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

Friday, March 10, 2006

As I write this...
USA is leading South Africa 16-0 after 3 innings. I know they have slaughter rules in the WBC, but I don't think they kick in until after 5 innings. Ken Griffey Jr. has 2 3-run homers. Wow.

Catholic Charities to halt adoptions over issue involving gays - Boston.com
The Boston Archdiocese's Catholic Charities said Friday it would stop providing adoption services because state law requires them to consider gays and lesbians as parents.
The state's four Catholic bishops said earlier this month that the law threatens the church's religious freedom by forcing it to do something it considers immoral.
The state passed a law that said anyone providing adoption services would have to treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples. This would be in violation of Church teaching. Good for Catholic Charities for standing up for the Truth, rather than giving in to the culture of the times.

Rape and Incest Exception on Abortion
Jonah Goldberg is posting comments on whether pro-lifers can take a principled stand to forbid abortions even in the case of incest and rape. (I think they can, as I myself do. The child should not be punished for the circumstance of their conception.) But I found this particular argument in favor of allowing abortion in the case of rape to be disgusting:
You don't want to reward rapists by granting them a child. Yes, it punishes (by killing) innocent children, but we're willing to kill innocent children when we feel it's necessary (example: bombing an enemy stronghold). The bearing of children may be such a strong underlying motive for rape (waay beneath the surface, I realize), that we simply must take this measure to control it.
Ther are other ways to sever ties between a rapist and his child without resorting to murder. This argument, though, in favor of allowing abortions in the case of rape, I do find sympathetic, although it hasn't convinced for the reason I stated above:
A rape exception makes sense because it is the only circumstance in which a woman has not chosen to risk becoming pregnant.

In my opinion, when a man and woman have a sexual relationship, they are (among other things) taking certain risks. She is risking bearing a child, and he is risking paying child support. Rape takes away her choice.
Again, a child should not be killed as a result of the circumstances that led to his life. As an example of why:
I'm glad to see somebody point out an obvious doublestandard when it comes to being prolife. My 14 year old daughter is the result of a rape when her biological mother was 15. We adopted her at birth and she has turned into a terrific kid in every way and I cannot imagine the world would be a better place without her.

davidwarrenonline.com - Modesty
Am I perhaps a little odd in finding modestly-dressed women attractive? It is hard to tell how odd, for men seldom discuss such things among ourselves. In moments, I’ve suspected this is our best-kept secret -- that we don’t actually like women to be dressed or to behave as tarts. (Not just the clothing, but the vocabulary and demeanour.) Still, few of us would say this aloud, especially in a public forum. For it cannot possibly be “politically correct”.

The current premise of Hollywood and the “popular” culture is the precise opposite -- that men and women alike prefer women as tarts, and now, boys as boy-tarts. Look at the models of stage and screen. Then look at their imitators along any urban sidewalk, when the weather is warm enough to make the imitation practicable. We won’t go into forensic details: look at any tabloid, most broadsheets too. A woman is deemed attractive if she can command drooling. A man is assumed to be Pavlov’s dog.

Curiously enough, this reduction of women to “sex objects” is the final achievement of a feminist movement that advanced the “Playboy philosophy” of the 1960s, by other means. The attack on what was supposed to be patriarchy proceeds by degrees to an attack on decency in any form. And somewhere along the line of this inversion, abortion replaced motherhood in its claim on apple pie.
He's not alone. I think the difference comes from men's ability to separate sex from love. We don't want to see our sisters or close platonic female friends displaying their bodies because that reduces them to sex objects, and we know them as much more than that. We love them for who they are therefore we don't think of them as sex objects. (This past Sunday, I was in Baltimore with some female friends from college. One of them noticed a brochure for a Hustler Club and made a crack about formerly working there. I told her I could never think of her that way. I don't think she was complimented, but it was meant that way: I could never reduce her to a sexual object. She's too important to me to demean her that way.)

It's women we don't know that we don't mind seeing as sex objects. We don't know them so it's easier for us to objectify them and there enjoy seeing them in revealing clothing.

The point made above is true: The Sexual Revolution is over, and men won. Thanks to feminists who somehow thought they were acting in the interests of women, men can now obtain what they've always wanted: commitment-free casual sex. Way to go, feminists! (I made this point to a female friend last week, and she looked a little stunned. I could see her realizing I was right but not ready to face up to it.)

Now the fact that men can and do do this does not make it right; objectifying women is wrong. The problem comes in that as long as women allow it, men will continue to do it. Women need to demand more from men, not less. Demand we treat you as the individual you are, not the object of sexual gratification they want to turn you into. If a man truly cares for you, he will treat you the way you deserve. We'll give you what you demand of us, but noone will get respect if they don't respect themselves.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

OpinionJournal - Peggy Noonan
Which gets us to George Clooney, and his work. George Clooney is Hollywood now. He is charming and beautiful and cool, but he is not Orson Welles. I know that's like saying of an artist that he's no Rembrandt, but bear with me because I have a point that I think is worth making.
Orson Welles was an artist. George Clooney is a fellow who read an article and now wants to tell us the truth, if we can handle it.

More important, Orson Welles had a canny respect for the audience while maintaining a difficult relationship with studio executives, whom he approached as if they were his intellectual and artistic inferiors. George Clooney has a canny respect for the Hollywood establishment, for its executives and agents, and treats his audience as if it were composed of his intellectual and artistic inferiors. (He is not alone in this. He is only this year's example.)

And because they are his inferiors, he must teach them. He must teach them about racial tolerance and speaking truth to power, etc. He must teach them to be brave. And so in his acceptance speech for best supporting actor the other night he instructed the audience about Hollywood's courage in making movies about AIDS, and recognizing the work of Hattie McDaniel with an Oscar.

Was his speech wholly without merit? No. It was a response and not an attack, and it appears to have been impromptu. Mr. Clooney presumably didn't know Jon Stewart would tease the audience for being out of touch, and he wanted to argue that out of touch isn't all bad. Fair enough. It is hard to think on your feet in front of 38 million people, and most of his critics will never try it or have to. (This is a problem with modern media: Only the doer understands the degree of difficulty.)

But Mr. Clooney's remarks were also part of the tinniness of the age, and of modern Hollywood. I don't think he was being disingenuous in suggesting he was himself somewhat heroic. He doesn't even know he's not heroic. He thinks making a movie in 2005 that said McCarthyism was bad is heroic.

How could he think this? Maybe part of the answer is in this: The Clooney generation in Hollywood is not writing and directing movies about life as if they've experienced it, with all its mysteries and complexity and variety. In an odd way they haven't experienced life; they've experienced media. Their films seem more an elaboration and meditation on media than an elaboration and meditation on life. This is how he could take such an unnuanced, unsophisticated, unknowing gloss on the 1950s and the McCarthy era. He just absorbed media about it. And that media itself came from certain assumptions and understandings, and myths.

Most Americans aren't leading media, they're leading lives. It would be nice to see a new respect in Hollywood for the lives they live. It would be nice to see them start to understand that rediscovering the work of, say, C.S. Lewis, and making a Narnia film, is not "giving in" to the audience but serving it. It isn't bad to look for and present good material that is known to have a following. It's a smart thing to do. It's why David O. Selznick bought "Gone With the Wind": People were reading it. It was his decision to make it into a movie from which he would profit that gave Hattie McDaniel her great role. Taboos are broken by markets, not poses.

The Former Slave Proposed as an American Saint
Only a few decades ago, black Catholics in some parts of America had to stand at the end of the line for Holy Communion — a travesty of the sacrament meant to make us all one in Christ. Jesus Himself provides the rebuke: “The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”

So it is fitting that on the short list of Americans who have been proposed for sainthood is a black New Yorker, Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853), a freed slave who, because of his race, was forbidden to ride the city's omnibuses.

Jeff the Baptist: Abortion Politics
Jeff's post reminded me I also wanted to comment on this issue. I'm not a lawyer, so I can't comment on case law or even make a prediction as to how this case will turn out, so my arguments are based on logic alone, not the law.

At first glance, I am sympathetic to the man's argument: I have no rights to my child if the woman decides to have an abortion, but if I don't want a child and she keeps it, I'm responsible for it. It's not fair to the man who has little say in this situation under our current legal system.

But, the issue isn't what's fair, it's what's right.

The issue this man is missing is that he's created a human life. Through actions he's taken, he is responsible for the existance of another human being. The answer isn't to run away from the responsibility; it's to accept it. It's to truly be a man, rather than continue to wallow in immaturity. Part of being an adult is accepting our responsibility for our actions rather seeking to blame them on someone else or avoid their consequences. One of the foundations of any well-functioning society is personal responsibility; allowing people to avoid that will lead to the breakdown of that society.

The clear unfairness the man is pointing out is real; he's got that right. The issue isn't that's he forced to deal with the consequences, it's that the child can be disposed of through abortion. The woman is allowed to avoid responsibility for part in the creation of the new human life by ending it. That's the real unfairness: that the law allows murder as a means of avoiding responsiblity.

JIMMY AKIN.ORG: Immigration & Catholic Teaching
I don't know why I'm on an immigration kick lately. I think it's just a coincidence.

This article has a pretty good summary of Catholic thinking on immigration. Basically, as a nation, we have an obligation to welcome immigrants, but also the right to limit the number we accept to what we can handle. We also have the right to acculturate them to our culture and expect them to obey to our laws, which clearly entitles us to turn back illegal immigrants.

It's a good read.

Amateur Catholic
I am now an official Amateur Catholic! My acceptance is posted here. The description of what makes one an Amateur Catholic is as follows:
If you are Catholic and a blogger, but you don't make any money off your Catholicism, you're automatically an Amateur Catholic®. However, to be recognized by your peers as an Amateur Catholic®, you should be registered and sport the B-Team badge®.
My badge is now off the right, just below the DBCA logo.

I'm official, man!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Current Reading
I picked up "The Privileged Planet : How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery" because I've always been interested in the topic of things about Earth that make it capable of sustaining life. For example, our planet apparently is in a remarkably "clean" area of the galaxy, free of dust and other particles that would make life extremely difficult. This book deals with issues like that. I was disappointed to see that the authors were affiliated with the Discovery Institute which is a proponent of Intelligent Design. But just prior to starting the book, I read an article that discussed them and it turns out they're part of the responsible sector of the Intelligent Design movement, avoiding common mistake of associating with Creationism. (They had issues with the Dover, PA school board for being too creationist.) A good way of summarizing the responsible argument for Intelligent Design comes from a sign I saw on a church I pass on my way to and from work: "All I see teaches me to trust the Creator I have not seen." Which sums it up well for me, anyway. Arguing for Design from experience and scientific observation, rather than from the Bible which won't persuade anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

I just started it, so I can't say too much about it, but it looks interesting.

New Blog!
Just found this one this morning. The Cafeteria is Closed. It's updated frequently; it's funny; it's orthodox. Plus you've got to love a blog that puts a picture up with a big muscular guy with the caption "You said WHAT about the Pope?"

It's been added to my Catholic Blogs blogroll.

Were they really pro-life?
You may have seen that letter writen by allegedly pro-life Democrats.The reason I say "allegedly" is that 60% of the signers voted against a partial-birth abortion ban. Anway, here's a letter written by a pro-life Democrat that puts the lie to the claims made by the original letter:
Dear Ms. Day:

As a pro-life Democrat and elected official in one of the most liberal cities in the United States, I was shocked and dismayed to read your recent press release supporting a letter written by Rep. Rosa DeLauro and cosigned by mostly pro-abortion Democrats members of Congress. I found it to be deceptive and something I could never embrace.

Most of the letter's signers support unrestricted abortion and have a total disregard for the grave moral disorder in our society. And to me it is obvious that no child could enjoy the programs and policies mentioned in this letter if he or she fell victim to abortion.

As a Board Member for Democrats for Life of New York, I cannot comprehend how you can officially share the goals of Representative DeLauro's letter. Our goal, as pro-lifers, is to promote a culture of life. Their letter has been written to attack the President and promote a pro-abortion, liberal agenda, and its candidates, which includes the most of the signees. It has not been written to promote respect for the dignity of each human person at all stages of development. It has been signed by too many elected officials who choose to disregard some human life.

As a pro-life Democrat, I endure great pain, tribulation and agony by pro-abortion officials and political activists who refuse to promote the sacredness of all human life. Because of my Christian faith and its core beliefs - which include the need to respect all human life - I am the recipient of sharp and constant criticism. However, I am proud of my efforts and ask God to continue to give me the fortitude to continue.

I respectfully ask that you reconsider your support for this Congressional letter and its hidden agenda.

Fighting for a good educational system, good health services, job creation, affordable housing, and other important social services equally available to all human beings, are some of the reasons that I am a public servant, however, as I said before, an aborted baby will never be able to enjoy these services. Therefore, it is the duty and responsibility of every good Christian, good Catholic and any pro-lifer to defend the sanctity of life and not allow the sagacity of these signees to distance us from our goals.


Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz

32nd Senatorial District

"In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution." —Alexander Hamilton

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes." —Andrew Jackson

"We are...living in a free society without the faith that built that society—and without the conviction and dedication needed to sustain it... We still have the cathedral of freedom but how long will it last without the faith?" —Thomas Sowell

"What was true for the Cold War is no less true today. It's not enough to say that we fight tyranny. It is essential to say that we fight for what is right, and what is by any measure better than the enemy will ever deliver to even its most loyal followers." —Jed Babbin

"Anyone who's ever filed a tax return or visited the Department of Motor Vehicles understands that government does two things well: spend our money and waste our time." —Ed Fuelner

"Given the rate at which it's abandoning the traditional role of organized labor in favor of political activism, the AFL-CIO might as well drop the pretense and merge with the Democrats to form an honest-to-goodness Labor Party. At least that would represent truth in advertising." —John Fund

"It is easier to find moderate Muslims who are willing to speak out than to find journalists who will pay much attention to what they have to say. Afghans, Iraqis and Lebanese struggling for liberty and democracy are given short shrift because to give them proper credit would be to give indirect credit to George W. Bush." —Jack Kelly

"Once in power [in 1994], the Republicans set about to get their share of plunder that had been a Democrat preserve for so long. Resolve and discipline evaporated. Restraint gave way to greed. Big government and insensate spending, which were high crimes and misdemeanors when the Democrats did it, suddenly became Republican virtues. Power corrupts, in Lord Acton's famous formulation..." —Wes Pruden

Catholic World News : Most Americans favor teaching evidence against evolution, poll shows
While I usually don't care about poll results, I think they do matter to some extent when it comes to teaching our children, since parents are the primary educators of their children and bear primary responsibility for their upbringing.

Havnig said that, I don't see why pointing out the open questions in evolution should be controversial. It's still the best theory we have, despite its flaws. I don't see anything wrong with saying something along the lines of "Scientific concensus is that evolution is true, but there are still some thing we don't quite understand, such as...."

The real issue in this battle is overeaching on both sides:
1) Evolutionists who have fallen into a brand of Darwinism that makes claims science can't support about the existence of God. The Social Darwinism of the late 19th Century was ultimately condemned and mostly done away with (although it's making a comeback in genetic engineering and calls to abort children with Down's syndrome). Hopefully, this form of Darwinism that using evolutionary theory to deny the existence of God will go away as well.
2) Christians who reject evolution as a whole due to the over-reaching of some evolutionists making the claim above. Just because some people improperly use evolution to deny God doesn't mean the theory is wholly invalid.

If people find that nice common ground on this issue and not imroperly use science to deny religion and use religion to deny science, this issue could go away quietly and our schoolchildren would stop being pawns in a larger battle.

Same sickness, different symptoms

In a newspaper at the other end of the country, a columnist asks, "Should liberals leave the Catholic Church?"

Writing in the March 5 edition of the "Boston Globe," Joan Vennochi complains that the bishops in Massachusetts want to "prohibit gays from adopting children from their Catholic social service agencies" because such adoptions would be "gravely immoral."

"If you agree with these principles," says Vennochi, "you are, according to the Vatican, a Catholic in good standing. If you don't, you're not."

Such principles don't sit well with liberals, she says. "We think we can be pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-gay adoption, and in favor of married and female priests and still call ourselves Catholics. ... Every pronouncement from Pope Benedict XVI draws another line between official Church doctrine and liberal ideology. When do liberals choose one side or the other?"

Fair question. While Vennochi doesn't say just what she herself will do, the implication is that it's time to jump ship. Why remain with the Barque of Peter if it's taking you where you don't want to go?


At the other end of the theological spectrum is Mel Gibson. He became a favorite of traditional Catholics when he produced "The Passion of the Christ." He took a lot of flak for doing the film and deserved the plaudits he received for not backing down from his project. But that was then and this is now, as the saying goes.

Now Gibson is moving ahead with what may end up being an independent church. He already has built a 9,000-square-foot private chapel on a hill in Malibu. The chapel is not recognized by and is not under the authority of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Tridentine Masses celebrated there, while valid, are not approved by anyone in authority, and the priests who officiate have not been granted an okay by the Church.

Gibson is funding a similar church in Pennsylvania, apparently at the urging of his father, Hutton Gibson. The elder man is widely known as a sedevacantist, and the new church presumably will reflect that point of view. It is unclear to what extent Gibson fils has adopted his father's opposition to "Conciliar Rome," but it appears that his thinking goes far beyond a mere preference for the old Mass.

Many traditionally-minded Catholics have been cozying up to Gibson, whose pockets are very deep. He may be the richest high-profile Catholic in the country. He is perceived by many who reject Vatican II as a potential savior, at least in checkbook terms. They may be wise to keep him at arm's length, since there's no telling where Gibson's church-making may end up.
Although ending up in very different places, both of the people discussed above are suffering from the same disease: thinking they know better than the Church. As I blogged on Monday in discussing the Boston Globe article mentioned above, if you disagree with the Church try to understand where they're coming from. Do this with openness and humility, and you'll be surprised how often you're wrong and they're right.

At Conservative Forum on Bush, Everybody's a Critic
Whil I agree with many of the criticisms laid out in this article (not Andrew Sullivan's), there is one flaw with the article , and it's the Post's fault, not thos quoted in the article. The Cato Institute is a libertarian group, not a conservative group. (They're different, right, Hube?)

Also, one thing to keep in mind: whenever Andrew Sullivan complains about "Christian fundamentalism," that's code for "they won't let me marry my gay lover." If you read his blog, you can trace his anger against both the Republican Party and the Catholic Church to that issue.

delawareonline | The News Journal | Immigrants: We aren't criminals
If you snuck into the country in violation of immigration laws, you are a criminal.

This article continues one of my great pet peeves: the use of the terms "undocumented resident" (or "undocumented immigrant"). "Undocumented" is a deliberate attempt to evade the issue; it makes it sound like there was some bureaucratic mixup, instead of acknowledging the truth: they deliberately and willfully evaded the law. In truth, as I saw pointed out somewhere once, they're not even immigrants; immigrants go through the immigration process. Illegal aliens haven't.

We can't have an honest debate over immigration policy when one side chooses terms that misrepresent the truth.

I'm generally pro-immigration, but firmly against illegal immigration. For one, allowing people into the country illegally undermines respect for the law. Secondly, one of the main goals of the immigration process is not just to keep track of who's here, but also to help acclimatize new citizens and residents to our culture and history to maintain societal cohesion. Ignoring this process shortcircuits that goal and threatens the stability of our country.

This is one of those issues that both major parties get wrong. In general, Republicans like the cheap (and illegal) labor illegal aliens provide, while Democrats like their votes come Election Day. I think some Republicans are starting to wake up to it and some Democrats smell a political opportunity. (For example, Hillary's making noise about cracking down on illegal immigration.) I hope it doesn't get treated merely as a political issue, and our leaders figure out the best solution to this issue. The current situation we have now is a bad one, and one that cannot stand.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Quote of the Day
"'Courts ought not to enter this political thicket,' Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote 60 years ago. If he and the Warren Court's liberals are still in touch, Frankfurter must be saying, 'I told you so.' The one-person, one-vote decisions of the early 1960s have had the unintended consequence of enabling politicians to choose their voters rather than the other way around. Those decisions ended the gross malapportionment of congressional and legislative districts that had diluted the voting power of urban voters in much of the country. They also galvanized a national consensus that every vote should have equal weight... [But] requiring near-exact numerical equality made a hash of the traditional redistricting standards: city and county lines, compactness, contiguity, and the like. Those had been the only brakes on gerrymandering" -- legal analyst Stuart Taylor, writing at NationalJournal.com

NewsRadio. Again.
Last night I watched the episode where Bill does live radio ads for Rocket Fuel Malt Liquor (DAMN!!!) which is targeted at poor blacks (I assume). Here are the radio spots he does for them:
"Wuzzup y'all! Bill McNeal saying there's a party all up in here and you need to get with the flow... Oh yeah!!! Rocketfuel Malt Liquor's got the heavy weight power when you got tha eods to rip it up to some fat bootie beast... or just chill with the honies... so get on the rocket and see the stars... Rocketfuel Malt Liquor... DAMN!!!"
"Wuzzup y'all! Bill McNeal rockin' the mic again cold representin' Rocketfuel Malt Liquor. It's got the mad flavor that takes any situation to the next level... so when the party starts bouncin' and the ladies start bumpin', tighten up your flow with Rocketfuel! Rocketfuel Malt Liquor... DAMN!!!"
Catherine gets offended and gets Bill drunk on Rocket Fuel by guilting and shaming him into trying some. Once he's wasted, she convinces him that his "street talk" is out of date and convinces him to sound more with it by reading the following:
"Gazziza Dilznoofus it's Bill McNeal saying get with the crezappy taste of Rocketfuel Malt Liquor... Rocketfuel's got tha upstate prison flavor that keeps you ugly all night long. So when you wanna get sick remember, nothing makes yo' feet stank like Rocketfuel Malt Liquor... DAMN! It's crezappy!!!"
which leads to him getting fired by the makers of Rocket fuel.

Good stuff. Good stuff.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Iraq's Hawija Sunni tribes declare war on Zarqawi
More good news you won't see in the mainstream media: "Tribal leaders vow to fight all those who attack their sheikhs and clan leaders, including Al-Qaeda"
"It is a terror campaign against our leaders," Sheikh Abdel Rahman al-Assai, head of the Obaidi tribe, said.

"We are not going allow them to silence us and do this to us. The resistance opposes the occupation and is an Iraqi affair.

"Terrorists and Takfiris (Sunni extremists) kill, kidnap and terrorise our people. We cannot accept this," he said.
"We never offered refuge to terrorists. All those who offer shelter to terrorists will be treated like terrorists," their statement added.
That last sentence sounds familiar.

Supreme Court puts the smackdown on liberal professors
In a definite example of over-reaching, liberal university professors sued the Department of Defense arguing that it was unconstitutional to require schools receiving federal funding to accept military recruiters on campus. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously (8-0, with Alito not being on the court at the time of oral arguments) that not only was the Department of Defense within its rights to tie funding to access to recruiters, they would be within their rights to requires access to recruiters even if the school received no funding, as a result of the Consitutional mandate to Congress to "provide for the common Defence," "[t]o raise and support Armies," and "[t]o provide and maintain a Navy."

Ouch. That's gotta hurt. They tried an argument that clearly failed the common sense test and now they have fewer rights than they did before.

Hat tip to James Taranto for pointing this out.

CNN.com - South Dakota law bans nearly all abortions - Mar 6, 2006
Its go time. We have our direct challenge to Roe v. Wade on the books now.

I'm not sure this is the strategy I would avhe taken; South Dakota might be overreaching. But it's still nice to read that headline.

Delaware should make SportsCenter tonight!
That's the good news.

The bad news: 3 UD football players charged in armed robbery

Delaware never makes the national news for good reasons.

Reagan's Children Blog
A new group blog by writers from around the country, including Delaware's own Francisco Gonzalez of Enjoying Freedom Every Day!

Democratic Leaders Question Whether Dean's Right on the Money
Democratic congressional leaders aren't happy with the way Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is spending money. At a private meeting last month, they let him know.

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) challenged the former Vermont governor during a session in Pelosi's office, according to Democratic sources. The leaders complained about Dean's priorities -- funding organizers for state parties in strongly Republican states such as Mississippi -- rather than targeting states with crucial races this fall.
In its most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, the DNC reported raising $50.1 million so far in the 2005-2006 cycle and had $5.8 million cash on hand at the end of last year. The RNC had raised $103 million and had $34 million cash on hand.
This is one big reason why, despite their best efforts to return the House and Senate to Democratic control, the Republicans may hang on to a majority despite themselves.

"[T]he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." —James Madison

"Without religious freedom, efforts to spread democracy are futile, because societies that don't respect the rights of religious minorities cannot be expected to respect any other human rights... [C]ontrary to the politically correct wisdom of our day, not all worldviews or religions are alike. And the differences really matter—just ask the Christians living in the Islamic world." —Chuck Colson

"Last week, the South Dakota legislature swung for the fences by passing a bill that would again criminalize abortion except to save a woman's life... The problem with swinging for the fences is that one usually strikes out more often than the singles hitter who tries to advance the runner. The debate in the pro-life community is whether trying to hit a legislative and judicial home run is the wisest course of action... While I wish the fence-swingers well and hope they hit a home run, my guess is they will not succeed; not now. Perhaps a better strategy would be to attempt to get on base with a simpler plan that is even now causing abortion-minded women to choose to have their babies. That plan involves increasingly sophisticated sonograms. These Hubble Telescopes of the womb show clear color pictures of developing babies and confront a pregnant woman with what it is she is thinking of killing... [W]hen a woman seeking an abortion is shown a picture of her own baby, in 90 percent of the cases she changes her mind and decides to carry it to term." —Cal Thomas

"For too long, the world was paralyzed by the argument that terrorism could not be stopped until the grievances of terrorists were addressed. The complicated and heartrending issues that perplex mankind are no excuse for violent, inhumane attacks, nor do they excuse not taking aggressive action against those who deliberately slaughter innocent people." —Ronald Reagan

"High up on my list of annoyances are references to the United States as a democracy and the suggestion that Iraq should become a democracy... I can't think of a worse place to have a democracy—majority rule. Iraq needs a republic like that envisioned by our founders—decentralized and limited government power. In a republican form of government, there is rule of law. All citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government intervenes in civil society to protect its citizens against force and fraud but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange. Democracy, what the Bush administration calls for, is different. In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. The law is whatever the government determines it to be. Laws aren't necessarily based upon reason but power. In other words, democracy is just another form of tyranny—tyranny of the majority." —Walter Williams

Abortion and Depression
Recent research indicates that in 95% of all cases the male partner plays a central role in the abortion decision.

Other studies, such as a July 2005 report in the Elliot Institute's Post Abortion Review, reveal that up to 80% of women would give birth if given support.

A former abortion-clinic security guard testified in Massachusetts that women are routinely threatened or abused by the men who took them to clinics.

Too often, abortion is the choice of someone else in her life and we hear most women say they had no choice but abortion.
Part 1
Abortion is in fact responsible for a profound array of problems:

-- a 160% increase in rates of suicide in the U.S., according to the Archives of Women's Mental Health, in 2001;

-- a 225% increase in rates of suicide in Britain, according to the British Medical Journal, in 1997;

-- a 546% increase in rates of suicide in Finland, according to the Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica, in 1997.

In total, the average boosted suicide risk of these three studies is 310%!

This high suicide rate following abortion clearly disproves the myth that termination of a pregnancy is safer than childbirth.
Part 2

NewsRadio Season 3
I watched the first 18 episodes of it this weekend. Man, it's just a great show. This season had the complaint box episode with the following great dialogue as Dave is complaining about the abuse of the box:
Dave: "You suck." "You suck." "Howard Stern rules." "If you can read this you are a dork." "Coupon for one free kiss from Joe if you are a girl." "We need more complaint cards." "Coupon for one free kiss from Joe if you are a guy."
Joe: Hey.
Dave: [pulling out a fortune cookie slip] "You will go on a journey, happy long time." "Matthew is a moron." "No I'm not." "Yes you are." "No I'm not infinity." "Yes you are infinity plus one." And this one, "I have doobie in my funk," which I assume is some sort of reference to the Parliament Funkadelic song, "Chocolate City." Uh, "You got peanut butter in my chocolate. You got chocolate in my peanut butter. Together they taste like crap." "Matthew has been staring at me all day... and I like it." I don't think I get this one, it says, "I try to be good hard-worker-man, but refrigemater so messy, so so messy."
Lisa: I think that one's probably from Milos, the janitor.
Dave: Oh. Refrigem... oh, then that one's legitimate.
[continues reading the complaint cards]
Dave: Uh, "Who's the black private dick who's the sex machine with all the chicks."
Bill, Beth, Lisa, Matthew, Joe: SHAFT.
Bill: I thought we'd all enjoy that.
Dave: [reading one last card] And, "Help, I'm being held prisoner in a complaint box," which is actually kinda funny.
It also had the episode with Lisa being named New York's Cutest Reporter, which led to the following discussion of the proper use of compliments in regard to a woman's beauty:
Lisa: Alright, look I did not ask for the stupid award.
Beth: If I were you I'd be upset too. I mean you? Cute? Come on.
Lisa: I am not entirely uncute. I... I... Why are you being nasty about this?
Beth: I'm not being nasty. You're pretty. You're very pretty in fact. But cute, I don't think so.
Lisa: Well I wasn't aware there was a difference.
Beth: Well of course there is a difference. Pretty means pretty. Cute means pretty but short and/or hyperactive - like me.
Lisa: Uh huh. What is beautiful?
Beth: Beautiful means pretty and tall.
Lisa: Gorgeous?
Beth: Pretty with great hair.
Lisa: Striking?
Beth: Pretty with a big nose.
Lisa: OK, you're making this up.
Beth: That's ridiculous, why would I make it up?
Lisa: Voluptuous?
Beth: Pretty and fat.
Lisa: Sexy?
Beth: Pretty and easy.
Lisa: Exotic?
Beth: Ugly
Not only did that episode have that great discussion, but it had Jimmy's great rant after Lisa insults advertisers:
"Let me tell you something, little Miss... Advertising pays our bills, alright... advertising pays your salary... advertising is what made this country great... What was the Constitution of the United States?... No! It is an advertisement... an advertisement for liberty... when in the course of human events... I'm telling you... that's up there with 'Put a Tiger in your tank' and 'Where's the beef'... Don't you understand? I'm sorry... I've got to get some air... [leaves; comes back in the room a few sconds later] Hell if it wasn't for advertising... you know what you two'd be doing, huh? You two'd be giving out Sesame Street tote bags during PBS pledge breaks... 'cept they wouldn't say Sesame Street on them.. Nooo... they wouldn't say that... that would be....? ADVERTISING!!! That's Right!! Hell, if you two had your way there probably wouldn't even be any Sesame Street would there?... Would there?!! There'd be no Ernie would there... Nooooo.... there'd be no Bert... bye bye, bye bye to Grover... bye bye to Cookie Monster... NO! There'd be no Snuffleupagus, would there, and get that trash can... cause there'd be no Oscar the Grouch... NOT TO MENTION... KERMIT, THE DAMN FROG!!!!"
It's a great season, although not episode clicks. There was an episode I didn't remember where Ben Stiller plays a gym salesman who convinces Bill to buy a gym membership. It wasn't all that funny, and it just reminded how I don't find Ben Stiller anything but annoying. But overall, it's been great. There was a lot I should avhe been doing this weekend, but I just couldn't drag myself away.

Should liberals leave Catholic Church? - The Boston Globe
Church doctrine states that allowing children to be adopted by same-sex couples ''would actually mean doing violence to these children." Gay adoptions are ''gravely immoral."

If you agree with those principles, you are, according to the Vatican, a Catholic in good standing.

If you don't, you're not.

Liberals raised as Catholics refuse to accept this reality. We think we can be prochoice, pro-gay marriage , pro-gay adoption, and in favor of married and female priests and still call ourselves Catholic. The people who make the rules say we don't meet the criteria.

Every pronouncement from Pope Benedict XVI draws another line between official church doctrine and liberal ideology. When do liberals choose one side or the other?
The church in Rome thinks in centuries, not in news cycles. It isn't budging.

Will liberals in America ever get the message?
The answer to the title question: No, they shouldn't. Rather, they should seek to understand the Church's position on the issues where they disagree. In my process of accepting the truth and implications of the Faith, it surprised me how often the Church was right on issues where I disagreed with them or didn't understand the teaching. For example, the pronouncement against contraception in Humanae Vitae is so logical that it's hard to disagreement with it once you read. (I remain convinced that's why those who disagree with this teaching encourage people not to read it. A friend of mine who was a Jesuit seminarian, naturally, once referred to it as a "long, boring document" while discouraging people from reading. It's not long. It only takes a few hours to read it. If people were to read it, they start agreeing with it.)

Ideally, these people should examine their consciences and really try to understand why the Church teaches what she does. I did it; and it really helped me truly believe that the Church is founded on the Rock of Peter and continues to be guided by the Holy Spirit to this day.

Link via Built On a Rock.

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