Saturday, March 23, 2002

You are Spaceman Spiff!
Zounds! You are the intrepid Spaceman Spiff, the engaging explorer ensconsed in an unending universe of exotic and evil extraterrestrials! You're brave, but you should give that dictionary a rest.
Take the What Calvin are You? Quiz by!
Elite Eight. I thought Duke was going to take it all, especially after 'bama and USC were eliminated. So IU surprised me -- but they're not going to beat Kent State, the hottest team in the country. I also am picking Oklahoma, with Kent State winning there as well. In the battle between 1 and 2, I pick both number 1's -- Maryland and Kansas, with Maryland going on to win the National Championship.

But I'll be rooting for the Golden Flashes (is that some sort of reference to the muzzles of the National Guard?) [Tasteless reference, I know.]

On the classy side, consider these comments from Mike Krzyzewski:
"There are human elements in all these things," Krzyzewski said. "I would never, ever blame a loss on one play, or an official, or a player. If you want to blame anybody, blame me."
"The game is too great to reduce it to excuses or making bogus statements like: 'If this would have happened or that would have happened,'" Krzyzewski said. "Well, it didn't happen. Be a man and congratulate the winner and go on."

Friday, March 22, 2002

What's Wrong With this Picture (Observationally Impaired Edition). You may remember that link I posted a few weeks back that, umm, caused some of you to, umm, launder your shorts. Well, the guy who did it got some messages from people who couldn't quite figure out what was wrong. So he posted an "Observationally Impaired Edition." Reminder to turn your speakers down. (also this requires Flashplayer).
Spot the Racist. In Tony Woodlief's excellent note (the whole darn blog is excellent) he comments on the C'ville 10:
Over the last few months ten students at the University of Virginia have been severely beaten by roving groups of thugs. Recently police rounded up the perpetrators -- ten black kids from local high schools. Their targets? According to one of the attackers, "kids who looked white."
* * *

According to one key participant, the Dean of UVa's African-American Studies department, "I don't want to condone what they did, but (insert blather about how institutional racism makes perfectly decent young men want to do crack, father illegitimate children, and beat other human beings senseless).
This prompted my recollection of another fine essay in the Spectator a few months back, in relevant part:
The fundamental moral difference between a human and an animal is that the human can be blamed when he does wrong. When a dog behaves badly, we blame the human owner for not bringing it up properly. In Africa, when blacks behave badly, we blame the colonialists (or the imperialists or apartheid or globalisation or something) for not bringing them up properly. When panic-stricken policemen of the apartheid regime shot dead 69 black people at Sharpeville in 1960, the world rose up in outrage. When the minority Tutsi regime in Burundi set about the cold-blooded slaughter of more than 100,000 Hutus in 1972, there was utter silence. This is because the killers at Sharpeville were whites and so morally culpable, while in Burundi they were black and so not morally culpable. In both cases nobody cared a row of beans about the black victims.
So who's the racist in C'ville?
Trouble. It all started when I posted this link.

Update. It looks like blogger may be working for me again. What I started to say was that I wrote my last post on issues, below, at about 12:15, then I wrote an update to my tooth fairy story, and then I wrote a separate note about the Scientology link -- -- and when I went to post these three, everything disappeared. So naturally, I'm feeling a little paranoid. Then, over an hour and a half later, the issues post appears from nowhere (I could not get back on blogger), but not the other two. So after quitting time, I jotted a quick note (I was able to get blogger) and tried sending it off. That was the above. But it was delayed for 30 minutes and then, when it did appear, had that time-stamp a half-hour off.

I'm feeling a little squicked.
Political Issues. Sometimes it's difficult to tell where the "economic" issues end and the "social" issues begin. The pro-life liberal commentator Mark Shields points out that the strongest support for abortion on demand comes from unmarried males without children and under the age of 35. He correctly points out that for this group abortion isn't a "social" issue it's an "economic" issue.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Touched. I am so touched -- so very touched. I just had a note saying that some "grateful reader" just bought my ad. I really am touched -- whoever you are -- thank you very much. I'm honored and humbled.
I'm a fairy. Another long, satisfying night of Dad duties. My little baby started projectile vomiting in my wife's arms while I was finishing with baths for our 3 and 5 year old kids. So we did the little dance parents do, I took the baby while my wife cleaned up, administered medicine to my son -- his last dose (the neck pain is gone -- thanks for prayers) and tylenol to baby. Baby fell asleep on my shoulder. That is one of the all-time blissful feelings. So then we put them all to bed, my wife's taking a shower, I'm doing laundry and checking e-mail -- soon it'll be time for me to don my fairy wings and go tooth hunting. I do like being a Dad.
Logo. Hey the Bros. Judd, in addition to getting a 'blog, have a new logo -- cool.
Back to Shapiro's Conjecture. More on the libertines versus the USMAs. Rand is correct, in his comments:
I suspect that the big issue is abortion. But until the courts (and particularly the Supreme Court) can be packed sufficiently to overturn Roe v. Wade (which I think should be done regardless of my or anyone's position on the legality of abortion, because it's such an abortion of a judicial decision and a constitutional fantasy), there's not really anything.
He had previously just alluded to this in his initial post ("the things that libertarians ... fear that conservatives will do. . . are so repugnant to most Americans that they'll never get made into law, and if they do, the legislators who do so will quickly get turned out of office.")

Like Rand, I think that were the Supremes to finally admit that there is no constitutional protection for abortion, than the ‘publicans would drop this issue.

But why I started to write this particular post was just to say that all this really is just another example of the stunting of American Politics caused by the Roe decision, as explained by Walter Shapiro in what I have dubbed the Shapiro conjecture.
Return of the Jaded. Topic A on the ‘blogs seems to be those pesky puritans in the ‘publican party. See Rand Simberg, Instapundit, Wilkinson, and Instapundit again.

In brief, the libertarians represented by Instapundit and Wilkinson, think the Republicans will never be able to attract voters until they get rid of the “uptight, sanctimonious, moralistic asshole[s].” Simberg, who started this off, argues (1) the Republicans are less intrusive than the Democrats, and (2) they’ll never get their agenda through anyway.

Okay, I guess to the libertines I’m one of those USMA’s (heh, I wonder how the boys from West Point like that acronym). But then I guess anyone who thinks drug abuse, pornography, pedophilia, adultery, perjury, gambling, abortion, and so on are wrong or evil is an USMA. In short, nearly every member of both the Republican and Democratic (pre-Clinton) party. Never mind that the Bob Jones crowd considers my ilk (after all, I’m an Episcopalian) reprobates, we’re a large crowd, we USMAs. To the libertines, we’re all just the speed bumps on the road to hell and the sooner we get out of the road, the smoother the ride will be.

This is, of course, why I can never commit to the Republicans. They use the real USMA purely for getting the votes and dollars the need, then it’s off to La Brassiere with Ted and Chris. I have no doubt that the Prof and the Fly Bottle would love it if Janet Reno would have polished more of us off – see for example, these comments. (“We should do to these what the conservative Romans did, with lions.”)

In short, you folks really don’t give a flip about anyone else, so long as you can have your preferred pleasure. Since the Democrats still leave you with a little disposable income, you’d rather back them then have your stimulants restricted.

Bah, I have more to say, I'll just wait until I'm not feeling so ticked.

More From Kevin

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

The Roman Problem. Disclaimers first: I am not a Catholic and I believe in the ordination of both married priests and female priests. However, having set forth my biases, let me also add that I long to see a strong and healthy Catholic Church. The issues of ordination of married priests and the ordination of women should wait until it has cleaned up the current problems.

I was talking with my father about this a little last weekend and told him I think the Catholic Church should look to the example of the Marines as a way out of the mess. I should add that my father is both a Marine (technically retired, but “once a Marine, always a Marine”) and a Catholic.

Let me explain. Back in the very late 60's and the early 70's the Marines were being torn apart by drugs and racial tensions, not to mention the war in Vietnam and the hostility of the “elite.” Yet, the Corps not only weathered the problems, it confronted them head on in an open, honest, and forthright manner. In doing so, it overcame.

This can be done by the Catholic Church in America, which has a strong foundation, not to mention divine guidance. To do so, one of the lessons it can learn from the Marines is to not hide your problems (sins). Get them out in the open and then learn from them.

Almost any Marine around today can tell you about the Ribbon Creek incident – a horrible training event in which six Marine recruits drowned. The Marines were forced to confront it and then to learn from it. Thomas Ricks, in his book Making the Corps discusses how at Parris Island there are framed copies of the news articles of the Ribbon Creek incident hanging for the DI’s to see which serve as a reminder and a lesson.

I see in the newspapers that the Bishop of Omaha has admonished an 80 year old lady, a lifelong Catholic, who expressed concerns about the mishandling of an assignment of a depraved priest. This is the wrong way to proceed. The Bishops must confess their sins and beg the forgiveness of every single member of the Church.

Since I compared this situation to the military, compare it also to the handling of Tailhook. There, in too many instances, the Navy sacrificed men and principles trying to buy off those, like Pat Schroeder, who have contempt for the institution to begin with. This is something that you must not do. Which is why I said above that doctrinal changes, such as that of ordination, must wait until changes in practices have take place.

It’s not that what the Church is teaching is necessarily wrong, the problem is that the Church has not followed its own teaching.

Another Link: Joe Bob Briggs does make one or two good points ("But here's my question: Why is it always boys? . . . . That makes what's going on a kind of spiritual homosexual incest.").

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Not on the Wire. This strikes me as odd -- it's about 10 minutes to 11, EST, and neither the AP nor Reuters are carrying the Court's decision to strike down the DOL regulation on the FMLA. I've had this one in my grubby little hands for all of 20 minutes now and it's on the web -- I actually got my notice by e-mail and that usually doesn't happen until the afternoon.

Now, it's about 10 after 11 -- and still nothing. I'm wondering if O'Connor is reading her dissent and that's why no report has been filed. I note that my e-mail notice of the cases came in at 10:19 EST.

Okay, at 11:09 EST, the EEOC case is mentioned -- figure it takes about 5 to 10 minutes before it appears on the web. Still nothing on the FMLA case.

Finally, at 11:33, the AP files a report. It's strange that there was over an hour delay.
Supreme Court Update. Two cases today. The first, concerning a "charge" of employment discrimination, doesn't look that big -- nearly unanimous decision. The second will be controversial, Justice Kennedy, writing for a 5-4 court, struck down a Department of Labor regulation that went beyond the scope of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Interesting, Stevens is in the majority and O'Connor writes the dissent. More later.
Star Wars Canon. When I first heard about the Phantom Edit, I was thrilled, like most true believers. In this interesting article, you can see how the Star Wars story has taken on its own life and see the comparisons to those who look at the true Scriptures.

Monday, March 18, 2002

Dreck. My daughter and I are reading Jane Eyre (although I'm doing it while commuting via books on disc) and it seems that I was getting too far ahead of her right at a pretty crucial time (the wedding). So this afternoon on the way home I put on one of the discs from that Left Behind series -- talk about literary whiplash -- I was worried I was going to have to pull over in heavy traffic to wretch. I'd listened to a little bit of one before and noticed it was pretty bad, but after having spent the last 13 hours listening to the lovely 19th century English cadences of Juliet Stevenson, this was particularly revolting.
But that isn't why I write -- it's actually to warn you that there appears to be a book on the horizon that will be even worse than the Left Behind series, if this article is to be believed. It seems that the The Painter of Light™ has put pen to paper.

Don't say you weren't warned.
Court Report. Not much, so far -- mostly routine orders. No new trial for Kaczynski; rejects the challenge of a state law forbidding urine sales by a SC man, and, hey, this is fun: announces the suspension and possible disbarment of FLee Bailey.

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Cover Watch. Newsweek featuring the rebirth of Silicon Valley versus Time's "Why Bush Entered the Fray." Hmm... on first look, I call it even. I don't know if there is a real comeback in computers or if there was even a real decline. The dross may've been burned off. The problem with Bush and the Middle East is that no one seems to know what they're doing there.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! From William Patrick Sulik.