Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Elegance Of Microsoft

Via Peeve Farm, this video parody says it all.

We Need More Like Her

Ace Of Spades links to a very interesting video of a brave Arabic lady giving Islam what for on a Middle Eastern news program. One of Ace's commenters had this to say:

That was extremely brave, lucid and accurate. All the more since it comes from one of the most vulnerable.

I contrast this with an interview I just saw with the ever apologist Zogby who cautions we must be careful not to insult the Islamic world. [Nonsense]. It's high time the Islamic world learns to stop insulting the rest of the world. Aside from oil, which is nothing more than a historical accident, what has the Islamic community contributed to the rest of the world except terror, strife and suffering?

That is one bright, gutsy woman. I hope someone's got her back.

I'm Covered. Oh, You Mean By Insurance That Actually Pays Out? Then No, I'm Not Covered.

Steve Verdon has a good post on the collapse of the Canadian single-[non]payer health care system.


The problem is that a badly designed health care system will have rotten incentives. Think of it this way, suppose a law was passed making the price of lobster 1/100th its current price. The obvious result is that there would be far fewer lobsters on the shelves. People would purchase the existing inventory, and at these low prices lobster fishermen would switch to other more profitable catches. We saw this kind of thing with the price controls during the past oil crises. And we see the same thing in Canada with one huge difference: unlike lobster there aren't many substitutes for health care services.

As with the lobster example, there is a shortage of both nurses and doctors in Canada. This should be obvious. Where is one place that the government can control costs? Doctor and nurse salaries. Fix those at a fairly low level and the rate of increase and you can help control costs. Since doctors and nurses are almost all highly intelligent and motivated people they will see that they can get more for their work in other occupations or in other countries. So you end up with a shortage of doctors and nurses. The exact same logic applies to hospitals, MRIs, and other things as well.


On top of it, I'd argue that there are in effect uninsured people in Canada and lots of them. What is the benefit if you have government insurance if you still have to wait 10 months to get an MRI, and 18 months to get the procedure done? For 18 months you don't have health care that you need. In effect you have no insurance as you sit there in pain and missing out on large portion of your life.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Plagiaristic Hymnody

This is amusing, in a Catholic-insider kind of way.

Q: Can't We All Just Get Along? A: Only Under Sharia Law

Mark Steyn's recent column has been excerpted by many others, with an emphasis on the first half. I just want to point out the concluding section:

Something very remarkable is happening around the globe and, if you want the short version, a Muslim demonstrator in Toronto the other day put it very well:

''We won't stop the protests until the world obeys Islamic law.''

Stated that baldly it sounds ridiculous. But, simply as a matter of fact, every year more and more of the world lives under Islamic law: Pakistan adopted Islamic law in 1977, Iran in 1979, Sudan in 1984. Four decades ago, Nigeria lived under English common law; now, half of it's in the grip of sharia, and the other half's feeling the squeeze, as the death toll from the cartoon jihad indicates. But just as telling is how swiftly the developed world has internalized an essentially Islamic perspective. In their pitiful coverage of the low-level intifada that's been going on in France for five years, the European press has been barely any less loopy than the Middle Eastern media.

What, in the end, are all these supposedly unconnected matters from Danish cartoons to the murder of a Dutch filmmaker to gender-segregated swimming sessions in French municipal pools about? Answer: sovereignty. Islam claims universal jurisdiction and always has. The only difference is that they're now acting upon it. The signature act of the new age was the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran: Even hostile states generally respect the convention that diplomatic missions are the sovereign territory of their respective countries. Tehran then advanced to claiming jurisdiction over the citizens of sovereign states and killing them -- as it did to Salman Rushdie's translators and publishers. Now in the cartoon jihad and other episodes, the restraints of Islamic law are being extended piecemeal to the advanced world, by intimidation and violence but also by the usual cooing promotion of a spurious multicultural "respect" by Bill Clinton, the United Church of Canada, European foreign ministers, etc.

The I'd-like-to-teach-the-world-to-sing -in-perfect-harmonee crowd have always spoken favorably of one-worldism. From the op-ed pages of Jutland newspapers to les banlieues of Paris, the Pan-Islamists are getting on with it.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

An Earnest, Polite Representative Of Knee-Jerk Know-Nothing Liberalism

Northern Alliance radio interviews the author of the children's book, "Why Mommy Is A Democrat". It's a fun listen. Jeremy Zilber sounds like a nice guy. But it's amazing how many little gems of liberal foolishness he manages to offhandedly spout over the course of the interview. His book is almost a perfect caricature of liberalism. It reads (from what I've seen) as more of a satire that could have been written by a conservative.

Newton's Principia Does Not Belong In The Science Classroom

But if you want to discuss it down the hall in philosophy or religion class, that's just fine[, we'll sue you]. Excellent satire by David Berlinski:

Special to the London Gazette

More than sixty years after the famous Galileo ‘The Earth it Moves’ trial in Rome, Copernicus is in the news again, this time in the form of a so-called theory of universal gravitation (or UG, as it has come to be known). Headquartered at the Royal Society, a think tank in London funded by well-heeled royalist donors, members of the universal gravitation movement argue that the facts of astronomy are so complicated that they require the introduction of a mysterious ‘universal force of gravitation.’ But when queried, members decline to specify the author of this force, saying only (according to a public spokesman) that “In this, we are agnostic.”

Unlike the old breed of Copernicists, universal gravitation theorists sport established degrees from well-known universities and claim to be doing cutting edge science. “Look,” said one prominent member of the Royal Society, “there’s plainly some sort of force at work on the surface of the earth. Unsupported objects always fall. All we’re saying is that it is perfectly reasonable to follow the evidence. If the evidence leads to some sort of universal force, that’s where the evidence leads.”

Critics have not been impressed, pointing to the fact that members of the movement do not publish in peer-reviewed journals and instead rely on the Royal Society itself to put out their slick products.

“It’s all smoke and mirrors,” claimed one member of the astronomy faculty at the University of Augsburg. “It’s a classic force of the gaps argument. All they’re really saying is that there are some things established science can’t explain yet, so there must be a mysterious force at work. If science has taught us anything over two thousand years, it’s that sooner or later the gaps get filled in a perfectly natural way.”

Said another critic, the professor of Ptolemaic Understanding at Oxford University: “Nothing in astronomy makes sense except in the light of Ptolemaic astronomy. There is overwhelming evidence in support of the idea that the sun revolves around the earth. It has been one of the most fruitful and productive ideas in the entire history of science.”

Still another critic observed that “to claim that Ptolemy’s theory is just a theory is as absurd as arguing that Galen’s theory of the humours is just a theory. It betrays a fundamental ignorance of the way in which science works.”

UG’s most well-known figure has been Isaac Newton, a notoriously reclusive mathematician with a known taste for bizarre theology and a penchant for dangerous chemical experiments. His Principia Mathematica has been a surprise best-seller, one of those books, as one wag quipped, which it is ‘easy to get into and impossible to get out of.’ Real mathematicians have been almost universal in their scorn, however. “The worst sort of pretentious posturing,” said the professor of counting and arithmetic at the University of London, adding “that for all this Newton’s so-called arithmetical expertise, there is just nothing in this book that indicates that it has any relevance at all to the real data of astronomy.

Colleagues at the department of counting and arithmetic agreed. “Let’s face it,” said one “The idea that the moon is falling is just insane. Falling? How come it never hits the earth? Where is it falling from? Who or why was it dropped? The idea that heavenly bodies are held in place by some sort of invisible force isn’t even bad science. It’s not science at all.”

Still other mathematicians have argued that Newton’s book is riddled with obvious blunders and betrays a fundamental lack of scholarly rigor. Commenting on the so-called differential calculus, the professor of Applied Numbers at the University of Manchester remarked that the “whole subject was just written in Suet,” adding that “Newton seems to believe there are numbers greater than zero but less than any other number, adding, “I know of no idea likely to be less productive.”

When reached in his London office, Newton declined to comment, saying only that he had “no use for little smatterers in mathematics.”

“Typical,” said the professor of Epicycles at the University of Canterbury. “These people can quibble about tiny details in Ptolemaic astronomy, but when anyone criticizes their own work, they start babbling about conspiracies to marginalize their views. It’s all just Copernicus in a cheap tuxedo.”

Nonetheless, the most recent polls indicate that over sixty percent of the English public believes that the earth revolves around the sun and that it is kept in its orbit by some sort of mysterious force.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pretty Darned Heartwarming

This is a must see. Now, wouldn't it be cool if we lived in a universe where God Himself came to us as a little guy like one of these? I think it would be cool...Actually, I think it is cool!

The Cartoonists Strike Back

Very good collection of US political cartoonists work referencing the Cartoon Jihad. Note: these are much better than the bland, mediocre ones that kicked off this whole farce to begin with.

Those Good-For-Nothing Arabs Are All Alike

I haven't been posting anything on the UAE ports brouhaha, because it all strikes me as yet another tiresome tempest in a teapot, "a tale full of sound and fury, told by an idiot, signifying nothing". Sorry, but the United Arab Emirates are not Syria. But all shifty Arabs look alike to some folks, I guess.

Jonah Goldberg has a column on the subject.


Bipartisan consensus is often a troubling sign, particularly when it's on an issue few know much about. It was prompted by the Bush administration's decision to defend the bid by Dubai Ports World, based in the United Arab Emirates, to buy the British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which currently runs six U.S. ports. The deal was unanimously approved by the administration committee charged with reviewing the national security implications of foreign acquisitions.

In response, Republicans and Democrats alike have gone batty.

For five years, Republicans have chanted "trust the president" on national security. They even won elections on the issue. For nearly five years, Democrats have said President Bush should use more carrots and fewer sticks in his diplomacy in the Muslim world. They argued that we need to reward our allies with trade and trust (except when we actually did it in places such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia). Liberals lectured that equating "Muslim" or "Arab" and "terrorist" is not only bigoted but counterproductive, in that it will feed the "root causes" of terrorism.

But suddenly, virtually all leading Republicans and Democrats - with the laudable exception of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. - now argue that Bush can't be trusted on national security, that our Arab ally the UAE should go suck eggs, and that racial profiling of foreign firms is just fine. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., now even thinks Halliburton should run the ports. And Jimmy Carter is backing the White House.

At this rate, Barbra Streisand will soon be holding benefit concerts for Pennsylvania's conservative Sen. Rick Santorum.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Meditation On Happiness And Politics

Good stuff from George Will.

Here's What Real Economic Analysis Looks Like

In contrast to daft, knee-jerk, shallow, liberal economic "thinking". The subject is the recently passed "Wal-Mart laws", but the column illustrates the process of taking a deeper look at the effects of feel-good (or is it vindictive?) legislation.


I've seen this one several times before, but just got it in e-mail again. Anyway:

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon."

Gates is being humble here and not taking any credit for the additional features we'd all be enjoying:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive -- but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally , for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No Real Biologist Doubts Darwinsim, Because, After All, If You Doubt Darwinism, You're Not A Real Biologist!

Case closed! The New York Times has just provided an excellent illustration of this mentality:

All the News that Fits: The NYT's Evolving Definition of "Biologist"

Who are biologists? The New York Times can't seem to make up its mind. Last week, the Times described Darwinist Patricia Princehouse at Case Western Reserve University as an "evolutionary biologist." This was despite the fact that Princehouse's doctorate is in the history of science--not biology--and her position at her university is "Lecturer in Philosophy & Evolutionary Theory." When questions were raised about the accuracy of calling an historian of science an "evolutionary biologist," the Times corrections desk refused to budge, ruling that Princehouse's credentials were good enough for the Times.

But that was last week. Yesterday, the Times apparently decided that even biochemists shouldn't be called biologists if they happen to be skeptical of Darwinian evolution.

In his article about Discovery Institute's Dissent from Darwin statement signed by more than 500 scientists, the Times' Ken Chang stated that "128 biologists" signed the statement along with 26 scientists with degrees in "biochemistry." Huh? Biochemists are no longer considered biologists? The 26 biochemists referenced by Chang include Michael Behe, a Professor of Biological Science at Lehigh University; Russell Carlson, a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Georgia; Tony Jelsma, an Associate Professor of Biology at Dordt College; and Luman Wing, an Associate Professor of Biology at Azusa Pacific University.

According to the Times, professors of biology (with doctorates in biochemistry, a biological discipline) do not qualify as biologists, but a lecturer in philosophy with a doctorate in history does. Go figure.

But it gets stranger. Apparently even a evolutionary biologist is not entitled to be described as such once he becomes critical of neo-Darwinism. Chang ends his article by citing Darwin critic Stanley Salthe. Salthe is a biologist who authored a textbook on evolutionary biology. But readers wouldn't have known that fact from Chang's story, for Chang merely describes Salthe as a "scientist."

The Times' bias is so brazen--and so predictable--it's hard to get upset about it. In fact, this week I'm feeling pretty kindly toward the Times. Since Chang's article featuring our dissent list on Tuesday, we've been contacted already by more than two dozen new scientists who want to sign our dissent statement. Thank you, New York Times!

More background here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Into The Great Silence

This last weekend, I went on a silent retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola (he was the founder of the Jesuit order). The retreat master was a young Legionary of Christ priest (the LC's seem to me to be a modern version of what the Jesuits were when they first started 450 years ago). There were about 20 men on the retreat, which took place in a rustic Santa Cruz mountain retreat center run by a handful of humble Franciscan nuns.

The rule of silence allowed us to sing and speak during the Mass and prayers (and spiritual direction and confession), but otherwise, unless strictly necessary (a whispered, "please pass the milk", or giving/receiving short instructions to coordinate activities, for example, "please lead the first decade of the Rosary", or "we need you to dry dishes after breakfast"), not speaking at all. So no small talk, no joking, no chitchat, no sharing of insights as they occur, no asking, "what do you think so far", etc. Just silence, so each of us had the luxury to hear (and perhaps wrestle with) what God had to say to our hearts over the course of 3 days. For some, it might have been a call to repentance, a call to turn away from a particular sin or addiction. For others it might have been a call to increase fervor and discipline in prayer and devotion to God. For others it might have been a deepened sense of the indwelling presence of God.

There is something profound and magical about such silence. Any Catholics reading this who have never done such a retreat, I implore you, do one! [Note -- I don't mean to be exclusive of Protestants or anyone else, but this kind of retreat is very tightly structured around the sacraments of Mass and Confession, and traditional prayer forms such as the Angelus, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, etc. Unfamiliarity with any or all of these things, especially combined with silence, could be quite confusing or distressing.]

Coincidentally, The Anchoress has a good post today about the movie "Into The Great Silence", which has been wowing audiences in Europe. She also highlights an article by David Warren, in which he takes a look at why the movie might have such resonance. I'm certainly not a Carthusian monk, but I think I did get a little taste of the Great Silence this weekend. I very much look forward to seeing the movie if it makes it to the U.S.

What Ace Said


In countries dominated by Muslims, the Muslim religion is usually the state-sponsored one, with all other religions relegated to second-class (if that) status, or dhimmitude.

We cannot allow angry Islamists, by protesting, bombing, and killing, to force upon us the same priviledged status for Islam in the West -- where any religion or belief can be parodied, derided, or blasphemed, except the Muslim faith, which must and shall be protected from all insult at any cost.

This isn't just about cartoons. This is about the Islamists' attempts to inflict their theocracy upon us. Not even through war and conquest, which would be terrible enough. But through something even worse-- sheer cowardice on our part. They are attempting to impose their belief system upon us through our own voluntary submission to Islamic law, just for fear of speaking up for ourselves and making some radical Islamists somewhere very cross.

It's one thing to be forced to accept an alien religion and culture through military conquest. It is simply craven to accept such things while still ostensibly free and unconquered.

Submission. The key tenet of Islam. It is strange that many of those in our nation who are most hostile to religion, and most angered that anyone with a religious viewpoint even argue a political point in the public square, for fear of poluting it with their Jesus-talk, are so willing to submit entirely to the tenets of fundamentalist Islam.

I don't think that Islam should be discriminated against in the West. But I'll be God-Damned To Hell before I see it elevated, as quasi-official state doctrine enforced by our cultural guardians in the media and the academy, above every other faith in the country.

Monday, February 20, 2006

To The Point

Is radical, violent jihad intrinsic to Islam? Or has a peaceful religion been 'hijacked'? I've got my own opinion about that. Either way, I thought this was nicely put (it's a comment to this post):

I personally am having a problem with the concept of an entire religion having been ‘hijacked’ when there hasn’t been a single recorded instance of any of its 1.3 billion adherents vociferously complaining of the theft...

Comment by alwyr | 2/20/2006 - 6:06 pm

Friday, February 17, 2006

Words Of Wisdom

Mona Charen:

We are seeing in this episode another of our periodic culture clashes between those who came of age before the '60s and those who came after. Cheney was born in 1941 and reached mature adulthood before it became the fashion for men to bare their souls, emote and talk talk talk. Cheney is like a brainy Gary Cooper. He's everything a Wyoming male was supposed to be -- self-contained, serious and unflappable. But here's a hint for the flower children: That doesn't mean he has no feelings. Of course he is devastated by what he did. He said as much to Brit Hume. The image of his friend Harry falling is one he cannot get out of his mind.

Cheney's kind of emotional reserve and privacy is pretty much a lost virtue in our flamboyantly demonstrative age, and that's unfortunate. Those who easily showcase their feelings are often charlatans and manipulators (Oprah, call your office). The more we demand that people -- particularly men -- share their deepest fears and regrets, the more we will be inviting the worst sort to lead us.

Also on the Cheney topic, David Limbaugh has some choice, hard-hitting rhetoric against the MSM jackals.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Millionaire" Is An Insult That The Unbiased MSM Would Never Use On Its Friends

It would be unmannerly.

The Anchoress makes a good observation:

I was feeling testy yesterday and - having read some article that called poor, bird-shot riddled Mr. Whittington a “millionaire Republican” - wrote to a “professional journalist” pal and asked him, “why is it that a wealthy Republican is always a ‘wealthy’ Republican or a ‘millionaire’ Republican, while a Democrat - no matter how filthy rich - is always simply a ‘Democrat.’”

His answer: I dunno.

A few hours later, he emailed back with this: I googled “wealthy democrats” and got 965 responses. I googled “wealthy republicans” and got … 17,900.

Oh. THAT unbiased media! :-)

Abortion Season

Some good common-sense ideas from Mike Adams.

Simple Extortion

Interesting WSJ article on the recently passed "Wal-Mart Laws", and how they represent nothing more than a naked ploy on the part of parasitic-on-society labor unions. And how the ludicrous laws will almost certainly fail to survive judicial scrutiny.


America's retailers announced last week that they aren't especially keen to follow the steel, airline and perhaps auto industries into bankruptcy court. If Big Labor really wants a fight over mandated health insurance, it now has one.

The announcement came in the form of two federal lawsuits filed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association against the state of Maryland and Suffolk County, New York. At issue are the "Wal-Mart" laws that both jurisdictions recently passed, which would require a few large companies to pay more for their workers' health care. The lawsuits argue the statutes are "discriminatory," which may be the legal understatement of the year since both target only a few employers.

This is an unusual show of solidarity for the 400 or so member retail trade group, and it suggests more companies are figuring out that organized labor's campaign against Wal-Mart is merely a warm-up to a broader assault. Thanks to the exhortations of the AFL-CIO, some 30 states are now considering so-called fair-share health-care laws that force companies to devote a certain percentage of their payroll to health care. The common denominator is that all of these laws largely single out non-union employers.

The union strategy is to force any competitive, non-unionized company to incur the same labor-induced costs as their own beleaguered employers. Unionized grocers such as Safeway, Albertson's and Kroger have been losing the fight against their lower-cost competitors, and shedding jobs in the process. In the past decade, more than two dozen supermarket operators have sought bankruptcy court protection or liquidated. The union goal is to stop this bleeding by dragging the Wal-Marts and Costcos to their cost level.

That agenda was clear in the Maryland and Suffolk County laws, which made no pretense of raising health-care benefits for all workers. Instead, the Maryland statute required employers with more than 10,000 employees to spend at least 8% of its payroll on health care. Only one company fit the bill: Wal-Mart. The Suffolk County law also only applies to large grocery stores, and it specifically exempts union employers.

The good news is that the judiciary isn't likely to let such legal gerrymandering stand...

A also liked these reader responses to the article:

Ween Us Off the Benefit

Jud Spangler - West Chester, Pa.

The problem with the employer-provided health insurance model is that it has become a nothing but an addictive drug with awful side effects. Anyone with common sense would say it was crazy to provide insurance coverage for common necessities, like groceries. Can you imagine a $10 copay at the supermarket? The price of food would skyrocket and our choices would be restricted. How about filing claims for oil changes at Jiffy Lube?

Yet this is exactly what has happened to health care. We should be buying health insurance the way we buy auto, life and home insurance--for the occasional catastrophic incident that would place undue strain on our finances--not for routine medical care. And what about the poor who would struggle to afford any care? First of all, the cost would come down because we would de-fang the decades-long runaway health care inflation. Second, you could extend the welfare safety net to cover them. When equilibrium was restored to the health care market, we'd all be paying less, more people would have coverage for what they couldn't afford on their own, and insurance companies would return to their original mission instead of managing health care.

Unfortunately, no one in positions of leadership, least of all liberals in state government, recognize that they are "pushers" who'd rather keep us addicted to a system that will eventually collapse.


Making the Problem Worse

Carole Kauffman - Addison, Texas

When I first entered the workforce in 1968, employer-paid health care was almost unheard of. A few large companies had it, and in those cases it was considered a benefit that was intended to lure good employees to those companies. Somehow since then this "benefit" has mutated into an expectation that employers will pay for health insurance, and now apparently this expectation/demand has been taken to the next level and is being legislated into law.

Business owners should have no more responsibility to pay for an employee's health insurance than they would have to make that same employee's car payments. In addition, I think that over the years, the easy availability of non-emergency health services through employer-paid health insurance has greatly increased the demand for those services and driven the overall cost of health insurance into the stratosphere. To those who suffer the expense of private health insurance (and I am one), we can thank the concept of employer-paid health insurance for much of the problem.

The Anchoress Gets Read On Rush Limbaugh

Without attribution, but read nonetheless. Rush read (and paraphrased a bit) from this post.

Well, this gives me the opportunity to try audio blogging for the first time. So: you can listen to a 2.5 minute snippet from Limbaugh's show here. The quote from the Anchoress is in the middle of the snippet. The audio quality isn't great, because the free audio hosting service doesn't seem to want you to upload MP3's directly. Therefore, I had to record off of my speakers and into my cheap little mic, which gives a lot of booming room ambience and extraneous noise. Still, it's quite listenable. I've e-mailed a clean MP3 to The Anchoress.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

...But I Was Not A Plastic Clown

Savages. Who do they think they are, WTO protestors? (H/T Instapundit).

Suckling At The Glass Teat. Urge To Riot Fading...fading...


World's Greatest Baby-Sitter

The Associated Press reports from Jerusalem on a seemingly obvious innovation in incarceration:

Israeli army jailers at a tough facility for Palestinian security prisoners in the Negev desert have discovered a unique deterrent against disturbances: television.

In the year since the first TV set was installed in the Ketziot prison, there have been no serious disturbances that required tear gas for dispersal--up to then a common occurrence, said the soldiers' weekly "Bamahane" in its current issue.

The prison commander, identified only as Lt. Col. Avi by the magazine, said the security prisoners spend their time watching television instead of planning disturbances. "The culture of planning hostile activity here is withering away," he told the weekly.

Jailers control the channel selection, the magazine said, limiting viewing to the three main Israeli channels, CNN and a Jordanian TV station.

Now and then we hear about outrages in the U.S. court system in which crazy judges order prisons to provide cable TV to inmates. This suggests that the crazy judges just may be on to something.

A Litany Of Reasons For Democratic Electoral Defeat

Some pretty good one-stop analysis here. Many succinct reasons given for the Democrats current lack of electoral viability. Nothing that hasn't been said elsewhere before, but nicely condensed and stated.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Way Cool

Amazing optical illusion sidewalk chalk art. A must see! (H/T Peeve Farm)

Europe At The Crossroads

A very good (and short) Victor Davis Hanson piece.

Smart Sex

Excellent interview with Jennifer Roback Morse, who has written a book called Smart Sex.

Here's the conclusion:

Lopez: What's the most important practical advice from "Smart Sex?"

Morse: Love is worth the effort. Love is not a feeling: love is a decision to will and to do the good of the other person. And in the end, it is the greatest adventure of all.

Lopez: So what counts as Smart Sex?

Lopez: I take my motto from Sherlock Holmes, who once told Watson, "after you have eliminated the impossible, what remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." After eliminating all the forms of dumb sex, hooking up, cohabiting, divorce, and remarriage, what is left? Life-long married love. Although it seems improbable to the modern mind, the truth is that married couples have more and better sex, and have a far better track record at dodging the dumb sex that has caused so much misery.

Married sex is smart sex.

Playing The God Card, And Busting

Pretty good article on how the Dems are losing big as they try to show that not only is it dead wrong for the Repubs to claim that God is on their side (church and state!), but really, God is on the Democrats side (God being a socialist, and all)!


Since their 2004 drubbing at the hands of roughly 30 million conservative Christians, Democrats have invoked the Lord’s name in such ways and with such frequency; it would make the Rev. Pat Robertson blush.

“God is a liberal,” declare Jim Carville and Paul Begala in their latest book Take It Back. “Jesus is not a Republican,” demands Clint Wallis, editor of, among other tomes, the very un-Christian sounding The I Hate Republicans Reader. “Jesus is a progressive.”

“When did Jesus become pro-rich?” asks liberal evangelical author and activist Jim Wallis. “Jesus cared for the poor/so do we,” reads a South Dakota Democratic Party bumper sticker. “The role of government is to protect its people and work for the common good. This is not the time for a budget reconciliation process. To do so is not only unjust, it’s a sin,” echoed the Leftist National Council of Churches USA.

Here’s how The Hill described a Nancy Pelosi floor speech on the budget process in 2005, “In the final Democratic speech before the vote, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said a vote in favor of the bill amounted to a ‘sin.’”

"Our moral values are closer to the American people than the Republicans' are," says DNC Chairman Howard Dean (who, by the way, denounced his faith in Vermont over a dispute about the placement of a municipal bike path.)

“I think they [Christian conservatives] get the Bible ass-backward, ignoring the most important teachings of Jesus, which place love and compassion above greed and intolerance,” argues Leftist pundit and author Bill Press in his book How the Republicans Stole Christmas.

Shoot, Jim Wallis’ bestselling book on the subject of faith in public life is ostentatiously titled God’s Politics.

But a strange thing happened on the political Left’s offensive to become the party of God: their image as a “religion friendly” party actually deteriorated in the year immediately following their electoral disaster.

According to Pew Research Center data from October 2004, just one month before Election Day, 40 percent of the American public saw the Democrat Party as “friendly toward religion.” That number tumbled to 29 percent by August 2005, almost a full year (and a lot of misquoted Bible passages) later.


Democrats have some serious decisions to make about the future of their party and its message. The Democrat Party cannot long stand as one that demands separation of church and state in all -- even symbolic -- matters while at the same time claiming Biblical substantiation for liberal public policies. They cannot imply John Roberts’ queasiness about Roe v. Wade breaches the “impregnable wall,” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein did during Roberts’ confirmation hearings, while at the same time urge income redistribution because “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:25). They cannot call Republicans “theocrats” for trying to save Terri Schiavo while they also claim John the Baptist endorsed their welfare state when he said, “He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none …” (Luke 3:11).

Just as Democrats are telling voters they are unserious about national security through their over-the-top rhetoric about Iraq, the Democrats’ “God card” gambit demonstrates to the American public that they are not serious about matters of faith in public life.

Profiles In Cowardice

Dennis Prager on the MSM's unwillingness to run the cartoons. His piece does a good job explaining that:

When it comes to taking on conservatives, Catholics, evangelicals and the like, liberal news media are Supermen. When it comes to confronting real evil, however, the news media are Mickey Mouse.

Also, see this excellent cartoon about the cartoons.

Monday, February 13, 2006

It Just Might Work

Oh, it's very, very un-PC, but Mike Adams has hit just about the right tone for this entire cartoon jihad, lefty treason farce we're living through.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Poetry Of Finance

Bill Bonner is an enjoyable read when it comes to macroeconomics. Here's a good piece.


Whither goes the money? Are bad debts written off balance sheets as easily as they were once written on them? Does the money just go up to money heaven, back into the "thin air" from whence the Fed first drew it out?

We were wondering yesterday about the debt bubble. Can debt levels continue to rise forever? And what happens when a debtor cannot pay? No harm done, right?

Our head aches and our knees wobble at the thought of it. Even without thinking, we know it can't be so. Nature has her limits, her penalties and her dirty tricks. In debt, as in dollars, quality and quantity vary inversely. The more debt a man takes on, the more he has to struggle to keep up with it. The quality of his IOU declines. "Will he really be able to make good on his commitments?" lenders ask themselves.

Logically, if not consistently, lenders demand higher rates of interest. Higher rates increase the weight of debt throughout the economy. A man who must borrow to continue living in the style to which he has become accustomed must shoulder more debt at higher rates – making him even less able to pay. At the margin, debtors begin to buckle at the knees. Credits go bad. Bankruptcy courts and workout companies start hiring extra hands. That is what we see happening in Britain and America today.

But, apart from the overburdened lender, is anyone really worse off? The credit may have been created "out of thin air" by central banks...doesn't it vanish just as painlessly? Alas, no.

When a lender doles out a million pounds to a borrower, both of them now feel they have money to burn. Imagine next that the borrower takes an extravagant vacation around the world. The money does not vanish into thin air. Instead, it goes into travel expenses: jet fuel, swanky hotel rooms, pricey bar tabs. It goes not up to heaven, but down to earth, where it is used up, and vanishes forever, like a lover's last kiss or a smoked cigarette. And it does not vanish without a trace. You are left with a bitter aftertaste and the burnt-out stubs.

First, the borrower goes broke. Then, when the lender goes to collect, he finds that he is broke, too. And somewhere in Sri Lanka or San Martin is a hotel proprietor standing in front of a brand new wing of rooms. He wonders what's happened to his free-spending customers. What happened to the sound of ice cubes at cocktail hour and the smell of foie gras at lunch? He worries about how he'll pay the mortgage he took out to pay for his new addition.

As the credit cycle continues to turn down, there are fewer people with money in their pockets, and more capital investments that don't really make sense anymore. In short, the money doesn't ascend into money heaven at all. Instead, it becomes a steel ball and chain clamped to the ankles of investors, businessmen and consumers...one they'll drag around for years. Not only have the borrower and the lender no more money to spend, but now the hotel owner has thrown away his money on that suite of luxury rooms that no one wants. He'll either have to eat into his own income or capital to keep the thing going...or go bust, too.

Fraud begets fraud...swindle begets swindle...error begets error and the whole cycle soon becomes woebegotten. In America today, the Fed's phony new money – created out of thin air – feeds phony house price increases that turns into phony consumer demand that coaxes businessmen in China to make bad capital investments. When the cycle tops, almost everyone everywhere will feel the pain, because the funny money drew out real resources – oil, labor, steel – that might have been put to better use.

Don't get us wrong; we love the Fed as much as everyone else. In the Soviet Union, resources were misallocated by force. In the Fed's empire, they are misallocated by fraud. This is undoubtedly a big improvement; for one thing, it is much more entertaining.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Speaks For Itself

Found picture here.

Right Wing News On The Cartoon Jihad

Short post includes an excellent Cox & Forkum cartoon, as well as the latest moral inanity from the NYT:

Are you ready for an irony overload? The New York Times ran a story on the Muhammad cartoons and they did finally post a pic -- of the Virgin Mary covered in elephant dung! The hypocrisy and cowardice of these papers just boggles the mind...

Also, this post from yesterday asks:

The Christian Science Monitor claimed showing cartoons featuring Muhammad was almost like "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater," which quite frankly, makes exactly the point Jyllands-Posten was trying to prove in the first place. If simply publishing a cartoon that offends Muslims is in and of itself likely to be a dangerous act, then there is a big problem here that needs to be confronted head on.

Once you cut through all this ridiculous spin, you get to the truth -- which is that members of the MSM in this country, other than a handful of brave exceptions, are censoring what they write about Muslims out of fear that Islamo-Fascists will bomb, burn, or behead them.

Furthermore, this may seem to just be about cartoons, but what about other areas where the MSM could incur the wrath of Muslims? How much is this self-censorship affecting their coverage of terrorism, Islamic dictatorships, Iran, Israel and Palestine, the war in Iraq, and the war on terror in general?

Just what else is the mainstream media not willing to talk about because some Muslim extremist might be offended? Until the public gets some better answers to that question, perhaps they should be less trusting of what they hear from the mainstream media.

Three Rights Make A Left

Some nice, clear political philosophy from Walter Williams.


Do people have a right to medical treatment whether or not they can pay? What about a right to food or decent housing? Would a U.S. Supreme Court justice hold that these are rights just like those enumerated in our Bill of Rights? In order to have any hope of coherently answering these questions, we have to decide what is a right. The way our Constitution's framers used the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people and imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech, or freedom to travel, is something we all simultaneously possess. My right to free speech or freedom to travel imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. In other words, my exercising my right to speech or travel requires absolutely nothing from you and in no way diminishes any of your rights.

Contrast that vision of a right to so-called rights to medical care, food or decent housing, independent of whether a person can pay. Those are not rights in the sense that free speech and freedom of travel are rights. If it is said that a person has rights to medical care, food and housing, and has no means of paying, how does he enjoy them? There's no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy who provides them. You say, "The Congress provides for those rights." Not quite. Congress does not have any resources of its very own. The only way Congress can give one American something is to first, through the use of intimidation, threats and coercion, take it from another American. So-called rights to medical care, food and decent housing impose an obligation on some other American who, through the tax code, must be denied his right to his earnings. In other words, when Congress gives one American a right to something he didn't earn, it takes away the right of another American to something he did earn.

If this bogus concept of rights were applied to free speech rights and freedom to travel, my free speech rights would impose financial obligations on others to provide me with an auditorium and microphone. My right to travel freely would require that the government take the earnings of others to provide me with airplane tickets and hotel accommodations.

Philosopher John Locke's vision of natural law guided the founders of our nation. Our Declaration of Independence expresses that vision, declaring, "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Government is necessary, but the only rights we can delegate to government are the ones we possess. For example, we all have a natural right to defend ourselves against predators. Since we possess that right, we can delegate authority to government to defend us. By contrast, we don't have a natural right to take the property of one person to give to another; therefore, we cannot legitimately delegate such authority to government.

Three-fifths to two-thirds of the federal budget consists of taking property from one American and giving it to another. Were a private person to do the same thing, we'd call it theft. When government does it, we euphemistically call it income redistribution, but that's exactly what thieves do -- redistribute income. Income redistribution not only betrays the founders' vision, it's a sin in the eyes of God. I'm guessing that when God gave Moses the Eighth Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal," I'm sure he didn't mean "thou shalt not steal unless there was a majority vote in Congress."

The Left: Immoral, Treasonous, And Even Worse, No Class

Good overview article about the Left's latest diatribe-filled political rally at a funeral.


Yesterday’s spectacle is perhaps the Left’s most disturbing recurring motif in recent times: profaning the sacred, specifically the dead. Democratic Party hacks turned Paul Wellstone’s memorial service on October 29, 2002, into a raucous political rally for Walter Mondale. Ron Reagan Jr. – who historically had a strained relationship with his father – cheapened his Republican father’s funeral by taking a shot at George W. Bush, saying his father “never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians: wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage…he accepted [his presidency] as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.” One wag replied by saying, “Reagan wore his religion on his sleeve all the time!” Still, every conservative resisted the temptation to urge the election year mourners to “win one for the Gipper.” The Left knows nothing of this restraint (nor, observing their views on the sexual revolution and drug use, of any other kind of restraint).

This tendency to exploit the dead reached its nadir with Cindy Sheehan. Conversely, leftist hatemongers like Ted Rall exult in belittling the dead, as he viciously attacked the late Pat Tillman and Ronald Reagan.

Perhaps the American people should expect no less from the Left and its partisans in the Secular Party. They hold The Politics of Bad Faith: the belief in a messianic state erected by their political action, where prayer is replaced with jingoism and good works with get-out-the-vote drives. This false gospel has few takers in the American heartland, where voters are beginning to realize their estrangement from the radical fringe that holds the Left captive. Nothing could more clearly drive this message home than the crass polemical exploitation of a solemn requiem for a deceased hero on national television.

Monday, February 06, 2006

This Sums It Up


"Anyone happen to remember how many Arab embassies American mobs burned down on September 12th, 2001?"

Good one in the combox:

Didn’t a gang of Americans mob some Arab amateur pilots when they heard? Somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, I seem to recall, leading to a fatal crash.

Behe Defends Self Against Sophistry Of Judge Jones

Good read (pdf) is linked to here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Anti-Theism Column

Highlighted here. For the record, I was using "Walt-Disney-style magical powers" as I typed this post. I am perfectly comfortable doing so. My hands do what my mind tells them, at least when it comes to typing (guitar playing, not so much). I don't pay much mind to what James Dee had to say in his column, since his hands were only following inexorable physical law as he typed. Therefore, I wouldn't expect to find such a thing as truth there. I'll take him at his word!

Honestly, though, I did read the column closely. Can't say there's much there that stands up to the arguments in Miracles by C.S. Lewis...

The Monkeysphere

I don't know where Tiemann finds this stuff. Interesting thesis, nicely presented, with some very good lines.

And, by the same author, this is also pretty darned good.

There's A Republikkkan Boot On My Neck!

Some satire from John Hawkins.


Over at the liberal blog, Seeing the Forest, blogger Dave Johnson is apparently feeling frightened, offended, and downright threatened by the Pentagon denouncing that offensive Tom Toles cartoon in the WAPO.

Just look at this hilariously over-the-top response:

"This is THE MILITARY DIRECTLY THREATENING A NEWSPAPER on behalf of the Republican Party. This is WAYYYY beyond unprecedented. This is past "find a safe refuge in Canada" time. This is a serious WATCH YOUR BACKS!!!!"


Well, for once, the libs were right because that was Dave's last post on Seeing the Forest. You see, shortly after that post was detected by a super secret NSA program designed to root out dissent, Dave was whisked off to Guantanamo Bay where he was stuck in a cell with 3 large, angry Jihadis responsible for a decapitation in Iraq. Unfortunately, mere hours later, the Jiahdis claimed Dave's constant cries of, "Save me, Howard Dean," constituted torture and in order to shut them up, Dave was moved into a cell with Barbra Streisand and Noam Chomsky.

Now, you might be surprised to know that Noam Chomsky and Streisand are both at Gitmo, but they were both rounded up as part of the new, "Freedom, Patriotism, Mother, and Apple Pie," Act which was passed in the dead of night, two days ago with 55 Republicans voting, "aye," and no Democrats present.

Under the, "Freedom, Patriotism, Mother, and Apple Pie," Act, all liberals are to be rounded up and tossed in "Freedom Camps" run by National Camp Director Ann Coulter. All liberals lucky enough to be sent away will be exposed to blaring videos featuring clips of Ronald Reagan speeches, Pat Robertson sermons, Patriotic Music, the Left Behind movies, and the Dr. Laura show until they become more of what we like to think of as, Freedomillicious!

Now some of you may be wondering why the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy waited this long to start rounding up liberals. Well, there were two reasons. We had to wait until the conservatives took over in Canada, so they could capture any liberals who fled there. Also, it took longer than expected to get lists of all the registered gun owners in America.

Oh, but why do we need the lists of registered gun owners? So we can arrest everybody else!

[more follows]

Hawkins also posts this unrelated, but quite amusing third party satire.

Maher Speaks Some Serious Sense

Here's an eye-opening article about what Bill Maher has to say about our strategies in the War On Terror. Good stuff. Especially since Maher has a reputation of being a leftwing nutball.


“Why We Fight,” declares another poster, featuring the Statue of Liberty draped in a burka. In the matching essay, Maher’s politically incorrect credentials shine the brightest.

“We are in a Clash of Civilizations, and nowhere is that more clear than in the treatment of women. I sometimes look at pictures of women covered with tarps like the infield at Fenway Park, and I think: What if these were black men in some white country? Black men being beaten for showing an ankle or a wrist? Black men starving to death because they weren’t allowed to work or stoned to death for having sex? There would be protests, riots, U.N. boycotts. Jesse Jackson’s head would explode. Al Sharpton would call a press conference.”


“Isn’t it time,” Maher asks, “we stopped ignoring the elephant in the living room and let go of our fair-minded fantasy that all religions are basically the same and that other cultures that suppress human rights aren’t inferior, they’re just different? Excuse me, but primitive is primitive.” Can you imagine even the toughest-talking Republicans in Congress saying that?


While Maher supplies plenty of condemnation of the government’s approach to fighting terror, he also suggests strategies that are positive and inspiring—and so obvious they should be no-brainers. If, as this administration never tires of telling us, the vast majority of Muslims living in the U.S. are brimming with patriotism and love for America, why not tap into that invaluable resource? Featuring the classic Uncle Sam in the “I want you” pose beneath Arabic script, with drawings of three Arab-looking men—one as a speaker, one as a translator, one as a spy—the bottom of the poster reads, “YOU can be a hero in America!”

For those Muslims who have created uproars over the most minor of inconveniences at a safety check, Maher has these words: “Is this the time for Muslim and Arab-Americans to be grousing over profiling and tolerance? Or is it a time to stand up and be counted as among those patriots uniquely qualified right now to render service to their country?” Maher tells the story of Texas-based Saudi national Dr. Al Badr al-Hazimi, who, on 9/11, was arrested and taken to the east coast for a week of interrogation, mainly because he had the same last name as two of the hijackers. After he was cleared, Dr. al-Hazimi said, “Given the circumstances and the unusual situation, my treatment was fair.”


Compare Dr. al-Hazimi’s attitude to that of the Arab-American Secret Service agent who was temporarily stopped from boarding an airplane. He got a lawyer; he held a press conference; he demanded an apology. The president backed up him all the way. As Maher says of the agent: “He was an Arab with a gun, and he took exception to being pulled aside while his credentials were checked. He’s willing to take a bullet for his country, but a flight delay is apparently out of the question.”

Maher also recognizes the absurdity of the “American abuse of power” charges: “No country with comparable power ever trod so gently on the rest of the world, something foreigners [and many Americans, he should add] often pretend they don’t know…. Name another nation that could conquer the world, but chose not to.” More than that, he explains why he loves America. “As I’m sure you know by now,” he tells readers, “I’m not much for tradition or sentiment—but America doesn’t need sentiment to make its case as the greatest nation on earth, right now anyway, and that’s good enough for me. I’ll deal with the Ming Dynasty later, and perhaps stop there for lunch.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

We Hate It. How Can We Use It To Our Own Ends? What's The Trick?

Good article entitled: "The curious rise of anti-religious hysteria". Author is a leftist (I assume) sociology professor.

Just a taste:

The artistic representation of religious conviction is frequently stigmatised with terms such as 'fundamentalist', 'intolerant', 'dogmatic', 'exclusive', 'irrational' or 'right-wing'. As a secular humanist who is instinctively uncomfortable with zealot-like moralism, I am suspicious of the motives behind these doctrinaire denunciations of films with a religious message. Such fervour reminds me of the way that reactionaries in the past policed Hollywood for hints of blasphemy or expressions of 'Un-American values'. Replacing the zealotry of religious intolerance with a secular version is hardly an enlightened alternative.


This trend for blaming the rise of theocracy on ordinary folks' apparent penchant for simplistic black-and-white solutions shifts the focus from the elite's failure to promote and uphold a positive vision of the future on to the alleged political illiteracy of the masses. That is why discussions of so-called fundamentalist movements often contain an implicit condemnation of the people who support them - and why the alleged creations of fundamentalist culture are implicitly condemned as immoral. It is the insecurity of the Anglo-American cultural elites about their own values and moral vision of the world that encourages their frenzied attacks on religion. There is a powerful element of bad faith here: many leftists and liberals denounce those who appeal to moral values as being inferior, but they are also envious of them. So when the 'progressive' Rabbi Michael Lerner criticises his fellow liberals for their 'long-standing disdain for religion' and for being 'tone-deaf to the spiritual needs that underline the move to the Right', he is implicitly paying homage to the power of persuasion among his fundamentalist opponents (4).

In the confused cultural elite's fears of a powerful religious right winning over the masses, we can see a good example of bad faith worrying about real faith.


The problem with politically motivated calls for the restoration of a moral dimension to public life is that they are driven by the instrumental purpose of gaining or retaining power. But a morality manufactured in response to the demands of political pragmatism is bound to lack any organic relationship to lived experience, and is thus unlikely to find resonance with the wider public. An unfocused and disconnected oligarchy is unlikely to possess sufficient sensitivity to the day-to-day problems confronting the public. That is why the pragmatic search for a ready-made moral purpose usually turns into an arbitrary exercise in picking and choosing some inoffensive values. Alexander ends up by opting for the public service ethos of the National Health Service and tackling world poverty - but it could as easily have been world peace or compassion towards the infirm or the celebration of respect, etc. These arbitrary lists of New Labour Hurrah Values only highlight the absence of a purposeful moral perspective that grows from engagement with the public and our concerns.

At the end of the day, politically motivated calls among liberals and the left for morality are not so far from the way in which Christians 'use' The March of the Penguins or The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Both are cynical gestures driven by political calculations rather than by a moral inspiration that comes from the soul. What is particularly cynical is that these attempts to construct a 'moral dimension' are always aimed at others: those who apparently need 'simple' answers and 'meaning'. Such a cynical view of the public was clearly spelled out by William Davies of the London-based Institute for Public Policy research. 'The liberal, secular left has somehow to find ways of supplying citizens with emotional and metaphysical comforts even when it does not itself believe in such things', he warned (6). This provision of so-called metaphysical comforts serves the same function that adult-invented cautionary tales play for children. Which takes us back to Narnia: clearly the problem is not the comforts provided by CS Lewis, but the way in which they're branded.

A final point. The very term 'metaphysical comforts' suggests values built by calculation, instrumentalism, manipulation and cynicism. Morality marketed by people who do not necessarily 'believe in such things' is unlikely to set the world on fire. That is why they resent and hate the Narnia film so much. For all its faults, the movie attempts to transmit a powerful sense of belief, bravery and sacrifice. Such sentiments are alien to a cultural elite that regards the expression of any sort of strong belief as another form of that dreaded fundamentalism. Envy, bad faith and instrumentalism: these are the raw materials that fuel today's anti-religious crusade.

Of Lax Slavedrivers, Dogmatic Syncretists, And Over-Complexifying Simpletons

Just discovered this great Mark Shea article.


[A]s G.K Chesterton said, "If you hear a thing being accused of being too tall and too short, too red and too green, too bad in one way and too bad also in the opposite way, then you may be sure that it is very good."

Therefore, I urge all those interested in defending the Faith to jot down every conceivable argument you have ever heard against the Faith. For as you do you will find a fun and interesting thing happening: virtually every one of these arguments has a polar opposite which is also used to berate the Church.


[Here's a] fun set of twin complaints against the Church. The medieval Church, I was informed by a recent movie review, was a sinkhole of superstition and cowering obeisance to ignorant belief in the supernatural. It was not until the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution brought the light of Rational Truth to the world that the Church's hoodoo of priestcraft and supernaturalism was broken.

Good Enlightenment dogma that. Yet imagine my surprise when, a week later, the same film critic (this time reviewing a movie about Nostradamus) informed us all that Nostradamus was a mystic in touch with the rhythms of the supernatural and open to the larger spiritual realities which pervade our existence. Sadly, however, he was rejected by a rationalistic, linear, logic-chopping Western Church that was totally closed to the reality of the supernatural.

In short, any stigma will do to beat a dogma. However, once one gets the hang of it, one can have a jolly time cataloging the complaints leveled against the Church and matching them up like bad blind dates with contradictory anti-Catholic complaints. Then, when they have obliterated one another like matter and anti-matter, a Catholic apologist can step into the eerie silence created by the fuddled confusion and state the actual Catholic position.

Here are some more standard canards. Consider them a "starter kit" for your collection. Be the first Catholic on your block to get the whole set!

Lots of great examples follow.

Tell Me About The Lambs, Clarice

Ace Of Spades is having a caption contest for the above picture. Say, did anyone ever notice that Bush looks like a chimp? I've seen so many pictures of the guy, and he looks just like a chimp! He's uniquely odd looking! I never see pictures of his political opponents looking like serial killers or the criminally insane, but that's because they never do! If they did, I'm sure the unbiased MSM would show us, again and again.

It's A Disaster Because The Most Important People In The World Are Being Harmed

From James Taranto:

Voice of Reason?

In a post after the cloture vote, Markos Moulitsas, "Kos" himself, attempted to calm the waters by offering some good news--or what passes for such among Angry Leftoids:

While we obsessed over the cloture vote, that was not news to the rest of the country, blissfully unaware.

What was?

Bob Woodruff almost getting killed and Jill Carroll pleading for her life, both in Iraq. Go to the homepages right now (as of 6:20 PT) of CNN, ABC News, Fox News, and CBS News. This, for the real America, was the news today.

This isn't meant to minimize the importance of the Alito vote, but to note that this has not been a glorious day for Dear Leader. In fact, it's one of those days that may very well have turned the public against his presidency once and for all.

Take heart, Angry Left: Journalists are in peril in Iraq.

One of many odd things about this is the assumption that the suffering of journalists is somehow going to turn the American people against the war effort. Actually, this assumption seems widespread among journalists, at least among CNN journalists.

"The war in Iraq has basically turned out to be a disaster and journalists have paid for it," Christiane Amanpour complained last night on "Larry King Live." This morning Soledad O'Brien put the following question to Sen Bill Frist:

Isn't it going to be problematic for the president to say as--and I'm quoting you now--you know, winning with war on terror when, in reality, we have this brand new videotape from Ayman el-Zawahiri. We have an anchorman injured in Iraq. We have a journalist, a young woman, who's been kidnapped and is seen sobbing on national television, taken from the Arab media, as well? Is the public going to buy we're winning the war, it's going well, there's progress, when there's so much evidence to the contrary?

So O'Brien's evidence that we're not "winning the war on terror" is (a) Zarqawi's new videotape and (b) the kidnapping of one journalist and wounding of another.

Don't get us wrong: We view war-zone reporting as a heroic endeavor, and we were acquainted with one journalist, Michael Kelly, who was killed in Iraq, three years ago. But there is something self-absorbed almost to the point of solipsism about journalists insisting that their adversity is the most important thing about the war.

It's worth keeping a few things in perspective: Like soldiers, journalists choose their profession voluntarily. Unlike soldiers, journalists do not have to go to Iraq: They are free to seek other assignments or other jobs. Like many soldiers, many journalists choose to return to Iraq despite the dangers out of a sense of duty. But if journalists don't cut and run, why do they expect the leaders of the military to do so?

As for Kos, it's a measure of just how far gone the Angry Left is that he--who two years ago responded to the murders of four American civilians by saying "Screw 'em"--is now the voice of reason on his own Web site.