Sunday, January 30, 2005

Ordinary People Have Shown Extraordinary Bravery In Iraq

Congratulations to the Iraqi people who have shown amazing courage. Here's how the New York Times led off their article:

"After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets as Iraqis here and nationwide turned out to cast ballots in the country's first free elections in 50 years."

Iraq is a part of our own War on Terror. The Iraqi elections are now rightfully seen to be a highly successful expression of defiance to al Qaeda and to the Baathist remnants. Their success is our success and what they have done today is worthy of admiration from everyone who loves justice.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Culture War Goes On

By way of The Dawn Patrol, another manifestation of the sickening culture war in the Catholic Church. I wish I could say this little bit of exhibitionism is unusual but it isn't. Liturgical abuses devoid of spiritual, theological, or philosophical content continue in very many parishes. Especially in those that consider themselves "educated" and open-minded. It reminds me a lot of the charismatics who are convinced their babbling and clicking is "speaking in tongues". (That sort of thing nearly always afflicts confused and disappointed individuals in the less affluent parishes, however.) Sigh. Will the Catholic Bishops act to maintain ecclesial decorum? Sheeeeeyeah, SURE they will!

Teddy Kennedy IS a Disgrace

From Power Line:

"I don't think Kennedy would fight for our freedom. I'm not even sure he would try to save us if we were drowning. OK, that was a cheap shot. Sort of. But there is no possible excuse for Kennedy's behavior. He is a disgrace to the office he holds."

You betcha.

UPDATE: Here's what al Jazeera had to say about Kennedy's speech. By way of The Diplomad.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Abortion Specimens

This news story, Church to Bury Aborted Fetal Remains, has appeared on the MSM a few times and has also been making the rounds in the blogosphere. Basically the story is that a doctor who performs late term abortions is objecting to what happens to the abortion "specimens" (his word, from a television news story) after they are discarded by his clinic.

"A Roman Catholic church will bury the ashes of up to 1,000 aborted fetuses in its cemetery this weekend, despite accusations from the clinic that performed the operations that it is collaborating in a 'macabre' and political ritual. Dr. Warren Hern of the Boulder Abortion Clinic said his contract with Crist Mortuary required it to bury the ashes in its own plot. Instead, he learned this week that for nearly a decade, a mortuary officer has been giving the remains to the Sacred Heart of Mary Church. The ashes are buried near a statue of Jesus and a memorial wall with plaques carrying messages from people wanting to memorialize their fetus. 'A lot of my patients come in with desired pregnancies, deeply saddened they have a desired pregnancy which is medically complicated or threatening their life,' said Hern, one of a handful of doctors in the country who perform abortions late in pregnancy. 'I'm appalled that the Catholic Church will exploit women's private grief and misery for their own political purposes,' he said."

What can be added to this? The late Senator Patrick Moynihan condemned partial birth abortion ("dilation and extraction") as "barbarism" which seems almost understated. I find it difficult to form commentary without lapsing into cliche, which might lead some to conclude that insufficient thought has been devoted to the issue. It might also be a case of whatever CAN be said, HAS been said. But this story represents a case where those who, somehow, defend abortion on demand, have been unexpectedly, well, caught and publicly shamed. I am genuinely surprised at their simulated outrage. His immediate accusation of "The Catholic Church," instead of Sacred Heart of Mary parish smacks of the last acceptable prejudice, which, I have no doubt, animates him and his coreligionists. Why on earth does Hern object to what happens to his medical waste? Pathetic.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Flash! Federal Judge Shows Common Sense!

In a stunning new development, news stories are appearing that indicate certain U.S. judges are showing, at last, some common sense:

"ATLANTA (AP) -- Since 2002, Dr. Kenneth Miller has been upset that biology textbooks he has written are slapped with a warning sticker by the time they appear in suburban Atlanta schools. Evolution, the stickers say, is 'a theory, not a fact.' What it tells students is that we're certain of everything else in this book except evolution,'' said Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, who with Joseph S. Levine has authored three texts for high schoolers. On Thursday, Miller -- along with fellow teachers and scientists -- cheered a federal judge's ruling that ordered the Cobb County school board to immediately remove the stickers and never again hand them out in any form..."

After all the idiotic posturing and law-making by activist leftist judges, we at last see decisions that do some good. The sight of a judge bringing ideologues to a screeching halt is refreshing. I am not being sarcastic here, this is a welcome change. People are justifiably becoming concerned about the US judicial branch getting out of control, with the Israeli supreme court pointed to as a worrisome precedent.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Website of the Hour: Sacred Miscellany

I've been following an interesting blog lately called "Sacred Miscellany". Posting is infrequent, so I necessarily follow it via RSS. But it's obviously done with a lot of care and it's worth a look and a visit whenever a new article is posted. The author lists "music, singing, religion, Christianity, ethics, conservatism, politics, Southern culture" as interests, so I think it would appeal to other moderately conservative Catholics like me.

I've written about other "Websites of the Hour" here and here. This favorite obscure websites feature is another something I intend to do more of.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Reconsidering Nuclear Energy

I intend to begin posting on the subject of nuclear energy in light of the extremely variable fossil fuel prices, their demonstrably variable availability (e.g., the 1973-74 OPEC oil embargo), and the increasing concerns over the release of greenhouse gases. I intend to learn more but I have read that modern "pebble-bed" fission power plant designs are so safe that a Chernobyl-style meltdown is not possible. This newspaper story is what prodded me to post now:

"Sky-high crude oil prices prod many governments from across the world to seek alternative energy sources other than petroleum, particularly in nuclear power. This marks a major turnaround from the hitherto widespread anti-nuclear policies, which have been generally adopted after a series of disasters of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident and the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. The United States now looks to license novel nuclear plants, putting an end to the nation’s quarter-century moratorium on new nuclear facilities after the 1979 Three Mile Island debacle..."

The mantra in the late 1940s and through the 1950s was "power too cheap to meter". Wouldn't that be great in light of gas-electric hybrid cars?

Monday, January 03, 2005

Slashdot Troll on the Macintosh Zeitgeist

Okay, here's one of the funnier trolls I've found on Slashdot. Ya gotta be a computer geek to enjoy this one and, if you're a Mac user, ya gotta have a thick skin. It was posted on a thread about a rumored new office suite to be released for Mac OS X and is a hilarious caricature of the Mac zealot. Here's the first paragraph...

"Oh no, here come the proles. The tasteless rabble. The masses who see nothing past the price tag. Of course you can’t blame them if their trust funds aren’t large enough to provide them with life’s very finest—they wouldn’t appreciate it anyways—but surely Apple should know better than to serve the poor peasants la crème de la vie on the discount rack at Sears..."

Here's a link to the rest of the post and some of the responses it got. One of the great things about Slashdot, besides being a perpetually interesting web site, is that anonymous posting is possible and that has led to some really good trolls over the years. Some of them, like the subject of this post, are even sufficiently inoffensive to be discussed in polite company.

Finally, I would point out that I lust after the iMac G5 that was introduced a few months ago. Too bad my current desktop and laptop show no signs of giving up the ghost (knock on wood).