Saturday, April 09, 2005


It sounds like the NYTimes still hasn't figured out new media. Either that or some of its reporters have a sense of entitlement that makes them think they don't have to do good work to keep their jobs.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Call me shallow

The only response I have to this story is to wonder how a man with the name Maurice R. Greenberg got a nickname like "Hank."

Catholic Taste

One reason I quit subscribing to National Review was that it seemed to conflate conservatism with Roman Catholicism. I don't see it as a calamity that Catholic attendance at Mass is down. What is a tragedy is that the church was in denial for so many years regarding its pedophilia problem. No matter, Roman Catholicism is growing like gangbusters in the Third World.

For some reason, the History Channel is running documentaries tonight about the Apocalypse. Earlier it had a history of the Papacy that made me wonder how people could honestly believe that Roman Popes were Christ's vicars throughout the middle ages. Pope John Paul II was a saintly man, but his office has nothing to do with the authority held by Peter and his fellow apostles. I've been reading a compelling argument that the claim that bishops were the successors to the apostles is fraught with problems.

If there were any justice . . .

the Pope would be in robust good health and we'd be reading and hearing about Kofi Annan's funeral. Alas, we live in a fallen world.

The key is in the name of the commission

A Canadian court is trying to tell Ed Morrissey what he can blog about and to punish Cannuck bloggers who link to Captain's Quarters. It's all about some government investigation by something called the Gomery Commission.

Maybe there's a reason for the color of that maple leaf on their flag.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Gun Ownership Issue

The Bellesiles story is still making waves. I don't see why it takes a historian or a scholar to debunk his claims. Colonial America was still very close to wilderness. Not only did people use rifles for protection from hostile Indians and hunting, but the colonies/states all had militias. Bellesiles' claims that private gun ownership wasn't widespread just beggars common sense.

Sometimes, I think we're getting carried away with scholarly studies. Who reads them all? Government agencies spend huge parts of their budgets on churning out reports and studies than no one except lawyers ever reads. It would surely stagger the minds of taxpayers to see the cost of all our environmental, OSHA, and other regulations. It's a stultifying work environment to have to try to apply them, as well.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

But they're harder to sue!

I thought this item on Best of the Web was great:
Power to the Elected Officials!

The Associated Press reports that residents of Bennington, Vt., have voted down a ballot measure "capping the size of big-box retailers to 75,000 square feet." The rejection clears the way for the local Wal-Mart to expand to 112,000 square feet. We love this quote:

Alicia Romac of the pro-cap group Citizens for a Greater Bennington said she wished the decision had been left up to elected officials. "It's special interests interfering with what's best for the community process, and I don't think that's really the best way to run a government," she said.

Up in Vermont, it turns out, "special interests" is a dysphemism for "voters."

Why I don't listen to Michael Medved

I've probably blogged this before, but today's program is a perfect example of what I dislike about Michael Medved's radio show. Mr. Medved is a very smart and very learned man, but he brings guests on his program who are insufferable. They are either so far from the mainstream as to be caricatures or they are determined to dominate the conversation, refusing to answer the questions he asks, and talking over him to the point that I can't follow either one. Today's "guest" in the second hour was James Wagoner, president of something called Advocates for Youth [ed: yeah, right!] which wants to make sure that teens have plenty of contraception advice and devices. He is opposed to abstinence education only, although he pays lip service to abstinence as one way to prevent STDs and pregnancy.

What's the point? This won't change anyone's mind, and contention is not entertainment, at least not to me.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

God and Man (or Woman)

Ralph Neas of People for the American Way (PAW) was on Hugh Hewitt's radio show yesterday in a tape-delayed interview. One of the topics was the Catholic Church. He said that the majority of American Catholics are opposed to Pope John Paul II's positions on women priests, abortion, birth control, etc. and hoped the new pope would change that. Neas is a Roman Catholic.

What wasn't mentioned was what God thinks about these issues. Isn't that the main thing? If God's will doesn't apply, then a church is nothing more than a social club with laws that can be changed by the members. I suppose that the members could vote to say they didn't want to live certain commandments, but why pretend that they still belong to the same religion?

I can see that a public official shouldn't feel bound to represent his church ahead of his constituents, but that isn't the case here. When did God bow out from the doctrinal process? As a Mormon, I have an answer to that. It was when there ceased to be Apostles and prophets as the central authority of the church, but for Catholics, whose doctrine is that the Pope is infallible and is chosen by God through the Holy Ghost, I have to wonder if they really understand what a religion is.

Update: Mark Steyn seems to agree:
The root of the Pope's thinking - that there are eternal truths no one can change even if one wanted to - is completely incomprehensible to the progressivist mindset. There are no absolute truths, everything's in play, and by "consensus" all we're really arguing is the rate of concession to the inevitable: abortion's here to stay, gay marriage will be here any day now, in a year or two it'll be something else - it's all gonna happen anyway, man, so why be the last squaresville daddy-o on the block?. . .

Indeed, if you look at the New York Times's list of complaints against the Pope - "Among liberal Catholics, he was criticised for his strong opposition to abortion, homosexuality and contraception" - they all boil down to what he called sex as self-assertion.

Thoughtful atheists ought to be able to recognise that, whatever one's tastes in these areas, the Pope was on to something - that abortion et al, in separating the "two meanings" of sex and leaving us free to indulge in one while ignoring the other, have severed us almost entirely and possibly irreparably from traditional impulses, such as societal survival. John Paul II championed the "splendour of truth" not because he was rigid and inflexible, but because he understood the alternative was a dead end in every sense.

If his beloved Europe survives in any form, it will one day acknowledge that.

Follow the money

Here's an interesting little factoid: "92% of contributions of $1 million or more went to Democrats. Pro-Democratic 527s, meanwhile, spent more than twice as much as their GOP counterparts."

But they keep telling us that Republicans are the party of the rich fatcats.

Monday, April 04, 2005


I just heard a columnist for the Utah State University student newspaper claiming that conservatives are attacking intellectualism. He argument seems to be that Republicans nominated a man who can't even pronouse "nuclear." It always bothers me when someone mispronounces that word, but I hear it said "nucular" all the time from both the left, the right and the apoliticial. I hear journalists say it a lot, and even scientists.

I don't know what analogy in English leads to that mispronunciation. Unless it's sneak and snuck, which is also wrong but widely used nevertheless. In any event, most intellectuals these days believe in descriptivism in language rather than prescriptivism.

I think this guy is full of hatred and his hurtful, wounding remarks about President Bush are insensitive.