Monday, November 30, 2009

The Grinch was Politically Correct!

This post is written in a more light-hearted spirit than many of the rants with which I indulge myself on this, my blog. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights sent out an email today that sounds much like several they've sent in the past several years:

"Catholic League president Bill Donohue opines as follows:

· The menorah in Nashville’s Riverfront Park is okay by the ACLU, but the crèche in Clarksville, Tennessee is not. Why? The City of Clarksville paid $200 for the animals used in the nativity scene.
· A woman from Manchester, Massachusetts was told she cannot have a live nativity scene outside her First Parish Church. Why? The church sits on the town common.
· A life-sized crèche has adorned the Chambersburg public square in Pennsylvania for about a half-century, but there won’t be one this year: the decision to censor it was made after Carl Silverman decided he wanted to have a sign, “Celebrating Solstice—Honoring Atheist War Veterans” to accompany the manger.
· Leesburg, Virginia traditionally displays a crèche, menorah and Christmas tree, but this year they have been banned.
· Inside the Capitol in Olympia, Washington, all holiday displays have been nixed.
· A nativity scene has been on display on the grounds of the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Wisconsin since World War II, but this year there will be none.

My favorite so far hails from West Chester, Pennsylvania. Under new rules, four displays are allowed in front of the Court House for a limited period of time, providing they are “content-neutral” in terms of their message. But symbols—religious or secular—are by their very nature content-specific, thus making the request positively oxymoronic."

And, coincidentally, we watched "How the Grinch Who Stole Christmas!" on ABC this evening. This holiday cartoon was produced in 1966 and I remember watching it as a kid and, maybe, a few times as an adult. Okay, a LOT of times as an adult. But I was five years old when it first came out and I liked Dr. Seuss. Or more precisely, my mother liked Dr. Seuss and she taught children's literature courses at the local university, which means that I got a lot of good, age-appropriate, entertaining, and educational books to read when I was growing up.

And I admit this isn't an original observation on my part, but I smiled at the opening words of the Grinch cartoon:

"Every Who down in Who-Ville liked Christmas a lot... But the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT! The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small. But, whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes, he stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos, staring down from his cave with a sour, grinchy frown at the warm lighted windows below in their town."

Has E.J. Dionne Been in a Coma Since 2000?

Here's a quote from one of the most jaw-dropping op-eds I've read in the Washington Post:
"The most surprising and disappointing aspect of our politics is how little pushback there has been against the vile, extremist rhetoric that has characterized such a large part of the anti-Obama movement..."
It was written by E.J. Dionne, who I've read somewhat often since moving to the Washington, DC area in 1997. I am familiar enough with his work to know he's a liberal, but not a nincompoop. But surely he wasn't writing seriously. Is he REALLY this oblivious to what went on in the Bush Administration? Or the Reagan administration? Besides reaping the rewards of being very like a socialist (and thus deserving of much of the vitriol that he's receiving), Obama is getting payback from conservatives who seethed over the unfair and over-the-top criticism of Bush foreign policy and disparagement of the U.S. military. You know, the "Bush Lied, People Died" bumper stickers. And the likening of American soldiers to "the Nazis, Soviets in their Gulags, or some madman regime like Pol Pot," which fixed Richard Durban's place in history. And on and on.

Grow a thicker skin, Mr. Dionne. Over the remaining seven years, you're gonna need it.

Update from 2 December 2009: James Fallows of The Atlantic magazine also apparently has both hurt feelings about how mean the conservatives are toward poor President Obama and a short memory. See comments by comments by one Peter Wehner at NRO.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pondering the Exploitation of Adjunct Faculty

There's a great blog post at National Review by Victor Davis Hanson from this afternoon. It pretty much summarizes the gray socialism that is the humanities in academia. "Some animals are more equal than others," according to one Eric Blair. And it's worth pointing out that the left in academia is a huge influence in government policy these days. So if we were to abolish a corrupt tenure system that rewards fairy-land socialism and punishes realism, would government policy begin to reflect a bit of sanity after a few years? It's fun to think about!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration
I saw a news story about this organization last night. Most of the Catholic names among the original signers of The Manhattan Declaration are familiar to me and I respect them. I also respect the other names that I recognize on the original list. This appears to be an organization worthy of support. These are times that seem to many to sufficiently differ from what has been seen in the past to warrant serious concern. I have added my name to this growing list of otherwise unknown citizens who believe that passivity in the face of present political and moral trends is insupportable.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

VA + NJ + NY23 = ????

It's obviously too early at the time of this writing for any election returns this evening. But whatever the outcome I have an opinion and since this is my blog, I'm gonna give it to you! Now I'm completely lacking in interpersonal skills, but even I know that if you insult voters with vile and obscene terms, such as "teabagger", those voters are likely to get mad. In fact they're likely to get very mad. And I am angry -- very angry -- about the way things are being run in this country. If the powers-that-be think that these three currently very-visible elections aren't about the national leadership, then god bless 'em, but I am not sanguine about their chances in 2010. Which means I *am* optimistic about a conservative resurgence in 2010. I keep talking about 1994 and the analogy doesn't seem to register with any of my friends. But if things don't change -- and change BIG -- I think a major ass-whupping is coming up for this (unbelievably far left) government. IMHO, of course.

Crush the left in 2010!