Monday, September 24, 2007

Captain's Quarters: Rather A Laughingstock

re: "Dan Rather's lawsuit has certainly brought about a change in his fortunes. He has managed to get his colleagues in the news media to shift their opinion about him almost overnight. Once regarded as a respected journalist who just got one story wrong and refused to admit it, the lawsuit has generated an outright antagonism among journalists that never existed before. Charles Lane of the Washington Post's editorial page staff writes a hilarious and pointed attack on Rather's vanished credibility by declaring the lawsuit a "fake":..."...

OpinionJournal - Five Best: The Chosen

re: Ruth R. Wisse recommends five "Essential works about Judaism" in OpinionJournal's ongoing program of Five Best book lists...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Vindication of Terri Schiavo by Vatican's Clear Answer on Nutrition and Hydration

re: "Special to LifeSiteNews.com by HLI President Fr. Tom Euteneuer / Since the election of Pope Benedict, the Church has been renewed by an abundance of blessings flowing from the Vatican. In case you did not hear, the Pope's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has just released its answer to the question of providing nutrition and hydration (i.e., food and water) to persons in so-called vegetative states. Even though a child can figure out that it's not right to starve people to death, the Vatican set the issue to rest this week. In its technically-precise language, the CDF vindicated our beloved Terri Schiavo by saying that no one can dare to commit or justify such an atrocity as her killing by any interpretation of Catholic teachings. Period. / The CDF responded to a question from the US Catholic bishops who asked whether it was morally obligatory to give food and water to a patient in such a state. The response was unambiguous: "Yes. The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented." /That was not all. The bishops further asked whether food and water could be withdrawn from the patient if there was no chance of recovery. Again, the CDF was unambiguous: "No. A patient in a 'permanent vegetative state' is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means." And just to be sure that no stone was left unturned, the accompanying note said that this is always and everywhere true "in principle" even if there are truly exceptional circumstances where it is not morally obligatory to provide food and water. Such a case would be, for example, when the person's body is in such a state that it is physically unable to assimilate food and water. There would be no moral obligation to try and force nutrition into the person in that case, but clearly this is an exceptional circumstance which does not in any way undermine the principle of absolute respect for life in its most vulnerable moments. / How many of us, at the time of Terri Schiavo's death, actually heard even so-called "good Catholics" say that they should just let her die because "no one should have to live that way" and other nonsense like that? The real message of this declaration is that no one should have to think that murderous way any more..."...

Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn Says Abortion was the Worst Thing in Her Life

re: "...the interviewer asked Burstyn "what was the lowest moment" of her life. / After a pause during which the interviewer prompted with her single motherhood, struggles with her son and more, Burstyn said, "You know, I guess, I hate to talk about this on the air, but having an abortion." / Burstyn continued, "You know that was really an extremely painful experience.""Did you feel you didn't have a choice?," asked the interviewer. "At the time I was just young and dumb, I didn't really want to have a baby then," she replied. / "It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn't understand that till later," said the actress..."...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kata Iwannhn » Who Keeps Time?

re: "In his very enjoyable A Dresser of Sycamore Trees: The Finding of a Ministry (the title is taken from Amos 7:14-15), Garret Keizer describes his work as the clock-winder of the church clock in the town in Vermont where he serves as the lay pastor of Christ Church (Episcopal). Just as you start spotting Hondas as soon as you buy a Honda yourself, Keizer has become aware of mechanical clocks all over the place. /He points out something worth considering..."...

BLOG and MABLOG: Souls of Rejected Children

re: quote: ""The womb was scraped clean, but the fetus instead of disappearing simply changed its place of residence. Once it was prevented from growing in her womb, it started growing in her mind, a troubled conscience that could not be repressed . . . The monsters that haunt . . . are the souls of the rejected children" (E. Michael Jones, Monsters from the Id, p. 248-249)."...

Townhall.com::Jena 2007::By Mike Gallagher

re: "...Good and decent people shouldn’t stand for white teenagers hanging nooses or burning crosses in order to intimidate and terrorize black people. /The story of the “Jena Six” isn’t nearly as complicated as some would have us believe. Amazingly in today’s America, there existed a “white tree” in Jena where white teenagers gathered under the shade of the central Louisiana sun. One day, a black teen had the temerity to ask a school official at the local high school if he would be allowed to sit under “the white tree.” Of course you can, said the administrator. You should be able to sit wherever you want to. /Not everyone agreed. The following day, three hanging nooses were tied to the tree, a chilling message reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan rallies and lynch mobs. /It didn’t take long to discover the culprits, three white kids who attended the high school. They were given three day suspensions for their hideous act. /And then all hell broke loose..."...

Townhall.com::Can New Jersey punish Methodists for marriage?::By Maggie Gallagher

re: "The headline news on the gay marriage issue is that on Tuesday, Maryland's supreme court joined the growing list of state high courts upholding marriage as the union of husband and wife... [snip]... Behind this slam-dunk is a far more ominous and less noticed headline, buried in the metro section of Tuesday's New York Times: "Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue." /For the first time, a religious organization in New Jersey is being punished by the government because it refused to permit same-sex civil union ceremonies on its property..."...

Planned Parenthood-friendly Catholic university loses big donor alum

re: Matt C. Abbott: "In an update of sorts to my coverage of the relatively recent controversy involving the University of Detroit Mercy — which had advertised job opportunities at Planned Parenthood, among other scandalous items — a UDM alumnus who had given nearly $200,000 to the university "will never give them another dime."..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Considerettes » Our Standing In The World

re: "Democrats have bemoaned the (alleged) loss of standing with the world that the US has suffered supposedly due to the war in Iraq. I guess before that, everyone just loved us, and since then we’ve lost the support of our allies. Well, the good news is, those Democrats can stop their worrying; France likes us again..."...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New Lack of Evidence Boosts Certainty of Darwinism | ScrappleFace

re: satire on current events, specifically on how evidence contradicting scientific theories about human evolution has only strengthened the faith of the people who believe in the theory...

Betsy's Page: That Civics and History test

re: "If you're interested in taking the Intercollegiate Studies Institute test on civics and history that got several headlines recently, you can go take it here... [snip]... While I'm all for teaching more history and civics at all levels, I must quibble with the test..."...

Betsy's Page: Destroying a business by lawsuit

re: "Remember that ridiculous lawsuit from the administrative judge who wanted $67 million from a cleaners for losing his pants. Well, he became a laughingstock around the country and lost his suit. But the damage was done. Now the Korean couple who ran the cleaners have had to shut it down. //
Roy Pearson, the D.C. administrative law judge whose $67 million lawsuit against his neighborhood dry cleaners turned into a worldwide lesson in how one obsessed person can hijack the American legal system, lost his case in court, but today delivered the crowning blow to the owners of Custom Cleaners: /Bowing to the emotional and financial strains of two years of litigation, Soo and Jin Chung today announced the closing of the dry cleaners that may or may not have lost a pair of Pearson's pants that he put in for a $10 alteration in 2005... [snip]... Public support for the Chungs did come in strong as news coverage of Pearson's wild demands and the D.C. court's failure to nip the case in the bud spread throughout the globe. Both the tort reform lobby and the trial lawyers association denounced Pearson's abuse of the legal system--a rare case of cooperation between sworn enemies. And fundraisers for the Chungs collected enough money--more than $100,000--to cover the family's legal bills. /Pearson last month appealed the Superior Court decision rejecting his suit, but Manning said his firm will handle the appeal for the Chungs without charge. / The Chungs will now work exclusively at their original shop, Happy Cleaners, on Seventh Street NW, across from the D.C. Convention Center. Soo Chung was there this afternoon, mopping the floor, waiting for customers. For the first time in a very long time, she was able to smile about her work. "This is our first store, first job," she told me. "When we came to America, we worked here. Good job. Good store."..."...

Joust The Facts: Greenspan Clarifies, Shoots Down Anti-War Theory

re: "...Greenspan, who wrote in his memoir that "the Iraq War is largely about oil," said in a Washington Post interview that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House before the 2003 invasion with the case for why removing the then-Iraqi leader was important for the global economy. /"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in the interview conducted on Saturday. "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential." //In other words, that was his justification, not the Bush administration justification, for deposing Saddam Hussein. It was Mr. Greenspan who felt that removing Saddam was "essential" to provide global economic oil security. It's likely that the administration agreed, but judging by Mr. Greenspan's wording it's fairly certain that nobody even asked him, instead that he went to them to make that case."...

Brandywine Books: D'ya Feel Lucky, Punk? Then Plug Your Book

re: "The NY Times is talking about the Internet's effect on book promotion. Publishers try to control the release of an attention-grabbing book and are undermined by newspapers or networks who work the system to their own advantage... [snip]... The article does not mention a great source on this topic, that is Plug Your Book: Online Book Marketing for Authors by Steve Weber. I have intended to review this book for weeks. What I have read of it is hard-hitting, honest, and informative. Weber writes about many publicity ideas, both good and bad, helping us understand what we're getting into, not selling us on a promotion designed more for making him a bit of cash than promoting our book. Read the book online here..."...

No Left Turns Archive: Don't Taze Me, Bro

re: Julie Ponzi on her one and only participation in a protest...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Townhall.com::Blog: Another Reason to Repeal Sarbox

re: "Rudy Giuliani is fundraising... in London! Tim Montgomerie's Britain and America blog notes the regulatory roots behind the offshore fundraising boom:..."...

Townhall.com::Why the Left Has Changed Journalism, Education and the Courts::By Dennis Prager

re: "...I asked the panel members to give their view of the role of judges. The response of the liberal former California Supreme Court justice opened my eyes to the left's view of virtually everything in society. /He said that the purpose of a California Supreme Court justice, and for that matter, every judge, is to fight economic inequality and racism in society. I responded that I thought the one purpose of a judge was to render justice in the courtroom. /I might as well have responded in biblical Hebrew (that's where I got the idea of a judge's role anyway): He and the other liberals on the panel reacted as if I had offered a new and original notion of judges' roles..."...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Freedom, but from what? « Bookworm Room

re: "...Liberals, on the other hand, who are willing to hand over to the government so many aspects of their private lives, are loath to surrender their security to the government. Instead, when it comes to security, they look at the same government they trust to examine their bodies, make their health care decisions, educate their children, rescue their poor, and control their businesses, and suddenly start ranting that it is out to get them, whether to destroy their buildings and their citizens, listen to their phone calls, or read the same library books they do. They demonstrate a bizarre love-hate relationship with the government, that sees them on the one hand practically handing it their first born, while on the other hand having paranoid nightmares about wiretapping. /Frankly, I’m at a loss to explain this inconsistency. Whether you agree with their viewpoint regarding freedom and privacy, when it comes to government, conservatives at least are consistent — they want the government out of their lives as much as possible, except for the one thing the government does best, which is securing the nation as a whole..."...

Books, Inq.: We link ...

re: "... you decide: Is it time for Americans to start cutting our baby emissions? ..."...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Southern Baptist Convention: Chaplain spreads Gospel via Internet

re: "...Tober, as an Internet chaplain endorsed by the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, has been venturing into this missions frontier for 15 years without ever leaving home... [snip]... Following retirement from the Navy chaplaincy in 1992, Tober and his wife Sally moved to her homeplace in Adams, Tenn. While doing supply preaching in area churches, he began exploring the Internet and did not like what he saw. /"I began going into chat rooms and saw them for what they were. Even then they were sleazy," Tober said, adding that they have become increasingly worse. /To counter the perverse culture of the chat rooms, Tober, a member of First Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tenn., began providing a Christian perspective. /"It was learn by doing," he said. /A few years later, Tober took on the name "Chaplain Bill" or "Pastor" in chat rooms. He said he makes clear to everyone he communicates with that he is a Christian. /"People know up front who they’re dealing with. I don’t hide anything," he said. /Since then, he has ministered to thousands of people each year... [snip]... Tober wants other people to join him in his role as an Internet chaplain. He especially sees it as a viable ministry for a retired minister and is willing to train anyone interested..."...

Captain's Quarters: The Truth About J-Schools

re: "One has to wonder what kind of journalists the storied Columbia School of Journalism intends to produce. If the column published this month by Idris Leppla ten days ago for the Columbia Spectator gives any hint, we can expect novices of the obvious who infantilize the people who serve as their subjects. This time she uses her brother, who applied to and entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis, apparently without Idris and her mother realizing it meant joining the Navy..."...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Remembering Madeleine at Semicolon

re: links to lots of posts paying tribute to author Madeleine L’Engle...

Betsy's Page: Cooling the global warming debate

re: "Bjorn Lomborg is a not the typical global warming denier. He agrees that it is going on and that man is resposnsible for much of it. However, where he departs from the global warming crowd is in his ability to look at the picture much more broadly. The author of The Skeptical Environmentalist is out with a new book, Cool It, that thoughtfully examines the question without fear-mongering. Kimberly Strassel reviews the book and some of Lomborg's arguments..."...

Is Adolescent Culture Making Us Weak? - Acton Institute PowerBlog

re: "...Diana West, a Washington Times columnist, just released her new book, Death of the Grown-up: How America’s Arrested Development is Bringing Down Western Civilization. In an interview with FrontPage Magazine, West discusses some of her ideas about the perpetual adolescent but shifts into the subject of the War on Terror... [snip]... In the interview, West also makes the connection between socialist dogma and adolescent behavior..."...

Global Warming Consensus Alert: Could This Be The End of Science? - Acton Institute PowerBlog

re: "If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from supporters of climate change alarmism, it’s this: Science = consensus, and consensus = TRUTH. / Well, it appears that science and truth have taken another hit..."...

More cracks in the “warming is humans’ fault” consensus « Bookworm Room

re: "... The text speaks for itself: //[begin quote] Global warming is an entirely natural phenomenon and its effects can even be beneficial, according to two leading researchers. /Recent climate change is not caused by man-made pollution, but is instead part of a 1,500-year cycle of warming and cooling that has happened for the last million years, say the authors of a controversial study. /Dennis Avery, an environmental economist, and Professor Fred Singer, a physicist, have looked at the work of more than 500 scientists and concluded that it is very doubtful that man-made global warming exists. /They also say that temperature increase is actually a good thing as in the past sudden cool periods have killed twice as many people as warm spells... [snip]... [end quote]// Incidentally, the fallout from the hysteria is suddenly beginning to fall fast. In my regular Stratfor letter, which comes from Strategic Forecasting, Inc., I learned that organizations are trying to slow the reliance on biofuels, because that reliance is itself causing trouble..."...

At A Hen's Pace: Church Plant Update Plus

re: "...How do folks find a tiny, unadvertised Anglican church in a little-known town in Wisconsin? (And why do they want to??) The common thread seems to be the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA). Of the four new "family units" (one is a single) who've visited us in the past two weeks, all had visited or been members of AMIA churches before. And they were all looking for what AMIA offers. / What is that, exactly? Well, AMIA churches tend to represent the "three streams, one river" approach to doing church. The three streams are the liturgical/sacramental tradition, the evangelical, Bible-based teaching and discipleship, and the freedom of the Spirit in musical worship... [snip]... Though right now many lifetime Episcopalians (who are considering jumping ship due to the heresy in their leadership) are looking seriously at AMIA and its "sisters" (other networks formed by Anglican churches who've disassociated with the American version of the Episcopal Church), most of the Anglican folks we know are formerly from mainline evangelical denominations and independent churches. They've been drawn by the sacraments, which they feel is something missing in typical evangelical worship..."...

International News | Pope Benedict XVI Says Abortion Could Threaten Future of Europe, New York Times Reports - Kaisernetwork.org

re: from Sept. 11: "Pope Benedict XVI on Friday during a visit to Vienna, Austria, said abortion could threaten the future of Europe, the New York Times reports. The pope urged European governments "not to allow children to be considered as a form of illness" and to provide incentives to couples who have children in an effort to reverse the continent's declining fertility rate (Fisher, New York Times, 9/8). According to Reuters, the average total fertility rate in European Union countries is about 1.5 children per woman (Pullella, Reuters, 9/7). / Benedict said that the "fundamental human right ... is the right to life itself," adding, "This is true of life from the moment of conception until its natural end. Abortion, consequently, cannot be a human right -- it is the very opposite." The pope proposed that rather than legalize abortion, governments create a "climate of joy and confidence in life ... in which children are not seen as a burden, but rather as a gift for all" (AFP/Yahoo! News, 9/7). / According to Reuters, Benedict's speech could have implications in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, in which abortion is expected to become a major campaign issue. In addition, the speech put the pope on a "collision course" with Amnesty International, which recently affirmed a new policy on abortion that supports a woman's right to the procedure under certain circumstances, Reuters reports (Reuters, 9/7)."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Common Room: The Victorians and Piano Legs

re: "You may have heard, as I did, that the Victorians were so strait-laced and repressed, that they put frilly covers around the legs of their pianos so as not to stir up improper thoughts about limbs in the minds of people around those items of furniture. /Not true, and the story of how it came to be believed is quite interesting, and somewhat amusing..."...

Brandywine Books: We call it "niceness" in Minnesota

re: "Via World Views, this fascinating article by the English writer and physician Theodore Dalrymple, on the question of whether religious people are, or are not, actually nicer people than the secular kind. / You won't agree with everything, but it's a fascinating snapshot."...

Captain's Quarters: Putin Sacks Government, Nominates Unknown

re: "Vladimir Putin dismissed the Russian Prime Minister and his government almost three months ahead of scheduled elections. He had been widely expected to do so, but he crossed up the analysts and nominated an unknown as a replacement: // Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted the resignation of PM Mikhail Fradkov and nominated a financial crime investigator to replace him..."...

Captain's Quarters: Abe Resigns

re: "Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unexpectedly resigned today, apparently tired of political battles over diplomacy and economics. The move stunned the political establishment in Tokyo, which had prepared for an Abe defense of a counterterrorism policy that had encountered some resistance..."...

BBC NEWS | UK | Red tape in police force: Your reaction

re: "The chief inspector of constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, says police officers in England and Wales are bogged down in red tape and are afraid to use their own judgement. /Here, two officers who contacted the BBC news website, give their reaction to Sir Ronnie's report... // The headline comments are spot on. We spend a lot of our time recording and dealing with minor events that should really be dismissed. /This is simply because of a mixture of Government targets and public expectations. /The public also have blame in this problem because their expections of what the police should be involved with has risen dramatically over recent years. Issues that were once sorted out within families, communities etc, are now instantly thought to be a police issue. /The worst example of this is the amazing number of parents that ring up to ask a police officer to come around and tell their child off. /
The other is parents whose kids have been involved in typical childrens rough and tumble and instantly want to report a minor bruise as a crime and have the other child prosecuted..."...

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Powerful aftershocks hit Sumatra

re: "A second strong earthquake has hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a day after an 8.4 magnitude tremor destroyed buildings in several towns and cities..."...

Laura Ingraham: ‘Power to the People’ - - MSNBC.com

re: "Conservative radio talk-show host urges action in ‘Power to the People’..."...features excerpt from Ingraham's book...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

Monday, September 10, 2007

Famous parrot with big bird brain — and gift of gab — dies - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

re: "Alex, an African Grey parrot with a knack for the English language, has died at age 31, apparently of natural causes. /The subject of a landmark study on bird intelligence, Alex had a vocabulary of more than 100 words, the New York Times writes in its obituary. /According to his Web perch (where there's a picture of Alex with his handler) he also could "identify 50 different objects, 7 colors, 5 shapes, quantities up to and including 6 and a zero-like concept." Research by Irene Pepperberg at Brandeis University was said to have "shattered the generally held notion that parrots are only capable of mindless vocal mimicry." ..."...

Calif. ag worker gets 24 years for Pakistan terror training - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

re: "Hamid Hayat, an agriculture worker from California's Central Valley, was sentenced today to 24 years in prison for training with terrorists in Pakistan and planning attacks against other Americans. /Hayat, a U.S. citizen who spent much his life in Pakistan, turned 25 today. He could have received 39 years for his April 2006 conviction for providing and attempting to conceal material support and resources to terrorists and for lying to the FBI..."...

Federal prisons remove unapproved religious books - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

re: "Religious books are being removed from federal prisons across the USA, according to The New York Times. /"The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs and videos that are not on a list of approved resources," the paper says. "In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups."..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

No Left Turns Archive: On Russian men, women loving pink, and older men

re: Peter Schramm: "The Economist is often worth looking at and reading into. For example, this article on how Russia is becoming the neo-KGB state; and more on the siloviki. Not good news, especially for Russians..."...

No Left Turns Archive: The NYT Speaks: Osama Listens

re: Steven Hayward: "Back during the Cold War, and especially in the 1980s, you could pick up the editorial page of the New York Times and the news/editorials of Pravda, and you couldn’t tell the difference. (Sometimes Pravda would save its own writers the bother and just quote the western press for denunciations of the United States.) And Soviets always seemed to take their talking points for summits with Reagan from the American left. Gorbachev, for instance, in his first meeting with Reagan tried out the feminist chestnut that 'by law' women in the U.S. could only make 60 cents for each dollar a man earned. This should have been embarrassing to the left, but wasn’t of course. / So now we have Osama, channeling the Daily Kos, the Huffington Post, and the American left..."...

No Left Turns Archive: Thompson's Critics Mirror Reagan's

re: "...Presumably, Scherer is irritated because Thompson would not spell out detailed policy plans for Social Security, a position on the fair tax, and Labor Department statistics on the question of an approaching recession. As a criticism, that’s fair enough--as far as it goes. But notice that the positions Thomspon articulates against abortion, securing judges for the courts, opposing gay marriage and supporting defense are described as clich├ęs. Thompson may not be another Reagan, but the criticism of him from the other side is beginning to sound an awful lot like the criticism Reagan got..."...

Pavarotti, RIP « Daily Inklings

re: "The King of the High Cs, Luciano Pavarotti, has died at his home after his battle with pancreatic cancer. I remember the highly successful Three Tenors back in the 90s, which included Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo..."...

AFP: Hunt for Steve Fossett enters second week

re: "LOS ANGELES (AFP) — The wife of missing adventurer Steve Fossett on Monday praised the work of rescuers searching for her husband, as the hunt for the millionaire aviator entered its second week..."...

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide: Pemex Blames Sabotage in 6 Separate Pipeline Blasts (Update5)

re: "Sept. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, the country's state oil monopoly, said saboteurs blew up three oil and gas pipelines in the energy hub of Veracruz state, marking the third terrorist strike on its distribution network since July. /The six explosions that shut down lines carrying crude oil, natural gas and propane were ``premeditated acts,'' Pemex said in an e-mailed statement. About 12,500 people were evacuated after the blasts at 3 a.m. New York time, Veracruz Governor Fidel Herrera said on Mexico City-based Radio Formula. Pemex reported no injuries or damage outside its facilities..."...

Captain's Quarters: Canada Gives Muslims A Pass On Visual Identification For Elections

re: "More accurately, Elections Canada -- the agency that oversees elections in our neighbor to the north -- has granted an exception for Muslim women to show their faces at polling stations for identification. The action by the agency defies the nation's Parliament, which specifically required facial identification for voters... [snip]... One might assume Muslim women rejoiced at the decision by EC to grant them special status. However, as it turns out, Muslims never asked for the exemption, and they don't want it..."...

Cinnamon Stillwell: Hillsdale College Symposium Examines the Enduring Significance of the Vietnam War

re: "...The entire episode served to underscore how controversial the Vietnam War remains in the American mind. Its significance, both from a historical and a political standpoint, cannot be emphasized enough. / It is for this reason that Michigan's Hillsdale College will be holding a four-day symposium from Sept. 9-13 titled, "The Vietnam War: History and Enduring Significance." Featuring speakers such as Mark Moyer, the author of "Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965," Colonel H.R. McMaster of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Hoover Institution historian and author Victor Davis Hanson, Lewis Sorley, author of "A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam," conservative author and talk radio host Michael Medved, the New America Foundation's Michael Lind, and Mackubin T. Owens of the Naval War College, the symposium promises to be watershed event..."...

A Madeleine L'Engle Annotated Bibliography at Semicolon

re: bibliography, with links...

Notes in the Key of Life: Thumbs Up! to A Chelsea Morning

re: a charming blog, and also a Thumbs Up! program where bloggers put up positive posts...

Jane Wyman dead at 93 - CNN.com

re: "LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Jane Wyman, an Academy Award winner for her performance... in "Johnny Belinda," star of the long-running TV series "Falcon Crest" and Ronald Reagan's first wife, died Monday morning at 93..."...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

CVO Menu - Oregon Volcanoes and Volcanics

re: links to websites related to Oregon volcanoes and other geological features...

ADF: Jesus painting will remain at Slidell courthouse

re: "New Orleans. — A federal judge Friday refused to grant a demand by the American Civil Liberties Union to have a painting of Jesus Christ removed from a display at the Slidell city courthouse. The judge said that the case, in which Alliance Defense Fund attorneys represented city, parish, and court officials, is essentially over. / “The court today recognized that the First Amendment allows public officials, and not the ACLU, to determine what is appropriate for acknowledging our nation’s legal and cultural heritage,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson. “The ACLU’s sole and stated objective in this case was to have the Jesus painting removed. But the Constitution does not prohibit public buildings from memorializing great figures from our history.” / “It’s sad that we’ve reached a point where such images have to be defended. The ruling today is believed to be the first-ever federal court decision to specifically review and uphold as constitutional an image of an adult Jesus on public display. While such images and other religious symbols are common in public buildings throughout the U.S., none have been challenged in this manner before,” Johnson added. / On Aug. 31, officials with the Slidell City Court mounted 15 portraits of notable lawgivers in history along the walls of the Slidell courthouse to accompany the painting of Jesus that had been on display there for years (www.telladf.org/news/story.aspx?cid=4223). The other portraits include depictions of Moses, Charlemagne, and Sir William Blackstone, among others. Alongside the 16 framed prints are a reproduction of the U.S. Constitution and a mounted explanation of the various figures in the paintings. / “The explanations address how the figures in the display contributed to the foundation of laws that govern our land,” said Johnson. “Even the walls of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., contain marble friezes of ‘great lawgivers in history.’ The ACLU has been effectively halted today in part of its quest to have historical references sandblasted from existence in this country.” / In July, ADF attorneys agreed to represent the city of Slidell, the parish of St. Tammany, and Slidell City Court Judge James “Jim” Lamz in the lawsuit Doe v. Parish of St. Tammany after it was filed by the ACLU. At a hearing Friday, Judge Ivan Lemelle ruled against the ACLU and said that the only remaining issue to be discussed is attorneys’ fees. / “We are very appreciative that Judge Lemelle recognized Judge Lamz’s integrity and honesty throughout this case,” said Slidell City Court spokesperson Ann Barks..."...

Courthouse display that includes Jesus now OK, judge rules - Times-Picayune

re: "A portrait of Jesus Christ may remain on the wall at Slidell City Court as part of an expanded display that includes portraits of 15 other historical figures and a copy of the U.S. Constitution, a federal judge ruled Friday morning in New Orleans..."...

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Book Den: What If? -- Considering Alternative Outcomes to Some of History's Most Significant Military Events

re: "They call it “counterfactual history” nowadays, but it is nothing more than the age-old game of asking “What If” enjoyed by historians and a whole lot of other ponderers. However, the 1999 publication from G.P. Putnam’s Sons entitled What If? The World’s Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been have most definitely set the standards for this tantalizing game for a long time to come. The primary reason for this is the team of scholars assembled for the project – fair-minded, talented and well-informed writers like John Keegan, David McCullough, Stephen Ambrose, Victor Davis Hanson, Thomas Fleming, James M. McPherson, Robert Cowley and more..."...

Roger Williams (theologian) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

re: "...Roger was born to a Puritan family in London, England in about 1603. His father, James Williams (1562-1620), was a merchant in Smithfield, England. His mother was Alice Pemberton (1564-1634).
Under the patronage of Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), the famous jurist, Williams was educated at Sutton's Hospital and at the University of Cambridge, Pembroke College (B.A., 1627). He seems to have had a gift for languages, and early acquired familiarity with Latin, Greek, Dutch, and French. He gave John Milton lessons in Dutch in exchange for lessons in Hebrew..."...

Lancaster Online.com: News : He's (back) in the Army now at 54!

re: "Executive joins Guard, hopes to use his knowledge of chemicals..."

hat tip: Mere Comments

Touchstone Magazine - Mere Comments: Episcopal Resistance in Fort Worth

re: "The bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Fort Worth, Jack Iker, writes his diocese about their relation to the Episcopal Church: ...[snip]... I am pleased to report to you that the realignment of the Anglican Communion is well under way. Take for example the events of last week, when a number of the primates of Provinces of the Global South took the historic action of consecrating three American priests as bishops to provide episcopal ministry and oversight to former Episcopalians here in the States. These congregations share our commitment to the historic Faith and Order of the Church but have decided that they can no longer remain faithful Anglicans and still remain officially associated with The Episcopal Church..."...

One Nation, Under Therapy « Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

re: "Food for thought, today, on the absolute stupidity of what passes for mental health ideology today..."

hat tip: Dr. Sanity

Brandywine Books: The Surest Signs of Vocation

re: "...an indestructible persistency..." in the art of fiction...

Brandywine Books: Free Running

re: "...I'm reading JXIIH's novel, The Dark River, the sequel to The Traveler, and just finished a part describing free runners in London. "Ever hear of the Vast Machine?" one of the London characters asks. "It's the computer systen that watches us with scanner programs and surveillance cameras. The Free Runners refuse to be part of the Vast Machine. We run above it all." / Now I see an article on an actual free runner ... "Free running," reports Brendan O'Neill, "or 'le parkour,' its original French name, is all about overcoming obstacles." Sadly, these men and women give themselves to overcoming constructed obstacles when real, harder obstacles abound, but..."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

About Last Night: Apropos of Arthur Miller

re: "I was never a fan of the plays of Arthur Miller, or of the man himself. Thus I'm as fascinated as everyone else by the recent revelation that he wrote his handicapped son out of his life. I haven't had anything to say about it in print, though, because it happens that I wrote a "Sightings" column last summer in which I discussed in detail the problem of what to do when an artist is discovered to have dirty moral laundry..."...

hat tip: Phil

French President Calls for Educational 'Renaissance': "Religion Should Not Be Left at the School Room Door."

re: Meg Jalsevac: "...Sarkozy explained that such a national rebirth would only be possible through a reform of the French education system. Sarkozy clarified that such a reform must include "rewarding the good, punishing the faults, cultivating an admiration of that which is good, just, beautiful, great, true and profound and [cultivating] a detestation of that which is bad, unjust, ugly, insignificant, untrue, superficial and mediocre. That is how a teacher renders his service to a child in his care." / In his letter, Sarkozy bucked the secularist establishment that has long mandated a total rejection of religion presence in any French schools or curricula. "I am convinced that we should not leave the issue of religion at the school door." He cautioned that he was not advocating for proselytizing in schools or teaching solely "within the framework of a theological approach." / Rather, Sarkozy explained, "The spiritual and the sacred always accompany human experiences. They are the source of all civilization. One can open up [more] easily to others and one can dialogue more easily with people of other religions when one understands their religion."..."...

The American Spectator: An Impoverished Debate

re: Lisa Fabrizio: "...All Americans used to know the way to prosperity for themselves and their families. It was, and is, pretty basic: a two-parent family working as diligently as possible. In his piece, Rector concludes: "In good economic times or bad, the typical poor family with children is supported by only 800 hours of work during a year: That amounts to 16 hours of work per week. If work in each family were raised to 2,000 hours per year -- the equivalent of one adult working 40 hours per week through the year -- nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty." / This, of course, is a truth that Edwards and friends cannot bear to hear or admit. To placate their diverse voting blocs -- feminists, race-baiters, gays, and socialists -- their aim is to keep the "lower" classes low by demeaning marriage, exalting "single moms", encouraging race and class envy, and subsidizing all of the above under the guise of "helping the poor."..."...

The American Spectator: Litigation Nation

re: Ralph R. Reiland: "With a seven-hour trip ahead of us, I asked the station's attendant (Jersey banned self-service gas pumping in 1949, so every station has an attendant) to check the oil. The station wasn't busy and he was just standing around, waiting for the gas pump to automatically click off at sixty dollars or so. "I can't," he said, referring to the oil check. "Some lady came in here in a junker and broke down on the way home and sued us for $10,000... Her car was worth $1,500 -- tops. Her lawyer said it was our fault she broke down because we were the last ones to look at her car." / He continued the story as I popped my hood and got out of the car to check my own oil. "She won. I don't know how much -- if it was the whole $10,000 or not. But the boss says we're not in the business of checking oil anymore." / So now we have a mandated-by-law "full service" station with no service. /There's also no seesaw in our local playground..."...

Cornwell on Dawkins - philosophy and life blog

re: "John Cornwell's new book, Darwin's Angel. /It is a gently written, precision riposte to The God Delusion. Cornwell used to be an agnostic and so appreciates the place of doubt in life. He also 'doubted his doubt' and returned to the Catholic faith - with a nuanced account of it that also helps expose the sometimes scandalous inadequacies of Dawkins' bestseller. /Here's a summary of what Cornwell has to say..."...

hat tip: Frank Wilson

Clash Of Evils - September 5, 2007 - The New York Sun

re: book review by Adam Kirsch: "...But the outsider's perspective that he developed as a scholar of Poland is always in evidence. The very fact that Mr. Davies' history of Britain is not a history of Britain, but a history of "The Isles," suggests how he uses the facts of geography to unsettle the myths of history. Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England are no more Britain, Mr. Davies argues, than Poland and the Czech Republic are "the East." To understand history correctly, we must first rid of ourselves of such illusions, even comforting and comfortable ones. /"No Simple Victory" (Viking, 490 pages, $30), Mr. Davies's new book, is the latest installment in his project of illusion-demolition. This is a revisionist history of World War II, designed to shake the complacency of British and American readers who are accustomed to thinking of it as "the good war." It is not that Mr. Davies has uncovered any important new facts, or even launched any shocking reinterpretations. His purpose, rather, is to remind the world of two truths that, while well-established, he believes are not sufficiently reckoned with. /The first is that, in military terms, World War II in Europe was predominantly a war between Germany and the Soviet Union; the contributions of Britain and America, while crucial, were not of the same order. The second is that, when Nazism and Communism fought over control of Eastern Europe, there was little moral difference between them. The Soviet Union was one of the Allies, but it had less in common with Anglo-American democracy than it did with Nazi tyranny..."...

hat tip: Brothers Judd

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Phi Beta Cons: Where is Our Underground Grammarian

re: "...Following recent Phi Beta Cons postings about the transgressive (or is it traversing?) field that is Medieval Gender Studies and about Nina Asher, gender studies & education prof and spinstress of unreadable prose, I received a number of e-mails from readers commending to my attention a site I had previously not seen. /It hosts the collected volumes of The Underground Grammarian (1977-1991), a defunct monthly newsletter that chronicles abuses of the English language at the hands of academics..."...

Omaha World-Herald: Abortion law sets off fatal injections

re: "In response to the Supreme Court decision last spring upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, many abortion providers around the country have adopted a defensive tactic: To avoid any chance of partly delivering a live infant, they are injecting fetuses with lethal drugs before procedures..."...

hat tip: The Alliance Alert

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today: Kennedys and Wisconsin

re: "...Beebe bought the business after working there a year and Lucey sold the building to the family of President Kennedy. Beebe said the Kennedys bought the building because they wanted a business reason to visit Wisconsin where the former president's sister, Rosemary Kennedy, who was mentally retarded and lobotomized at age 23, spent decades at St. Coletta's in Jefferson until her 2005 death at age 86. //
They "wanted a business reason to visit Wisconsin"?..."...

Max Schulz on Electricity on National Review Online

re: "One hundred twenty-five years ago today, Thomas Edison coolly flipped a switch he had rigged in the offices of his main financial backer, the legendary banker J. P. Morgan..."...

Biblical Theology: Questioning Evangelism

re: Matt Harmon: "This weekend I read the best book on evangelism that I can remember reading. It is called Questioning Evangelism: Engaging People's Hearts the Way Jesus Did by Randy Newman. No, Newman is not questioning the practice of evangelism, but rather advocating that we use questions in our efforts to communicate the gospel with others..."...

AMERICAN FUTURE » Blog Archive » It Is Possible

re: "Jews and Muslims can get along—at least in Panama:..."...

Monday, September 03, 2007

No Left Turns Archive: Essay contest for those interested

re: link to near-deadline essay contest based on "The Closing of The American Mind"...

Two-for-One Deal, Take Two - WSJ.com

re: Jackie Calmes, "DES MOINES, Iowa -- Hillary and Bill Clinton kicked off her fall campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, a rare joint effort calling to mind the uncharted waters of a White House with an ex-president in residence. Many voters in their audiences, even some nonsupporters, saw the potential precedent as a plus. /The Clintons' Labor Day weekend of stumping in New Hampshire and Iowa, the states with the first nominating contests in four months, was the third time they have publicly campaigned together this year. The campaign has focused on letting the New York senator make her case independently of her husband...[snip]...Yesterday, before hundreds of union members and their families at a Labor Day picnic in Sioux City, Iowa, Mrs. Clinton suggested one role for her husband should she be elected: repairing the country's reputation in the world after what the Clintons and other critics charge is the damage done during the Bush years. /"The day I'm elected," she said, "I'm going to be asking distinguished Americans -- including my husband -- of both parties, to start traveling around the world, and not just talking to governments and leaders, but talking directly to people and telling them that America is back."...[snip]...Mr. Clinton has said he would continue as head of his Clinton Foundation, although that could raise a variety of foreign-policy issues or conflicts, given its global work on AIDS, poverty and global warming. /When Mr. Clinton first ran for president, in 1992, his suggestion that his wife would be a sort of co-president sparked controversy. So far, the idea of them returning as president and ex-president seems to have caused relatively little..."...

The Outsider's Insider - washingtonpost.com

re: By Perry Bacon Jr., Washington Post Staff Writer: "Sen. Barack Obama had hired Pete Rouse for just such a moment. /It was the fall of 2005, and the celebrated young senator -- still new to Capitol Hill but aware of his prospects for higher office -- was thinking about voting to confirm John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice. Talking with his aides, the Illinois Democrat expressed admiration for Roberts's intellect. Besides, Obama said, if he were president he wouldn't want his judicial nominees opposed simply on ideological grounds. /And then Rouse, his chief of staff, spoke up. This was no Harvard moot-court exercise, he said. If Obama voted for Roberts, Rouse told him, people would remind him of that every time the Supreme Court issued another conservative ruling, something that could cripple a future presidential run. Obama took it in. And when the roll was called, he voted no..."...

hat tip: Betsy's Page

FIRST THINGS: On the Square » Blog Archive » The Last Stand of Rowan Williams

re: Jordan Hylden: "...But if you’re one of the many who wishes that the daily grind could be postponed for just a bit longer, it may at least be some small consolation to know that Rowan Williams feels your pain. Although, in his case, it is probably increased by several orders of magnitude—for when he gets back to his drafty old medieval office on the banks of the Thames, he has waiting for him an Anglican Communion that may soon explode into a million tiny pieces. And, what’s worse, it nearly all depends upon him..."...

Captain's Quarters: See Your Doctor Or Go To Jail?

re: "John Edwards has a strange way of distilling foolishness to its essence, and he showed that talent yesterday when talking about his vision of health care. In remarks curiously ignored by newspapers today, Edwards insisted that his plan would force people to seek health evaluations, whether they desire one or not..."...

Cardinal Francis Joseph Spellman

re: info on Francis Cardinal Spellman at the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site website, noting the public feud between Spellman and Roosevelt, and also their later efforts to diffuse the tension...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Nazarene Communications Network - New church on Central Nicaragua District made up of one-time enemies

re: "...Recently, the Central District of Nicaragua formed its 45th church. Led by Agustin Martinez, this new Nazarene church of 35 members is located in the community of Timal, Tipitapa within the city of Managua. The church is a product of the Tipitapa Church of the Nazarene, which is pastored by Bayardo Gordon and "has a purpose of starting new mission churches." /Interestingly, this new congregation is made up of opposite combatants of the civil war from the 1980’s..."...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Miss O'Hara: Friday Photo & Mental Meanderings

re: links, commentary on wide range of topics, from Labor Day to beauty and dressing like a lady, Bush, Iran, World War II, Sarkozy, more...

The Weekly Standard blog: Outrage in Berlin Over Chinese Cyber Attacks

re: "The current cover story of Germany’s weekly magazine Der Spiegel, titled "The Yellow Spies: How China Spies Out German Technology," has triggered a big political debate in Berlin about how to manage the country’s political and economic relations with Beijing..."...

If You Build It, They Will Take It

re: Jonathan V. Last, "Eminent domain appeared in the presidential campaign recently when Sen. John McCain addressed the Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo decision. In a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, McCain called Kelo "one of the most alarming reductions of freedom in our lifetimes." In the course of defending property rights, McCain promised to appoint Supreme Court justices who would take the Constitution seriously and said he might "seek to amend the Constitution to protect private property rights in America." /To those who follow the issue, it was bracing stuff. The questions of how and when property may be taken for public use--and what constitutes just compensation when property is taken--are vital but technical. It's a rare day when they make their way into a politician's stump speech. The only hiccup came afterwards. In an interview with Power Line's Paul Mirengoff, McCain pointed to Iowa as a good example of how states can and should respond to the Kelo decision. In reality, Iowa is a good example of how slippery eminent domain reform can be..."...

A Novel Interpretation

re: Philip Terzian: "Bush understands Graham Greene better than his critics"...

Power Line: LOST

re: "In three books over the past ten years, George Mason University Law School Professor Jeremy Rabkin has argued the case for the importance of national sovereignty. With Why Sovereignty Matters in 1998, The Case for Sovereignty in 2004 (NRO interviewed here), and Law Without Nations? in 2005, Professor Rabkin's argument has only become more compelling over time. /The new issue of the Weekly Standard features Professor Rabkin's article on the Law of the Sea Treaty that the Bush administration is unaccountably urging the Senate to ratify. Professor Rabkin's article is "How many lawyers does it take to sink the U.S. Navy?" ..."...

FIRST THINGS: The Politics of Global Warming

re: Thomas Sieger Derr, "With the virtual apotheosis of Al Gore, talk of global warming has become pervasive—and pervasively one-sided... Through it all, one would never know there are dissenters of distinguished credentials in the scientific community. Even where their existence is admitted, they are thoroughly marginalized, accused of being in the pay of the oil companies... or dismissed as over-the-hill retirees out of touch and perhaps a bit senile. Their articles are denied publication in Science and Nature, those two so-called flagship science journals of high reputation despite some embarrassing lapses. /When dissenters do speak and publish, the majority who embrace the prevailing theory that humans are causing global warming try to silence them... The result is that anyone who finds the dissenters persuasive—including me—is suspected of being a right-wing extremist, making politics determine science... This dismal state of affairs is made possible by an astonishing historical amnesia..."...

FIRST THINGS: On the Square » Blog Archive » Deciding When You Don’t Know for Sure

re: Richard John Neuhaus, "...we act in the courage of our uncertainties. I am fond of pointing out that the word decide comes from the Latin decidere, to cut off. You face choices—whether to be a priest, whether to go to this school or that, whether to marry a certain person, whether to pursue this line of work or another—and then you decide. And, in deciding, you have cut off the alternatives and pray you have decided rightly. But you do not know for sure. Alternatively, you are trapped in the tangled web of indecision. /In this connection, I have had frequent recourse, both homiletically and personally, to one of the most liberating passages from Saint Paul, 1 Corinthians 4... [snip]... I was thinking about the above while reading a recent and splendid book by John Peter Kenney on Augustine’s Confessions. The book is The Mysticism of Saint Augustine and, in Kenney’s “rereading” of Augustine’s classic text, the emphasis is on the inescapably Christocentric character of Augustine’s experience. /This is against the frequent reading of the Confessions as a psychological thriller, which downplays the specifically Christian and theological in Augustine’s story..."...

FIRST THINGS: What Is Anglicanism?

re: Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi writes, "...I have the privilege of serving as archbishop of the Church of Uganda, providing spiritual leadership and oversight to more than nine million Anglicans. Uganda is second only to Nigeria as the largest Anglican province in the world, and most of our members are fiercely loyal to their global communion. But however we come to understand the current crisis in Anglicanism, this much is apparent: The younger churches of Anglican Christianity will shape what it means to be Anglican. The long season of British hegemony is over. /The preface to the Book of Common Prayer states, “It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’ that in his worship different forms and usages may without offense be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire; and that, in every Church, what cannot be clearly determined to belong to Doctrine must be referred to Discipline.” /And yet, despite this clear distinction, contemporary Anglicans are in danger of confusing doctrine and discipline..."...

FIRST THINGS: Grooving on Jesus

re: Sally Thomas reviews the book Hippies of the Religious Right by Preston Shires, and finds herself in some disagreement with the author along the way...

Head to Head: Abortion Counseling . NOW | PBS

re: "We asked Linda Cochrane and Faye Wattleton the same nine questions to bring greater insight into both sides of the post-abortion counseling debate. Cochrane is the author of "Forgiven and Set Free" and a consultant on post-abortion recovery for Care Net, an organization of over 1,000 Christian pregnancy centers. Wattleton is president of the Center for the Advancement of Women, a women's advocacy group, and a former president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America..."...

Paraplegic woman welcomes baby early as support pours in :: Redding Record Searchlight

re: "When word got out that mother-to-be Gypsie Jones needed her crib adapted to allow access from her wheelchair, the response was a welcome surprise -- about a dozen strangers stepped up to offer help..."...

hat tip: Care Net

touchdowncities

re: "One of Care Net's key commitments is to bring needed pregnancy center services to women and men in underserved urban areas. As many of you know, the National Football League supports teams in 32 of the largest cities across the United States. What you may not know is that in most of these "Touchdown Cities" pregnancy center services are scarce. Abortion providers greatly outnumber pregnancy centers in these cities, leaving women without the care or support they often need to carry their pregnancies to term... Over the next three months, Care Net is seeking to raise $75,000 to open a new urban pregnancy center in downtown Philadelphia, Care Net's first "Touchdown" City... Many of you may remember Herbert Lusk, the former Philadelphia Eagle who became known as the "Praying Tailback" for his public acknowledgment of God after each touchdown. Now Senior Pastor of Greater Exodus Baptist Church, Herbert Lusk is leading a ministry called People For People, which meets the needs of thousands of young women in Philadelphia through job training, mentoring, childcare services, and financial assistance. /Now, People For People and Pastor Lusk desire to add pregnancy center services to their ministry..."...