Paul Smith Jr has a new home for his blog: www.gazizza.net. Click to go there now!

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Waugh on Faith
"My dear fellow, you can't imagine. Without my faith, I should be scarcely human."
--Evelen Waugh after one of his friends chided him for not being a better Christian

Friday, May 21, 2004

I don't know who should be more embarassed
Germans for liking Hasselhoof, or Hasselhoff for being in this video....

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Another Bishop on Communion for pro-abortion Catholics
I thought this was a good article as well. It's also nice to see a bishop admit that the bishops failed in their duty to correct their fellow bishops who weren't handling "The Situation" well. Hopefully, we'll begin to see more fraternal correction among our bishops.

Conservative Opposed to Bush
This is a real threat, and I believe helps explain the numbers we're seeing on Bush. It would be interesting to see a detailed breakdown of the polling numbers. What percentage of the undecided is liberal, moderate or conservative? If the numbers skew conservative, that would seem to be good news for Bush.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

It's just not fair!
How can a 40 year-old be this good? The really frightening thing is that Roger Clemens might be even better at a year older.

A perfect game. Wow.

Exhibit 53
This article is evidence of the point I made below: Catholics just don't udnerstand the Eucharist.

What he said
Australian Prime Minister John Howard:

"If we lose heart, if we abandon our friends, if we choose to give the wrong signal to the terrorists, that will not only make the world a less safe place but also damage the reputation of this country around the world."


"The reality is that international terrorism has invested an enormous amount in breaking the will of the coalition. The terrorists know that if democracy is installed in Iraq they have lost. Iraq is the key to creating new hope for the people of the Middle East."

At least one nation in Europe still knows how fight
This is just impressive:

OUTNUMBERED British soldiers killed 35 Iraqi attackers in the Army’s first bayonet charge since the Falklands War 22 years ago.
The fearless Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders stormed rebel positions after being ambushed and pinned down.

Despite being outnumbered five to one, they suffered only three minor wounds in the hand-to-hand fighting near the city of Amara.

The battle erupted after Land Rovers carrying 20 Argylls came under attack on a highway.

After radioing for back-up, they fixed bayonets and charged at 100 rebels using tactics learned in drills.

Bizarre Baseball Injuries
Boswell is the best baseball writer around as long as he's not discussing what makes a winning team.

Good quotes
"But are we to credit... seriously the crackpot supposition that
this was a war for oil, the price of which, since the war, has
gone up? And why then did we not invade Venezuela? It's closer,
and the food is better." --Mark Helprin

"The Ohio Democrat Party has named raunchy former talk show host
Jerry Springer as a delegate to the Democrat National Convention
in Boston, the Associated Press reports. The party also named
Springer 'Democrat of the Year.' Imagine how humiliating this
was to the runner-up." --James Taranto

Good article
(Note: link requires registration.)

I do believe that denying pro-abortion Catholic politicians the Eucharist would be less controversial if people really and truly believed in the Real Presence. Currently, everyone receives, so it becomes seen as a "right." This is false: none of us have a right to receive Christ, even those who aren't in a state of mortal sin. It's why we repeat the words of the Centurion right before the reception: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed."

Those who persist in mortal sin are called not to receive the Body of Christ as they have willfully cut themselves off from Communion with God. (Reception of the Eucharist is referred to as Communion since it is partially a symbol of the communion we already possess with God.) Those in a state of mortal sin are not in communion with Him.

The Church normally puts the burden on the individual to examine their own conscience and determine whether they are able to receive the Eucharist. Any person who does receive the Eucharist while in a state of mortal sin is guilty of an additional sin. As Catholics, we have a responsibility (and priests and even greater one) to help others avoid sin.

Viewed in this context, denying reception of the Eucharist to those publicly sinning is not a "punishment," but rather an act of charity. Those guilty of grave sin need to make a confession, perform their penance and then go forth and try with all sincerity to avoid that sin again. Denying the Eucharist serves as a wake-up call. It's not excommunication; it's merely a recognition of grave and public sin.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

My current reading
A Bible Study guide to archetypes of the Catholic Church in the first five books of the Bible. Have only read the introductions, so I can't comment too specifically on it yet.

Does anyone know of a good book on similarities between jewish and Catholic religious practices? (Or even a good website?) I've heard there are many similarities, but haven't been able to find anything. Thanks.

I clearly need to read Mark Steyn more often

More "Victory for moderates" articles
Ron Williams
Al Mascitti

(Note, once again Al Mascitti declares those in disagreement with him to be bigots.)

I put some thought into why this past weekend's convention is considered a victory for the "moderate" wing of the party. (Remember, liberals are never called such. They're always moderates.) Here's my theories, both of which I think come into play:

1) It's spin.
The "moderates" of the party, and the News Journal, would love for the Republican Party to be dragged to the left. So they report that it is, hoping that their reporting becomes reality. (To the News Journal, two liberal/moderate parties is infinitely preferable to one liberal party and one conservative party.)

2) They don't know any better.
I think there's often an assumption on the part of the GOP "moderates" that if you get along with them and work well with them, you're one of them. Conservatives are those outsiders, trying to "take over" their party. The "moderates" are those on the inside. When I was involved, leaders of the party often spoke to me about their worries about the conservatives gaining strength. (It really made me wonder if they remembered who they were talking to.)
I think they sometimes see things as a "moderate" vs. conservative that aren't. The Bill Lee election was not a conservative vs. moderate election. As I stated below, a number of conservatives didn't really like Protack, and it's not like Lee is a liberal, but that's still counted as a moderate victory.

I've talked to a couple of conservatives about this concept, and they agree with me on this point: the convention was not about liberals vs. conservatives, and we really don't understand the protrayal of it as such.

The Passion is out August 31st

I know how she feels

Monday, May 17, 2004

Two words: Tax. Cut.

There's a simple solution to this
Put political cartoons such as Doonesbury, Boondocks and Non Sequiter on the editorial pages.

No cleavage means no cleavage
"There's cleavage, but when you're as big as Dannielle, there's going to be cleavage," [her mother] said. "There's nothing I can do about that."

You couldn't find a single dress that wouldn't violate the rules?

Pope wonders if he should have been stricter
My natural instinct is "Of course he should have been," but there's a reason (or many reasons) I'm not the Pope and never will be. But, I tend to defer to this Pope's judgement. Yes, I would have liked to see a stronger line taken against the willful disobedience we so often see, but at the same time that could have caused a schism, which would endanger may souls.

Stalin referred to Westerners who believed him to be interested in peace as "useful idiots." What should we call those who still believe in him?

And She Should
I always get mocked for simply loving Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, but I always felt it was one of the best written shows on TV in a long time. I enjoyed the humor, the comparisons of the fantasy-laden plots to real-life problems all teenagers faced, and the fight scenes were usually pretty cool.

I honestly thought the quality of the show declined when the graduated high school after Season 3. It continued to decline until it bottomed out in Season 6. The characters didn't seem to be themselves any more, and it also turned into quasi-porn. It seemed every episode had more to do with relationships and not about fighting demons and other baddies. There are plenty of soaps operas on TV. "Buffy" didn't need to join that list.

The episodes Gellar is talking about here is when I had the hardest time defending the show. A friend of mine actually caught part of an episode and began wondering what sort of shows I watch.

Gellar is completely correct in feeling uncomfortable about those episodes. It was hard to shake the feeling that some of the writers were living out their own sexual fantasies though the show.

I don't even know what to say...

Sunday, May 16, 2004

More thoughts on Delaware GOP Convention
I didn't attend the dinner Friday night. Those things are usually boring, so I had made plans to attend the Catholic Young Adult Ministry outing to the Delmarva Shorebirds game.

I got back to my motel room about 10:30 or so. I walked down to Ruddertown (about a 12 minute walk), intending to head straight to the Best Western where there is normally at least one hospitality suite. (Meaning: free beer!) For some reason, I decided to head towards the Rudder instead. Not seeing anyone I recognized outdoors at the bars, I decided to pop up to the dinner room. I was stunned to see that dinner was still going on at this time. Don't they know there's beer to be consumed?

And then the hospitality suite wasn't all that fun. Too many people in a small room, with the best beer available being Coors Light. I left pretty quickly.

The next morning, it seemed that no one was really interested in the convention, with the possible exception of the candidates who had reason to care. Before the voting even began, we were ready to leave. (The fact it was a beautiful day did not help at all.)

The lunch was the best I have ever had at one of these events. Caesar salad, green beans, rolls, that weird colored bow tie pasta, chicken and stuffed shells. That was impressive.

The convention didn't seem that well organized to me. People who were supposed to speak weren't introduced to do so. Lists that should have been on the podium weren't.

The demonstrations were disappointing. Bill Lee's was by far the most energetic and crowd-pleasing. Mike Protack's was simply him giving a Powerpoint presentation. (Yes, Mike, we know you think that you're the one who can reach new voters, but you never explain why we should agree with you. Repeating something over and over again without explaining it isn't going to convince us.) The cutest moment was the "Urso!" "Marso!" chant after Jim received the nomination. (It took me a few seconds to figure out they were trying to do a "Marco Polo" thing. I was very tired that day.)

For those who don't know, I used to be really involved politically. Even held a position of leadership. The thing that most amuses me about going back to these things now that I'm gone is the difference in how I'm treated. It's funny watching people who would always be ready to come over talk to me and seem to be interested who now don't have time to give me more than a curt "Hey, how you doing?" and then move on now that I'm no use to them. If I ever do get back involved (unlikely), I'll take great care to remember who's who.

gMovies I know I shouldn't like, but I do
Inspired by a post on another blo. (I don't remember which one...)

Bring It On
Dude, Where's My Car?
Flash Gordon
Saved By The Bell
(OK, it's a TV show, but I know I shouldn't like it)

Firearms Refresher Course
An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

Glock: The original point and click interface.

Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

Free Men Do not ask permission to bear arms.

If you don't know your rights you don't have any.

Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.

What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.

64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

Guns only have two enemies: rust and liberals.

Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.

You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

Assault is a behavior, not a device.

Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.

If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them..

You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

Enforce the "gun control laws" we have, don't make more.

When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

".. A government of the people, by the people, for the people..."

You can have my gun when you pry it from my dead, cold hand!

Gun control means using both hands.

Saint Gianna
"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" - John 15:13

A defeat for conservatives?
This weekend's Republican State Cnvention is being portrayed as a defeat for conservatives. This doesn't make any sense.

1) The National Committeeman's Race: By way of disclaimer, I don't know John Draper. But from what I'm told, he's more conservative than Laird Stabler. John Matlusky, who was selected as National Committeeman is also a conservative. His decision to run against Draper was less about a political difference than a sense that Draper entered the race in an inappropriate manner, giving Stabler only a week's notice that he would have to mount a campaign. Based on John's comments during his speech (and the gossip around the weekend), he felt that was disrespectful and that the conduct should not be rewarded. Despite only getting in the race the day before, John was able to win due to be universally liked within the party.

2) Judge Lee is probably not as conservative as Mike Protack, but again, this race was not decided on idelogical grounds. For one, Lee has decent name identification, is well-liked in the party and is just seen as more electable. (Plus, many delegates now feel he should have been the nominee in 2000. May not have won, but certainly would have run a better race.) Also, Protack had burned a few bridges. First, he upset people by offering to get out of the Governor's race if he were elected state chairman in 2003. This smacked of extortion. Also, he challenged the credentials of over 100 of the delegates elected. (Including me, although he was able to find my house one day and leave me a note.) Additionally, Lee was a Reagan delegate to National Convention in 1976, so he's certainly no liberal.

3) The race for Lieutenant Governor was largely decided by Lee's endorsement of Jim Ursomarso. He received a larger victory margin, partly due to his popularity and the relative unpopularity of his opponent. And, Jim seems more conservative than Tyler based on my dealings with them.

4) I can't really speak to what moved the endorsement in the Insurance Commissioner's race. I don't personally understand the responsibilities of the position, and I voted based on the recommendations I received from people I trust. I think most people voted on electability or friendship rather than ideology.

None of these races really turned on ideology, but conservatives really have nothing to be disappointed about in the results this weekend. The party is generally moving in a rightward direction and gaining more seats. Despite what the moderates/liberals might say, those two aren't unrelated.

Does anyone really think DOMA will be upheld?
I wrote all three of Delaware's representatives in Congress urging them to support the Federal Marriage Amendment.

All three wrote back with a response along the lines of: "With the Defense of Marriage Act in place, it's my opinion that a Constitutional Amendment is not necessary." I don't know if they're lying to themselves or to me, but they're wrong. I can see no way that this Supreme Court upholds the Defense of Marriage Act. (I support its goal, but I'm not sure _I_ can justify it Constitutionally, so I see no way the Sandra Day O'Connor and the other legislators on the Court will rule against what their obvious opinions are.)

At the end of the day, one of two things will be true: we will have nation-wide same-sex "marriage" or we will have a Constitutional amendment defending the true definition of marriage.

Discussion of Bishop Sheridan's Pastoral Letter
National Review:

Mark Shea's Catholic and Enjoying It:

Amy Welborn's Open Book:

Strongest Statement Yet
"Money" quotes:
In the midst of what could be a difficult and confusing exercise it is very important to remember that not all issues are of equal gravity. As men and women of good will we strive to achieve true justice for all people and to preserve their rights as human beings. There is, however, one right that is “inalienable”, and that is the RIGHT TO LIFE. This is the FIRST right. This is the right that grounds all other human rights. This is the issue that trumps all other issues.
Any Catholic politicians who advocate for abortion, for illicit stem cell research or for any form of euthanasia ipso facto place themselves outside full communion with the Church and so jeopardize their salvation. Any Catholics who vote for candidates who stand for abortion, illicit stem cell research or euthanasia suffer the same fateful consequences. It is for this reason that these Catholics, whether candidates for office or those who would vote for them, may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled with God and the Church in the Sacrament of Penance.
As in the matter of abortion, any Catholic politician who would promote so-called “same-sex marriage” and any Catholic who would vote for that political candidate place themselves outside the full communion of the Church and may not receive Holy Communion until they have recanted their positions and been reconciled by the Sacrament of Penance.

Can't waitto see the fur fly over this one....

Jonah Goldberg on Iraq and the Election
This does another good job of summing up some views I tried to explain before.

I'm not supporting Bush because he's George Bush, or because he's the Republican. The fact is, he's been disappointing to me on a number of fronts. But I do believe this election is very important since it could decide the path we will take on the war on terrorism for years to come. And Bush, while nowhere near perfect, is at least on the correct side of that issue.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Favorite Links | Sample Code | Resume | Pictures | Favorite Quotes | Contact | Blog
Copyright © 2004, PaulSmithJr.com