Paul Smith Jr has a new home for his blog: www.gazizza.net. Click to go there now!
Friday, July 09, 2004
This is hilarious
The History of the Vice-President
It's a very cheap shot and stupid but well done. The Marvin Gaye soundtrack just makes it so right.
This is a great idea
Interesting summary of the Vice-Presidency, why it was created and why it has no responsibilities: It's main purpose was to force the members of the Electoral College (as originally devised) to be honest with their votes and vote at least one of their ballots for the best man, rather than just a favorite son.
The Only Poll that matters
I'd love to see the old-timers go at it again. I remember enjoying the Old-Timer's game they had in 1983 (I think). Why'd they stop that?
It's official: Bush has better hair than Kerry.
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Quotes on Government
Philly's Sad Sports History
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." --P.J. O'Rourke
"This court seems incapable of admitting that some matters -- any matters -- are none of its business." --Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Article on the Republican National Convention Speaker's List
The fact that it was Ed Rendell encouraging Eagles fan to throw snowballs at the Cowboys bench in that famous incident makes me respect the man even more.
The point of this article is essentially that this is no longer Reagan's Republican Party. Look at some of the speakers:
New York Governor George Pataki
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Arizona Senator John McCain
The last three make sense: they're popular nationwide and can draw non-traditional Republican voters to the party. However, this lineup does really represent a pimp slap to voters who care about moral issues. As Kate O'Beirne writes: "When the only Reagan Republican to enjoy a prominent supporting role at the party's convention is a Democrat, the GOP has a serious identity problem."
Although a theory I was given this past weekend would say it's not an identity problem, but a concious makeover of the Republican party. My friend's theory was this: "Reagan may have made a new Republican Party, but the Bushes are remaking it again in their image." They've learned the lesson the Rockefellers and their ideological kin never did: you can't write off the coservatives and expect to win. So, you give the conservatives just enough to keep them happy and in the fold, while governing like a Rockefeller. "W" gives the conservatives tax cuts and some lip service (along with some legitimate accomplishments on fetal stem-cells, and abortion and condoms overseas), while also giving us a huge expansion in government including the largest government entitlement since the "Great Society."
I still think I'll vote for him since this is such an important election for the War on Terror and Kerry is such an awful choice, but my dedication is fading.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
You find Catholic Theology in the weirdest places
Reforming California's Government
After a hard day's work yesterday, I crashed on the couch in the late afternoon and caught most of Forbidden Planet
, which I've read is loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest. I was stunned when I came across an excellent example of the Catholic belief in concupisence
To summarize the relevant plot points as briefly as I can, an Earth spaceship lands on a distant planet and finds two survivors of an spacewreck a few years before, a man and his daughter. Others from the first ship had landed safely, but were killed by some force on the planet, leaving the man and his daughter alone on the planet, but safe from attack, for many years. As time goes on, they come under attack from a creature that seems to have no vulnerabilities. The man shows come of the crew from the second Earth ship great technology that had been developed by the previous inhabitants of the planet who just before they all mysteriously vanished were working on a means of freeing themselves from the need for physical existence so their needs could be met by their wills.
It turns out the aliens has succeeded in their goals, developing a machine they could control with their own wills. Unfortunately, their Ids had succeeded in making use of the machine to act out on all of their jealousies and anger they had kept suppressed. Even the Krell (as they were called), advanced as they were, still fell to their inner pettiness and jealousies and this led to the extinction of their race.
Through some investigation, they realize that the male survivor was responsible for creating the creatures that had wiped out the rest of the first crew and was working on killing the second.
This ties into Catholic theology very neatly. No matter how "advanced" we become technologically or morally, we will still be subject the vagaries of our tendency to sin. We will still face anger, jealousy and other passions that we would like to drive out of ourselves. We are not perfectible, at least without God's help in the next world.
A bit more thought-provoking than I really wanted to deal with at that time, but I'm glad I saw it.
Ratzinger advised Bishops to deny Pro-Abortion Politicians Communion
"Every governor proposes moving boxes around to reorganize government. I don't want to move boxes around. I want to blow them up." -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in his inaugural address
Tough words. I hope he means them.