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Thursday, May 13, 2004

Vatican Curator of Meteorites
Interesting interview.

Link from Mark Shea.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

This is nice
When I typed "morning prayer" into MS Word, it highlighted it as a grammar error and suggested "Morning Prayer" as a replacement. Someone at Microsoft is religious!

Stump Speech
"I have little interest in streamlining government or in making
it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not
undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom.
My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to
inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence
to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose,
or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden...
And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents'
interests, I shall reply that I was informed their main interest
is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I
can." --Barry Goldwater

As Goldwater said in The Conscience of a Conservative, I long to hear a candidate for office use this as their campaign speech.

Quotes Worth Remembering
"The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life." --Theodore Roosevelt

"One of the Iraqi prisoners who was abused by U.S. reservists says he is so humiliated he can't return to his hometown. So, he wants to come live in the United States. Think about this for a minute. This Iraqi is abused by Americans. As a result of that abuse he wants to go live in America... We are one evil, horrible country, aren't we?" --Neal Boortz

Repeal the 17th Amendment!
Just about anything that will restrain the growth of the federal government gets my vote.

This is cool
Baseball's existed even longer than we thought.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

How arrogant
Unsatisfied with what he preceives as an imbalance in the funding of Kansas public schools, a judge has ordered all public schools closed.

That's one way to guarantee equality: make sure no children (except the home-schooled or those who attend private or parochial schools) get an education.

This is just one more piece of evidence that judges have assumed too much power. It's about time the state legislatures and governors just started ignoring some of the more egregious judicial rulings.

Conlin shows a lack of understanding
He clearly shows that he doesn't understand what makes a baseball lineup click.

But nobody complained about Glanville's leadoff ethic in 1999. That's when he hit .325, scored 101 runs and lashed a career-best 204 hits, including 11 homers. Doug also stole 34 bases. He even walked a career-high 48 times.

(All of my stats come courtesy of ESPN's website.)

I don't care how good a quote machine Glanville is, 1999 was luck. Look at every other year of his career. He career on-base percentage is .317, well below average for any non-pitcher, much less a lead-off hitter. And the last time Glanville had an OBP above his career average was 1999.

What's the real problem with the Phillies offense? The fact that when Randy Wolf isn't the starting pitcher, you have about 5 automatic outs in the lineup. The highest OBP among Bell, Byrd, Rollins, Polanco and Lieberthal is Byrd's .327. (Rollins is at an embarassing .279.) (I do believe Byrd will start hitting though, his track record proves it. He's a hitter, I don't have his minor league splits, but he needed time to warm up last year too.)

Another issue is their lack of results with runners in scoring position: only a .196 batting average, but with a .320 OBP and a .347 SLG. While the slugging's a little low, this says to me that they're hitting in bad luck. (For comparison, Phillies opponents are hitting .235/.314/.330) Balls will start falling in, Byrd will pick up the pace and we'll score runs.

Not that I wouldn't mind an upgrade at shortstop....

Iraqi Prisoner Abuse
This article does an excellent job of saying what I was trying to say in my post below.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Al Mascitti
I don't really have any opinion on this article, but I link to it mostly to point out what I most dislike about Mr. Mascitti's columns: his assumption that everyone who disagrees with him is either bigoted, stupid or motivated by self-interest. It's apparently impossible for anyone of good character to disagree with him.

And that's why I can't take any of his opinions seriously.

What a Bishop!
Not so much the current bishop of Savannah, who's closing churches out of fear of damage by protesters. (And while we're on the subject, why are these protesters allowed to protest? It's largely the same people at every G-8 protest and they always turn violent. I understand the right to protest must be respected, but there's got to be a happy medium between squashing protests completely and allowing the same people to pre-plan violent riots.)


Archbishop Hughes seems to be my sort of bishop. I'd heard this story before, but it wasn't presented this boldly.

West Wing Gossip
From a friend who lives and works in Annapolis:
The West Wing is filming across the street from [my] office today. Apparently, they are shooting the funeral scene for the final episode at the church on Church Circle.

Those wondering who dies in the episode, I can tell you it is not the chief of staff, the first lady or Dule (They were filmed walking in with Sheen into the church) I can also tell you that Martin Sheen has a very fathead!

I don't watch the West Wing, but thought I'd pass it along, "fathead" comment and all.

What am I missing?
I really don't understand the calls for Rumsfeld to resign over the abuse at Abu Ghraib. Yes, what happened was awful. Yes, those responsible should be punished. Yes, the investigation and any necessary prosecutions should go as high up the chain of command as appropriate.

However, unless there's any evidence that Rumsfeld approved, encouraged or condoned these actions, then I don't think there's any need for him to resign.

One thing to remember is that these incidents have been known about since January when the military announced they were launching an investigation in reports about these incidents. These, so far, seem to be the actions of a few individuals and not some widespread conspiracy to humiliate and torture prisoners. (From my knowledge, at least. I haven't read every article written about this.)

Let the military justice system deal with those proven to be responsible for this, and only if there's shown to be a cover-up or some broader conspiracy should any leaders take a fall.

My current reading

(Scroll down in the window once the new page is loaded to see more about the book.)

This is an excellent book. It's written so that someone who's never been to a Catholic Mass can read it and understand what happens, but it's also excelent at explaining the roots of Catholic liturgical practices and showing where they come from in the Bible. It also provides suggestions on how to make Mass more effective for you.

I'd highly recommend this for anyone looking to get more out of Mass every time they go.

Now, I do hate the Yankees, so I'm glad when they have problems.

But, as a baseball fan, I try to be objective when analyzing results. So, when they were slumping a few weeks, I didn't declare them done and pretty much assumed that they'd right themselves.

Which they did.

However, when your plan for improving your team involves Donovan Osbourne as
a) a member of your team, and
b) starting
you've got problems.

I don't follow the Yankees closely enough to know if there's an excuse. (It's a one-time thing; someone got scratched suddenly; terrorists took a member of Joe Torre's family hostage and demanded he start), but this doesn't look good for the Yankees.

Which makes me happy.

Good Quote
"In the fourth century, a monk thought he heard God telling him
to go to Rome... He followed a crowd into the Colosseum and
saw the gladiators. He realized they were going to fight to
the death. He cried out, 'In the Name of Christ, stop!'... made
his way through the crowd and climbed the wall into the arena...
As he was pleading with the gladiators... one of them plunged his
sword into his body... his last words were, 'In the Name of Christ,
stop!' Suddenly the gladiators stood looking at this tiny form...
In dead silence, everyone left. That was the last battle in
the Colosseum. One tiny voice... 'In the Name of Christ, stop!'
We could be saying that today." --Ronald Reagan

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