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Friday, March 03, 2006

Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2006
Benedict's Lenten message

ESPN.com - MLB/WORLDCLASSIC2006 - WBC telecast schedule
So on the one hand I'm really tired today. (Yesterday was my friend's funeral. Kind of stressful.) So I'd like to get to bed early tonight. But on the other hand, China is playing Korea at 9 PM tonight on ESPN2 in the World Baseball Classic. Asians apparently play a different style of ball game than we're used to so I'd like to see it.

Catholic World News : Pope emphasizes spiritual combat during Lent
The Holy Father presided at a traditional Roman observance of Ash Wednesday, leading a penitential procession from the church of St. Anselm to the basilica of Santa Sabina, for Mass and the distribution of ashes. In his homily he said that the Lenten season reminds Christians that spiritual life is a form of combat "in which the weapons of prayer, fasting, and penance must be used."
This is a message that many in the Church will be uncomfortable with, but it's one we need to hear: we are in a war for our souls. Satan would love nothing more than for us to forget that. If we do, it's at our peril.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

PolitaKid: The News Journal's Real Marketing Strategy
PolitaKid has an amusing post:
Over at his blog, WNJ sports writer Martin Frank revealed the News Journal's top secret marketing stategy:
Our strategy is to wait until the Inky [Philly Inquirer] and DN [Philly Daily News] sell out, so customers at Wawa have no choice but to buy the News Journal.
Ohhhh, that explains a lot :)

Soviet Union ordered Pope shooting: Italy commission
Leaders of the former Soviet Union were behind the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in 1981, an Italian parliamentary investigative commission said in a report.
In other news, the sun rises in the east and the sky is blue.

Link via The Corner.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

JIMMY AKIN.ORG: Annual Lent Fight!
A good resource on Lent: meaning, customs, what can we have fish but not chicken? (I just used this page after a discussion with a coworker.)

"The nation which indulges towards another an habitual hatred, or an habitual fondness, is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest." —George Washington

"The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world." —Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." —General George S. Patton

"This [Dubai Ports World] transaction needs a long, careful look. It doesn't need stone-throwing from opportunists who would be better advised to check their own glass houses. And it doesn't need bully-pulpit demagoguery." —Andrew McCarthy

"Other justifications for the sale appear to be reasonable—not least that Dubai Ports World is reputedly competent at managing ports—and might be convincing if only someone bearing the title President of the United States would articulate those reasons in a spirit of respect rather than as a dismissive parent managing an impudent child." —Kathleen Parker

"The attitude of people associating guns with nothing but crime, that is what has to be changed. I grew up at a time when people were not afraid of people with firearms." —Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

"Our problem is not a temporary explosion of spending either because of a war or hurricanes or disasters. It's our entitlements which are draining our economy and which everybody, particularly the liberals, will not index for income." —Charles Krauthammer

"Say what you like about the Islamic world, but they show tremendous initiative and energy and inventiveness, at least when it comes to threatening death to the infidels every 48 hours for one perceived offense or another. If only it could be channeled into, say, a small software company, what an economy they'd have." —Mark Steyn

"The main reason that our bipartisan tax code is slightly larger than Maureen Dowd's therapy notes is that every congressman in the country is trying to amend it to spare his special friends from having to play on a level field." —Mac Johnson

For some reason the Left has become convinced Cheney will leave soon, if they concentrate hard enough. It's the modern-day version of the hippies levitating the Pentagon." —James Lileks

Jay Leno: Vice President Dick Cheney said today that he's not sure if he'll ever go hunting again. Well, if he does decide to go hunting again, good luck finding someone to go with. ... The word from Fox News is that Prince Abdullah of Bahrain has thrown Michael Jackson out of his palace. Michael Jackson is now homeless in Bahrain. That's pretty dangerous isn't it, for a cartoon character to be walking around in a Muslim county. That's not good right now. ... Bill Clinton is looking for 25 interns to work at his library. Now what could go wrong here?

My Current Reading
Crunchy Cons by Rod Dreher. It's an excellent book that attempts to restore conservatism to its roots. Arguing that modern conservatism is too focused on efficiency and financial/monetary end, Dreher seems to restore the traditional conservative focus of focusing o the moral and spiritual development of the human person, rather than just their bank balance.

He makes a strong conservative case in many seemingly unexpected areas: government favortism toward big business (regulations are writetn so that small businesses can't afford to comply, so big business will face less competition), consumerism (as mentioned above), the food we eat (forget cows stuffed with steroids that graze on over-used pastures, genetically engineered foods in favor of organically grown vegetables), home schooling (the more I read about home-schooling, the more I like it. As he points out, the common objection is that the kids won't be socialized that well. There's a two part reponse: one, they do get properly socialized through their family and community, and two, do you really want kids to be socialized in this society?). Chapters I haven't gotten to include religion and the environment.

Liberals would actually get a lot out of this book as it would help them make arguments that would actually appeal to conservatives rather than sounding like some hippie leftover.

Definitely read this book. It could change your life. One caveat: I don't know if it's for everyone, though. There are times it sounds to me like it might be preaching to the choir, rather than being truly persuasive to those who aren't already sympathetic to this viewpoints. But if you're open to it, it's really eye-opening.

In other news, Amazon.com just emailed to let me know Season 3 of NewsRadio has been shipped to me!!! That will absorb much of my time once it arrives.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat." —James Madison

"An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." —Joseph Pulitzer

"Biblical social scientists have an advantage because they know truths about human nature. Those who dismiss the Bible and create surveys that don't measure crucial factors are the ones who have closed minds. Sometimes the Bible gives us clear answers and sometimes it doesn't, but it always helps us to ask the right questions." —Marvin Olasky

"Mere religious affiliation may not reduce divorce, but religious practice clearly does. One longitudinal analysis of the National Survey of Family Growth found that couples who attended church as often as once a month had divorce rates less than half that of couples who attended church once a year or less. Similarly, a recent study of the National Survey of Families and Households found that marriage in which both couples attend church regularly have the lowest divorce risk..." —Maggie Gallagher

"A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, simply to swell its ranks." —Ronald Reagan

"Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered...the courageous soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of al-Zarqawi's followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3rd ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them. To the courageous men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life, to the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months, to those who spread smiles on the faces of our children and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city... God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget... Let America, their families and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life." —Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jubouri, mayor of Tall Afar in the Iraqi province of Nineveh (Tall Afar was the main base of operations for the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi)

"[A] dangerous trend in American politics and public policy is an Orwellian move by the Republicans who talk about limited government but actually support more command and control by federally run bureaucratic programs. This is especially true in the arena of education, demonstrated by programs such as No Child Left Behind. What Americans need is not a new federal education program but the absence of all federal education programs... If Americans are to take our Constitution and the education of our children seriously, we need to wake up, reclaim our power, and 'Just Say No' to federal control of education." —Michael Ostrolenk

"Congress is up in arms. The Democrats, in particular, are in full cry, gleeful to at last get to the right of George Bush on an issue of national security. Gleeful, and shamelessly hypocritical. If a citizen of the UAE walked into an airport in full burnoose and flowing robes, speaking only Arabic, Democrats would be deeply offended, and might even sue, if the security people were to give him any more scrutiny than they would to my sweet 84-year-old mother. Democrats loudly denounce any thought of racial profiling. But when that same Arab, attired in business suit and MBA, and with a good record running ports in 15 countries, buys P&O, Democrats howl at the very idea of allowing Arabs to run our ports. (Republicans are howling too, but they don't grandstand on the issue of racial profiling.) On this, the Democrats are rank hypocrites." —Charles Krauthammer

"The conventional wisdom that President Bush is Reagan 2.0 has given way to detailed looks at some of the contrasts between the two chief executives... [T]he differences are perceived to be the greatest on size-of-government issues... Bush's lack of philosophical commitment to limited government has set the tone in Washington, where the GOP was losing its will on spending before Clinton left town. Rhetoric matters, and there the divide between Reagan and Bush becomes a yawning chasm. Bush has for the most part carefully distanced himself from the conservative anti-statism of Reagan and Goldwater. It's hard to imagine Reagan ever saying, as Bush did in 2003, that government has got to move whenever somebody hurts. It was a recent Democrat president who was interested in feeling our pain. Bush may not be to blame for the big-government/K Street axis the congressional GOP has built. But he has done nothing to correct this axis' destructive departures from conservatism. Instead he has worked overtime to give them a compassionate conservative veneer." —W. James Antle III

Sunday, February 26, 2006

delawareonline | The News Journal | Obituaries
John was a good man and a good friend. I was stunned by this and I know I'll miss him.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

delawareonline | The News Journal | Right-to-carry a feminist issue
This was a good article. She states the truth: women who wish to be able to defend themselves against male attackers need firearms due to the advantage men have in physical strength.
The average man can physically overpower the average woman; this is a biological fact. The vast majority of violent crimes are committed by men. We women should not have to depend on the men in our lives for protection, nor can we expect police to be in all places at all times.

My ability to have a gun for self-defense is central to my concept of freedom and safety in a hostile world. Anyone who tries to take that right is trying to take the only tool that makes me the physical equal of a man.
Crime could happen to any of us, at any time. The unfortunate truth is that women are physically more vulnerable. If violent men want guns, they can easily obtain them from the black market. I am not threatened in the least by a man who passes a background check and completes a safety course.

Guns are not intrinsically evil or good. The person using a gun imbues such significance.
Guns are merely a tool, like a hammer or a screwdriver. Thery can be used for good ends (a gun for self-defense, a hammer or screw driver for home improvement) or any of them can used to kill. It's not the tool that's the problem; it's the person using the tool.

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