox Church in America on abortion, and a sound pro-life position it is:


  • The Good Archbishop got a little carried away. He clearly did not get the memo- It’s Safe to Criticize Him Now. Even Elinor Clift- the darling, daffy, veteran bleeding heart representative on The McLaughlin Group- has criticized Dear Leader in print. Might be a preview of Father Jenkins’ introductory speech May 17. Then again, anti-Obama address petition website already has more than 150000 signatures and rising. Now that is noble.

  • Over at Vox Nova, Henry (who doesn’t allow me to comment) is up to his usual dissembling in claiming that Gerald Campbell isn’t really “pro-choice.” Why?

    His point is that at this point in time, the United States just can’t immediately go from where we are to the forceful laws against abortion; to do so would do violence to the system and indeed requires a tyrannical use of force (Tolkien connection: why Galadriel and Gandalf avoid the Ring, though they would do good). In this way he has said the thing is to prepare the people to get them against abortion themselves, which is better; it is better to have no laws and no abortion and laws with abortion constantly going on despite the laws (which he believes would happen).

    If you’re opposed to having the law deal with abortion, then you’re pro-choice. Period. Moreover, Gerald is doing absolutely nothing to “prepare the people” to be ready (at some unspecified future date) to ban or restrict abortion. To the contrary, all of his intellectual efforts are dedicated to arguing that it would be “insane” to outlaw abortion, that the pro-choice view is “reasonable and ethically defensible,” and even that the Catholic principle of “subsidiarity” requires leaving the abortion choice with the individual woman. Face it, Henry: Gerald is avidly pro-choice and does his best to convince other people to agree with that position — not to think that abortion is wrong.

  • Gee, the Galadriel/Gandalf analogy doesn’t seem to me to fit with the topic of choice. It would, however, be an excellent guidepost for certain persons in power, if applied to those “tyranny of the majority” tendencies generally.

  • S.B.,

    If Donald feels differently that’s fine, but I don’t think it’s necessary/appropriate to bring that topic up on this thread.

  • First they celebrate Karl Marx, then they have many bloggers that voted for Obama. Now they have a pro-choicer on their roll.

    For some reason this doesn’t surprise me anymore.

    Vox Nova is officially not a Catholic blog. They are pretty much leading Catholics into heresy.

  • Come on, now, S.B. I’m sure Mr. Campbell would never have an abortion himself, so he’s got that in his favor.

  • OK, back to the topic at hand.

    Here’s hoping the new Alexander runs into another Diogenes.

  • Amen Dale.

    I always keep reminding myself that Jesus promised Peter that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against the Church. That phrase alone makes me sleep good at night, especially this past election.

  • I’m sort of appauled that someone would think that a comparison to Alexander the Great was a compliment. I’m guessing that the archbishop didn’t mean to accuse him of being a psychopath with delusions of godhood, but that would seem to be the only meaning one could have in such a statement.

  • And the way some contributors go after shepherds of the Church,

    You mean when certain contributors attack people like Bishop Chaput for expressing their viewpoints.

    Oh, wait, that’s Vox Nova. My bad.

    But yes, this thread is getting mighty off the rails. Sorry for my contribution to that development.

  • Tito,


  • Mark,

    Threats are not taken lightly here.

    One more from you and you’ll be in moderation from here on out.


  • Tito,

    I did not threaten you.

    I simply referred to your standing with your maker, in your throwing false accusations at me.

  • Mark,


    I appreciate that.

  • Now if you could please correct your false charge that I somehow lied here, I would appreciate that.

  • Tito,

    I guess you are not a man enough to admit your wrongs, I see. I’ll let your childish “Vox Nova groupie” swipe go too, seeing how you are.

    This place at many times reminds me of an 8th grade lunch table, with its petty tribalism.

  • My advice to everyone: Chill.

    Vox Nova isn’t the topic here, and I don’t think there’s anything to be gained from an extended rivalry between the venues.

  • Your blog’s founder cannot seem to chill himself on the matter, and that’s the enduring problem.

    Witness his first salvo in this thread.

  • My two cents (which is admittedly worth considerably less due to the Obama financial policy) I think the editors of this blog should be a little more liberal on their commenting policy. We’re big boys and girls and can read through the nastiness and pettiness. By deleting people’s comments (not talking about profanity or severe personal attacks, especially to disinterested parties) it actually makes the offending party look better and the censor look worse.

    Personally, I hate deletions like that. I’ve witnessed time and time again solid (and respectful) arguments deleted on VN and the only reason I can think is that the censor couldn’t deal with it. It looks bad – very bad. There’s a few people I can think of off the top of my head that post ad hominem attacks or make snide remarks instead of making reasoned arguments. There’s no sense deleting those because the readers will see them for what they are. Why increase the frustration all around? I have a lot of respect for the contributors here due to your ability to reason and argue appropriately, deleting hinders that impression.

    Again, just my .7895 cents…

  • Thank you for your comments Rick. As you might expect, there is some diversity of opinion among contributors here on this topic, and I think you’ll see that reflected on different contributor’s threads. In broad terms, I lean towards your position, but we’ve delegated comment moderation to each contributor for their threads.

  • Understood, Mark, and he’s included in my “chill” advice.

    I share some of his concerns about Vox Nova. (For instance it strikes me that some members there treat the now-ex-Catholic Gerald Naus as a sort of trophy head on the wall.) But I don’t think consistenly calling into question another blog’s Catholicity is helpful, even if its arguably true in some cases.

  • Rick,


    For example, the founder’s claiming that a blog that engages with culture and politics is not Catholic or is Marxist, simply because they have a portrait of Karl Marx alongside 20 some other influential figures on their mast–that gives me great respect for the contributors here, in their ability to reason and argue appropriately!

    And this level of astute and sharp reasoning goes on here nearly day in and day out.

    I am virtually astounded by its sheer learnedness.

    I mean, the Cardinal Egan piece was a work of profound thoughtfulness, charity and understanding of the complex relations between Catholicism and our ever changing American culture, as it exists in the Middle Eastern states. If I were Cardinal Egan, I would love to have been the recipient of that kind of treatment, wouldn’t you?

    And did you see the discussion that the O’Malley piece instigated. The cited “prominent Boston Catholic Blogger”, Carol McKinley, actually joined in the thread discussion, really showing us her heartening intelligence and Christian regard for others. The original writer really did his homework.

    Do not you just love the shepherds of the Church and the strong support and benefit of the doubt they receive here?

    In light of the above, I have chosen to contribute mostlyonly whenever my amazement at such things is so great that I feel something simply must be said.

  • My 3 cents. Blogs have the choice between pre-moderation and post-moderation. People always complain about censorship in the case of post-moderation because they can see it whereas in pro-moderation no one ever knows what’s deleted except the commenter. Of course every comment deleted is always because the blog author is afraid to address the point, not matter how inanely argued by the ‘victim.’ When you get to a certain point, say over 500 readers, you can’t have everyone making their own rules because then your forum just gets trashed by people that have their own agendas and could care less about you. Since this is an area I’ve given a lot of thought, I thought I would offer my opinion to you.

  • Mark,

    Thanks for crafting a thoughtful reply. However, I wasn’t casting judgment on Tito’s or any other contributor’s views or whether they should be deemed credible. I just think deletions without grave reason should be avoided. Frankly, I find many of your comments to be problematic in that they aren’t designed to engage or offer a reasoned argument. They’re too often just throwing bombs. I can see why someone would just delete it, but IMO, it does greater justice to leave it stand and show for it for what it is. So in those cases, you might actual be a beneficiary of having your comment deleted.

  • Rick,

    Good points.


    Your failure to offer basic arguments to almost any reasoned discussion normally brings you to ad hominems and the personal attacks on others.

    If you really are Catholic, then you should act like one. Your lack of charity exemplifies the major point, if not one of the major points, on Kos Nova, of the gutter level of discourse that is common among liberals like yourself.

    When unable to defend abortion, you go for the personal attacks and ad hominems.

  • Tito,

    I disagree, and I wish you had heeded Darwin’s suggestion to ‘chill’. Mark frequently does make interesting comments. I think there is a tension between the standard you demand from Mark (no personal attacks), and how you treat Mark.

    As far as I know, Mark has not voiced support for abortion; he has, rather, urged more charity and circumspection when criticizing bishops, and expressed a dislike for harsh rhetoric on the subject. I think that this is a question of temperament and approach, and I do not think it’s fair to criticize Mark in this manner (particularly when many of his responses have been deleted).

    As to Vox Nova, everyone has an opinion, but it’s not very consistent to refer to it as ‘Kos Nova’ and say it has a ‘gutter level of discourse,’ then turn around and claim it’s their lack of charity that bothers you. It is not charitable to describe others in that manner, and I think it harms you more than the target. As others have said, just my two cents.

  • John Henry,

    I respectfully disagree with your opinion(s).

  • I was away all day in court. I appreciate all the comments. In regard to Vox Nova, or any other blog for that matter, I would request that in my threads controversies that may be underway at other blogs not be mentioned unless it is directly relevant to the issues raised in the post. In this thread the discussion seems to have gotten rather far afield. Stay polite and keep on point.

  • I was away all day in court.

    Maybe you should spend a little less time in court and little more time blogging then!


  • Rick, I usually have more fun blogging, but luxuries like shelter and eating keep me in court!

  • Given the quality and quantity of Donald’s posts, I sometimes wonder how much time he has for court. 😉

  • I would blush John Henry but for my stoic Cherokee ancestry!

  • Donald,

    I agree with your statements.

    It shouldn’t happen again.

    I hope you had a good day in court though!

  • Any day I get paid for my services Tito is a good day in court. My clients seemed happy at the end so I guess they thought it was a good day also.

    No problem in regard to the thread. I appreciate your efforts to maintain the standards of decorum that I would have enforced if I had been present.

You've Seen One Frenchman, You've Seen Them All

Sunday, March 22, AD 2009


Apparently, hattip to Gateway Pundit, our President isn’t sure who the President of France is since he sent a note to former French President Chirac, and Sumo I do hope you are fully recovered, with this sentiment in it:   ‘I am certain that we will be able to work together, in the coming four years, in a spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world.’  The current President of France is not amused.

For the benefit of any Obama staffer who may come across this, the current President of France is Sarkozy.  Your boss has had his picture taken with him.  He has a supermodel new wife.  There are no poodle bite mark scars on him.  There, never let it be said that I am unwilling to help the new administration!

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9 Responses to You've Seen One Frenchman, You've Seen Them All

  • Donald,
    Can you say with certitude that Sarkozy possesses no poodle bite scars? Didn’t think so.


  • You got me there Daledog!

  • You’ve seen one Frenchman, you seen ’em all.

    So the photo is of……… two Frenchmen? 😉

  • “You’ve seen one Frenchman, you’ve seen them all.”

    So your photo is of……….two Frenchmen? 😉

  • Oh my. First hunch is to question the veracity of the story because while I can believe Obama is that inept, I can’t believe that there wasn’t someone along the line who didn’t know better. I mean, even if the presidential staff is sub-par, someone had to know who the president of France is. If they did know and it was a calculated move to snub the sitting president and give props to a fellow traveler, it would not only be a stupid thing to do, but a frightening insight into the “new kind of diplomacy”.

    Hmmm, I’m wondering if it is the latter. There are examples of the far left in this country abusing common sense and violating diplomatic protocol in order to favor their foreign comrades. i.e. Kerry and Harkin coddling Ortega. Teddy Kennedy offering to assist the Soviets by politically opposing the President and essentially being a publicist for them.

    This wouldn’t rise to that level, but it is a huge blunder regardless of the circumstances.

  • “So your photo is of……….two Frenchmen”

    Ah Don, if only it were so!

  • Rick, in regard to your comment I would actually prefer that it be a simple act of incompetence. If not, I hope Obama can find an advisor who can define “diplomacy” for him. A liberal Democrat President who can manage to get a President of France mad at him obviously needs lots of help in this area.

  • I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed. It appears there is another more likely explanation – Obama was writing in response to a letter from Chirac regarding Chirac’s new foundation. This is the supposed word in the French press, but then, given the current state of under reporting throughout the “news” world, who knows what really happened…



    There are more if you simply Google the matter. It might not be a brilliant political move, but it doesn’t seem to have been as completely idiotic as we might prefer to think.

  • I think you are right Cheryl, although the letter does still strike me as odd in its wording. Either the staff work was sloppy, or Obama was trying to get a dig in at Sarkozy, since he and Chirac have hated each other since 1995 when Sarkozy backed a rival of Chirac’s for President of France.


Second Thoughts

Friday, March 6, AD 2009


Hmmm.  David Brooks and Christopher Buckley, both of whom supported Obama last year are now having second thoughts.  The indispensable Iowahawk supplies the laugh track these two geniuses require.

Update I:  Brooks has now had third thoughts.  Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  The value of the support of weather-vanes like Buckley and Brooks is summed up by the comment of Winston Churchill on hearing that Italy had declared war on the Allies:   “Seems only fair.  We had them last time.”

Update II:  Buckley says he would still vote for Obama.  The money quote:  “Maybe I’m obtuse.”

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2 Responses to Second Thoughts

  • As for the third thoughts, I’d be highly comforted, too, if I just went by those assuring statements from the administration. However, I don’t think it is overly cynical to doubt both the effectiveness of those statements, if they are made honestly, or even the honesty of those statements. I lean towards doubt on effectiveness; I think that Obama and his ilk mean well, but that’s hardly soothing.

  • The Brooks and Buckley self deceptions and revelations strike me as fulfilling the dictum that, “You have to be terribly smart to be this stupid.”

    Reading Brooks’ latest piece, I noted especially, “The White House folks didn’t say this, but I got the impression they’d be willing to raise taxes on the bottom 95 percent.” It strikes me, actually, that their very reassurances give credence to Ross Douthat’s suggestion that the Obama budget consists of a sort of reverse “starve the beast” approach — in which Obama hopes to get people hooked on a higher baseline of government services before the great fiscal reckoning when we realize we need to either cut spending or raise taxes. The idea being: If he can get people hooked on broad programs now without figuring out how to pay for them, he can then push through the “necessary” tax increases to pay for them later.

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.”

5 Responses to What Did the Pope Say?

The Great Divide

Wednesday, January 28, AD 2009

Some people think that the most important division is between those who believe in God and those who do not.  Others say the true dividing line is between conservatives and liberals.  Yet more regard humanity’s separation into men and women to be all important.  Rubbish!!!

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3 Responses to The Great Divide

Mark Shea's 'Change' He Can Believe In

Wednesday, January 28, AD 2009


Apparently Mark Shea, one of the Catholic Blogosphere’s sage’s, has gotten caught up in all the hoopla surrounding President Obama’s ascension inauguration.  He has succumbed to change.  After six years and eight months of staying faithful to what I believe to be the Sand Dollar template that Blogger offers, Mr. Mark Shea decided to change, in the spirit of bipartisanship, the template he uses for his blog (Catholic and Enjoying It!) from Sand Dollar to Minima Lefty.

Mark Shea, a proficient blogger, writer, and apologist.  An insightful and sometimes provocative Catholic with his interminable style of debating has shocked, shocked I tell you, the Catholic blogosphere with this switch to Minima Lefty!  In one bold stroke Mark Shea has decided to thumb his nose in the face of traditionalists.

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11 Responses to Mark Shea's 'Change' He Can Believe In

  • Sad but true.
    So is the the Mark of Scripture, or the Shea of history?

    This could be debated in the bolgosphere fo eternity. 😉

  • Good to see you my favorite New Zealander!

  • Yeah. How ya doing.

  • Walter I left a question for you over at unreasonable faith, I am curious as to what you may say. Thank you

  • I capitulated to all the people who have been demanding I enter the New Millennium with a blog that actually cooperated with RSS feeds and such. Every ten years I try to catch up.

  • Mark,

    That makes a lot of sense. I remember asking a silly question on how to create a link to a post of yours. I’m sure you’ll have less of those questions with this particular template allowing for such things (among other questions).

    I remember finally purchasing a cell phone. Yeah I caught up. Now I’m reconsidering and thinking of getting a land-line again and chucking my cell phone.

    The simple life is very relaxing.

  • Hi Don.

    Happy to be here 🙂

  • At least Bugs stays. And welcome to our NZ Peep Don To The K. Some Pacific warmth in these cold Americano days.

  • Phillip 😆

    Well, that’s the mentality of crims, isn’t it?

    I’ve gotta say, we do get some doozies here.
    But the latest wasn’t too funny – young hard working man was accidently shot by police who were actually aiming for a “P” (pure methamphetamine) crazed idiot who had stolen 4 cars, crashed them, and was taking pot shots at pursuing police with a .22 sawn off, and at the time was about to shoot a driver of a small truck after he had pranged his last car – that’s when the cops shot at him -the young man was behind, and in the line of fire – very sad.

    But we are an environmentally friendly, safe, and people freindly country – right? Just ask the Dutch Govt. after a Dutch tourist was raped in a remote tourist caravan park. Keep to the towns.

    So much for my little rant.

    But great to be here 🙂

  • Don, in my criminal defense work I often have to strain to keep a straight face in court. Criminals are rarely masterminds. Often their explanation to me is that they were drunk or on drugs. My stock response: “Good! I would hate to think you would do such a stupid thing stone cold sober!”

One Response to Silly Inspiration, Real Inspiration