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Thursday, March 24, 2005

"It was not for societies or states that Christ died, but for men." --C.S. Lewis

"When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the Prince of Glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride." --Isaac Watts

"I still can't help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where...is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time -- possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, property-less young man has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived -- all of them put together. How do we explain that -- unless He really was what He
said He was?" --Ronald Reagan

FAMILY GUY :: FOX Broadcasting Company
It comes back May 1st at 9 PM!!!

One of the funniest moments in the show:

Image from Planet Family Guy.

The bizarre passion of the pull-the-tube people - Peggy Noonan
I do not understand why people who want to save the whales (so do I) find campaigns to save humans so much less arresting. I do not understand their lack of passion. But the save-the-whales people are somehow rarely the stop-abortion-please people.
The PETA people, who say they are committed to ending cruelty to animals, seem disinterested in the fact of late-term abortion, which is a cruel procedure performed on a human.

I do not understand why the don't-drill-in-Alaska-and-destroy-its-prime-beauty people do not join forces with the don't-end-a-life-that-holds-within-it-beauty people.

I do not understand why those who want a freeze on all death penalty cases in order to review each of them in light of DNA testing--an act of justice and compassion toward those who have been found guilty of crimes in a court of law--are uninterested in giving every last chance and every last test to a woman whom no one has ever accused of anything.

There are passionate groups of women in America who decry spousal abuse, give beaten wives shelter, insist that a woman is not a husband's chattel. This is good work. Why are they not taking part in the fight for Terri Schiavo? Again, what explains their lack of passion on this? If Mrs. Schiavo dies, it will be because her husband, and only her husband, insists she wanted to, or would want to, or said she wanted to in a hypothetical conversation long ago. A thin reed on which to base the killing of a human being.

The pull-the-tube people say, "She must hate being brain-damaged." Well, yes, she must. (This line of argument presumes she is to some degree or in some way thinking or experiencing emotions.) Who wouldn't feel extreme sadness at being extremely disabled? I'd weep every day, wouldn't you? But consider your life. Are there not facets of it, or facts of it, that make you feel extremely sad, pained, frustrated, angry? But you're still glad you're alive, aren't you? Me too. No one enjoys a deathbed. Very few want to leave.

Beltway Buzz on National Review Online
Harry Reid yesterday led a bipartisan delegation of senators to Iraq. Democrats on the trip had a surprisingly positive response to what they saw and heard on the ground.

Harry Reid “all but ensured” passage of the $81 billion funding requests for Iraq/Afghanistan funds, stating, “Everyone understands that reconstruction is an important part of the U.S. mission here.”

Even Barbara Boxer added, “We got a very, very upbeat report,” from U.S. commanders on the ground.

Longtime war critic Dick Durbin said, “One of the people we met with today called Iraq 'an infant democracy,' and we can't leave this infant alone. I believe what we are seeing here is good.”
Good for them. I'm glad to see they can overcome their oppositions to recognize that we 1) have a responsibility to the new Iraqi democracy we helped create and 2) acknowledge that there are, indeed, many good things (and more good than bad) happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Barbara M. Sullivan on Shroud of Turin on National Review Online
A couple of decades old, but it still has some interesting scientific analysis of the Shroud I hadn't seen before.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"There are those who believe that a new modernity demands a new morality. What they fail to consider is the harsh reality that there is no such thing as a new morality. There is only one morality. All else is immorality." --Theodore Roosevelt

"When great causes are on the move in the world we learn we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty." --Winston Churchill

"If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity." --Daniel Webster

"Supporters of Michael Schiavo's effort to end his wife's life have asked how conservatives, who claim to believe in the sanctity of marriage, can fail to respect his husbandly authority. The most obvious answer is that a man's authority as a husband does not supersede his wife's rights as a human being -- a principle we never thought we'd see liberals question." --James Taranto

"It is too...easy to be cavalier and heroic about 'dying with dignity' when somebody else is doing the dying." --Lawrence Henry

"Sadly, the highway bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week was a pork-stuffed budget-buster. ... In 1987, Ronald Reagan vetoed a highway bill he called a 'textbook example of pork barrel politics.' That bill contained 152 earmarks. The 1998 highway bill, the first one after Republicans took control of Congress, had 1,850 -- more than 12 times as many. This year's bill, after 10 years of Republican control, has more than 4,000." --Rep. John Shadegg

"Given that the two centuries of socialists' experiments, whether by utopians, Marxists, or Fabians, always ended in economic failure and a loss of personal liberty, why are people around the globe still proudly proclaiming themselves socialists?" --Richard Rahn

"It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so -- because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States." --John Bolton

"Even if Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton weren't two of the more far-sighted thinkers in the Bush administration, appointing them respectively to the World Bank and the UN would be worth it just for the pleasure of watching the Europeans, the Democrats and the media go bananas over it." --Mark Steyn

"For the life of me I don't know why scalping tickets should be illegal. It seems to me that buying low and selling high is in the best American tradition; it's what capitalism is all about. ... As far as I'm concerned the only scalping that ought to be illegal is what the Indians used to do. That, when you stop to think about it, is a real hair-raising experience." --Lyn Nofziger

www.delawareonline.com - The News Journal - LOCAL - Minner seeks higher tax on cigarettes
"Let me be clear," Minner said. "I view this as a health proposal, not a revenue issue."
There was an article I read a few weeks ago (that I'm too lazy to track down right now) that discussed that as higher gasoline taxes have pushed people to drive less and use more fuel-efficient cars, politicians are bemoaing the loss of tax revenues. They may claim it's not about revenue, but it's always about revenue. If not now, then later.
Republicans, however, were quickly lining up against the proposal, saying a tax increase in unneeded when economic forecasts this week said the state will have $110 million in extra revenue next year.

"She's probably the only governor in the United States who's looking at a surplus, and a tax increase," said Wayne A. Smith, R-Clair Manor.

Sen. Colin Bonini, R-Dover South, said no tax increase should pass "under any circumstance" when the state has a surplus.

"She should be talking about giving money back, not taking it from them," Bonini said.
I've said many times that I can't think of a bad time for a tax cut. Minner apparently can't think of a bad time for a tax hike.
"I think smokers are being tortured to death," Barbara Mellow said.
I post this for no other reason than to show a great example of hyperbole. If anything's torturing smokers, it's the crap they're putting into their lungs.

Cutting the Nose off the Mona Lisa

I was flipping through the channels on TV last night and saw USA was showing the greatest movie ever made.

Whule watching it I noticed they cut some scenes! How can you cut parts of a masterpiece like this? You might as well cut the nose off the Mona Lisa! Angered, I went back to watching Scrubs.

Santorum rethinks death penalty stance
He has not become an abolitionist, and he believes church teaching against the death penalty carries less weight than its longer-standing opposition to abortion. But he questions what he once unquestioningly supported.

'I felt very troubled about cases where someone may have been convicted wrongly. DNA evidence definitely should be used when possible,' he said.

'I agree with the pope that in the civilized world ... the application of the death penalty should be limited. I would definitely agree with that. I would certainly suggest there probably should be some further limits on what we use it for.'
Good for him. May he continue down this path.

Link via The Corner.

Telegraph | Opinion | The strange death of the liberal West
Almost every issue facing the EU - from immigration rates to crippling state pension liabilities - has at its heart the same glaringly plain root cause: a huge lack of babies. I could understand a disinclination by sunny politicians to peddle doom and gloom were it not for the fact that, in all other areas of public policy, our rulers embrace doomsday scenarios at the drop of a hat. Most 20-year projections - on global warming, fuel resources, etc - are almost laughably speculative. They fail to take into account the most important factor of all - human inventiveness: 'We can't feed the world!' they shriek. But we develop more efficient farming methods with nary a thought. 'The oil will run out by the year 2000!' But we develop new extraction methods and find we've got enough oil for as long as we'll need it.

But human inventiveness depends on humans - and that's the one thing we really are running out of.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Thou Dost Protest Too Much
I was walking through the Dallas airport with some colleagues and one of them recognized two of the same protestors we had seen outside the event in Albuquerque. We had some extra time, so we decided to talk to them. They were very polite and explained to us they had just come from protesting an event nearby. One of them very quickly identified themselves as professional protestors.

Not that they just liked to protest, but that they actually got paid by liberal interest groups to travel the country protesting. Here they were, sitting in the airport TGI Friday's having a burger and getting ready to travel to New Orleans for another protest. They were good kids and wanted to talk. We tried discussing some of the benefits of Social Security reform. They listened, but weren't too interested. Not because they had opposing views, they just said they weren't too educated on the details. They even admitted they didn't know who it was they were going to protest in New Orleans.
Why to ignore most liberal protests/demonstrations.

ESPN.com - MLB - Dejected Bonds says he might miss season
Holy fluerking schnit!

This is sad; I was looking forward to the home run chase to catch Aaron. Based off the description of the injury, I'm not even sure a trade to the AL to allow him to DH would make all that much a difference in preserving his health. This might cost us a chance to see history.

Yahoo! News - World Water Day puts precious resource in spotlight
Placed under the banner 'Water for Life,' the decade seeks to lobby support for the United Nations' Millennium Goals, which hope to halve the number of people without access to clean drinking water or sanitation by 2015.
Meanwhile, in America, our judicial system is working to deny food and water to Terry Schiavo...

'Culture of Life' - The Schiavo case shows that it's about more than abortion.
On stem cell research, cutting off federal funding of abortion clinics overseas, bringing faith-based groups into public policy and judicial nominations, President Bush has been nudging American society toward a culture of life. Now, by flying back to Washington and signing legislation well into the night, Mr. Bush is laying out a cultural marker. The president of the United States is saying, We're for life. That's not political pandering. It's the rise of a cultural movement.

Bush's Shake-Up-the-World View
The president's idea is simple: No more Mr. Nice Guy. He believes international organizations have failed largely and must be challenged and reformed.
I did some limited study of the World Bank and the International monetary Fund (IMF) while I was in high school. I was stunned at how poor their records were. Shaking them up is exactly what is needed.

Protecting the Internet: Certified Attachments and Reverse Firewalls?
Yet Ma Bell had a point - the telephone network could be damaged if I were to plug my Tesla-Coil Phone or my Arc-Welder Phone into the little phone jack on my wall. There clearly are some limits.

And those limits were found - today in the US, and I imagine in most other countries, telephones must pass muster and obtain a certification before they may be legally plugged into the telephone network.

Is it unreasonable to conceive of a day, perhaps a day not all that far distant, when only certified equipment can be legally plugged into the Internet?
This is an interesting idea. Worth considering.

www.delawareonline.com - The News Journal - LOCAL - State ponders $110 million surplus
"This governor has always said she'd love nothing more than cutting taxes," Patterson said. "But she feels the appropriate time to do that is in June."
As Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, surprise, surprise." Ruth Ann is finding an excuse not to cuttaxes. She can always find reasons to spend, but there's always something getting in the way of a tax cut. If the GOP weren't there to stand up for our right to our money, we wouldn't have had any tax cuts recently. But to claim we're two months early on doing it, so we shouldn't? That's stretching credibility? What's next, "Sorry, Jupiter's not aligned correctly with Mars"?

Monday, March 21, 2005

By the way...
Since I know you're wondering, I want to dispel any rumors and state categorically that I have never used steroids.

The Dark Night of the World � Part One: Three Causes of Jesus�s Pain in Gethsemane
Christ's suffering in the Garden was a unique internal experience of sin. Jesus Himself was free from sin. He had never given in to temptation and selfishness; He stayed faithful to the natural law and to God's will for Him personally all through His life. This sinlessness was an essential characteristic of the Savior, prefigured by the Old Covenant requirement that sacrifices offered in reparation for sin be animals 'without blemish.'

In Gethsemane, however, the evil of sin is poured into His soul. He is made the scapegoat of all the sins that men and women had ever committed, and all the sins they were going to commit. He took upon Himself the responsibility for every act of betrayal and infidelity, every injustice, every crime against God, man, and nature perpetrated by the entire human race. Even people who are used to sinning feel agonizing remorse when faced with the true nature and consequences of their sinful actions. That gnawing, deadening weight of guilt was intensified almost beyond recognition in the pristine soul of the Savior, both because of His perfect love for God - which sin scorns - and because of the sheer quantity and atrocity of the crimes He was assuming.
A second source of Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane was His own privileged knowledge. Jesus knew how useless His self-sacrifice would be for the many individuals who would knowingly reject His offer of salvation. Jesus had nothing to gain personally from coming to earth and redeeming the human family. He did it solely out of love — a love for His Father who looked with mercy on the fallen human race. A love for every person caught in the vicious circle of selfishness. Jesus knew that sin doomed man to a deep, existential frustration. What every human heart needed above all else — intimate friendship with God — became unattainable.

Double Jeopardy
Our Lord was found guilty not once, but twice - first in the religious court of the Sanhedrin, and then in the secular court of Pontius Pilate. Yet they did not find Him guilty of the same crime, but of two very different things. In a cruel irony, the religious court found our Lord too divine, and the secular court found Him too human.
These two condemnations continue today - because they correspond to how we put our Lord on trial and find Him lacking. At times we find Him entirely too divine. His words are too strong, His commands too absolute, His miracles too, well, miraculous. Why will He not let us be, give us freedom, let us choose what we will? Why the insistence on His law, His truth? Why must we submit to Him? Fleeing from His power and authority, we demand that He come down a bit, that He be more like us, more... human.

But then at times we find Him not divine enough. We fault Him precisely because He seems to keep His power in check, respect our human nature too much and allow too much freedom. He permits evil, suffering and sin. Worse still, He became man in order to suffer and die. He seems so weak, helpless, human. Why must His Passion be always before us? Instead of taking human suffering upon Himself, why can He not just remove it? Is He not God? Like those on Calvary, we insist that He come down from the Cross — then we will believe. Some even take down the crucifix and replace it with a symbol more to their liking. Enough of His human suffering! We demand that He be strong, forceful, all-powerful... but on our terms.

True Dat
"Examining the political map of America reveals a previously unidentified segment of the American electorate, one which has been growing for some years now but has reached a critical mass and become a major force in one of our two great political parties: the trustfunder left. Who are the trustfunders? People with enough money not to have to work for a living, or not to have to work very hard. People who can live more or less wherever they want. The 'nomadic affluent,' as demographic analyst Joel Kotkin calls them... citizens of the world with contempt for those who feel chills up their spines when they hear 'The Star Spangled Banner'" -- U.S. News & World Report columnist Michael Barone
This is very true. Nothing seems to make someone liberal like not having to work for their money. They have no appreciation for what it takes to make money or create jobs, so they inevitably seem to slip into a socialist worldview. I don't know if it's guilt over what they inherited or just a lack of common sense that actually working provides, but they don't understand how things actually work in the private sector.

Current Reading
A Guide to The Bible: Looks pretty interesting. Gives an overview of each book of the Bible, the historical context it was written in, and the major themes of the writing. Plus since I got it from Catholic Answers, you know it's safe reading!

Just finished:
Inside The Passion: Read this yesterday. Pretty interesting perspective on what Mel Gibson was trying to say in his movie and different interpretations of what went on. Also gives some details on behind the scenes events that helped shape the movie and make it richer and deeper.

More Schiavo
Democrats often claim that Republicans only care about people who aren't born yet, while the Democrats are the party that seeks to care for the porr, the sick, the dying.

Doesn't the Schiavo case point out the lies in that statement. By and large, the Democrats are rushing to defend the right of her husband to kill Terri. Meanwhile, the Republicans "who don't care about the born" are defending her against judicially imposed homicide. (Republicans other than our own Congressman, of course. He's okay with the attempt to murder her.)

"The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts." --John Jay

"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will." --Adam Smith

"We Republicans have not been entrusted with the White House and the Senate to make easy decisions but because the American people want us to wean our nation away from decades of growing dependency and political quick fixes. Together we can make the GOP the true majority party, the centerpiece for decades to come of a governing coalition based on liberty, limited government, and economic growth. To do so, however, this spring we must prove to the country that we can produce a sound and responsible budget, one that cuts the deficit and fosters continued economic vitality. So let us not shrink from this task or be seen to approach it with doubts and hesitations. Let us, instead, unite and rise to the challenge with vigor." --Ronald Reagan

"[Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid] has written a letter to the senate majority leader, William Frist pleading for him not to [use the 'nuclear' option to break the Democrat filibusters of judges] and threatening that if they do it the Democrats will block any legislation except that having to do with national security or critical government services. What Reid doesn't understand is that what he considers a threat, conservatives for the most part will view as a promise. The idea of the Senate not passing legislation is a thrilling one indeed, one that most conservatives will endorse. As for those who favor lots of new laws, they will have no one to blame but the Reid-led Democrats. In other words it seems to me that Reid is offering the Republicans a chance to have their cake and eat it, too." --Lyn Nofziger

"There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs [too much]. Only 4% of Americans take public transportation to work. Even in cities they don't do it. Less than 25% of commuters in the New York metropolitan area use public transportation. Elsewhere it's far less -- 9.5% in San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, 1.8% in Dallas-Fort Worth. As for total travel in urban parts of America -- all the comings and goings for work, school, shopping, etc. -- 1.7 % of those trips are made on mass transit. Then there is the cost, which is...$52 billion. Less obviously, there's all the money spent locally keeping local mass transit systems operating. The Heritage Foundation says, 'There isn't a single light rail transit system in America in which fares paid by the passengers cover the cost of their own rides.' Heritage cites the Minneapolis 'Hiawatha' light rail line, soon to be completed with $107 million from the transportation bill. Heritage estimates that the total expense for each ride on the Hiawatha will be $19. Commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price." --P.J. O'Rourke

Final Vote Results for Roll Call 90 (Terry Schiavo)
Our Congressman, Mike Castle, voted yesterday to defend a husband's right to kill his wife. I am angry and embarrassed to be a member of the same political party as him. Explain to me again how the Republican Party is stronger with him than without him? At least if a Democrat were to vote this way, the State Party would be ready to defend Terri and other people's right to life. In this case, they'll keep silent out of a misguided sense of party loyalty. The Delaware and National Parties and America will be better off once this man is out of office.

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