People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It Turns Out He's Gay AND a Liar

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson found himself in big trouble yesterday for having suggested that Jesus may have been gay. Now Robinson, openly gay himself, is denying that he was implying anything of the sort.

The fact that his speech was recorded makes his denial a bit hard to accept.
Bishop Denies Saying Jesus Possibly Gay

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - The first openly gay Episcopal bishop says he is being falsely accused of suggesting that Jesus might have been homosexual.

"I can assure you with absolute certainty that was not my implication, and certainly not anything I ever said," Bishop V. Gene Robinson told the New Hampshire Union eader. He said he is "being flooded with angry messages" because of Web log comments about his comments at a Feb. 13 forum on sexual issues at Christ Church in Hamilton, Mass.

Robinson said he was making the point that the nuclear family is a relatively new idea and that, even for his time, Jesus apparently led a nontraditional life.

"Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values and so on," Robinson says in a recording from the forum on the church's Web site, "this man that we follow ... was single as far as we know; who traveled with a bunch of men, although there were lots of women around; who had a disciple who was known as `the one whom Jesus loved' [my emphasis]; who said 'my family is not my mother and father, my family are those who do the will of God' - none of us like those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was, at least in his earthly life." (
No. There is nothing implied in that sentence.

The Episcopal church must be very proud. One of its leaders is a deviant and a liar.

Republican Prepares To Arrest Us All

Leave it to a Republican congressman to threaten to imprison people for "indecency."

Key lawmaker calls for criminalizing TV indecency

SAN FRANCISCO (Hollywood Reporter) - The chairman of one of the entertainment industry's most important congressional committees says he wants to take the enforcement of broadcast decency standards into the realm of criminal prosecution.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner III, R-Wis., told cable industry executives attending the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. conference here on Monday that criminal prosecution would be a more efficient way to enforce the indecency regulations.

"I'd prefer using the criminal process rather than the regulatory process," Sensenbrenner told the executives. The current system -- in which the FCC fines a licensee for violating the regulations -- casts too wide a net, he said, trapping those who are attempting to reign in smut on TV and those who are not.

"People who are in flagrant disregard should face a criminal process rather than a regulator process," Sensenbrenner said. "That is the way to go. Aim the cannon specifically at the people committing the offenses, rather than the blunderbuss approach that gets the good actors. (link)
Why stop with indecent television shows? Why not include Michael Moore movies? Most Quentin Tarantino movies. Professional wrestling. Survivor Vanuatu. Susan Sarandon. Have you seen the bald spot on Al Gore's head lately? Now that's truly indecent.

You see, Mr. Sensenbrenner, I've got my list of indecent citizens too. When you're done imprisoning those on your list, maybe we can start on mine.

Where will it all end?

I know where it all should end. With Republican busybodies getting bounced from office and a new batch of conservative politicians brought in to protect the rights of the citizenry.

Be Very Afraid

The next step in our inexorable march toward a society requiring the euthanasia of our elderly and infirm is outlined by James Taranto in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

Final Exams

In the Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times, one Hal Herzog, a "biological psychologist," weighs in on the Terri Schiavo case:

Terri Schiavo's body died Thursday morning. The moral, social and legal issues raised by her case, however, will live on. In recent weeks, there has been considerable discussion of the ethical nuances of persistent vegetative states in the pages of the Citizen-Times. Most commentators, however, have ignored the troubling inescapable financial consequences of severe irreversible brain damage to affected families and to taxpayers.

Here are the facts. According to a 2002 report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, the frequency of persistent vegetative state in the United States is 64 to 140 per million people. Thus, somewhere between 538 and 1,176 North Carolinians are probably afflicted with this condition. At a cost of about $80,000 a year per person, this translates to an annual financial burden to the North Carolina health-care system of $43 million to $94 million--enough to hire between 1,500 and 3,500 additional public school teachers. (link)
Don't be surprised that there are people out there who are contemplating the huge cost of keeping the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us alive. And as the number of dependants grows and the cost of their care skyrockets, watch for these same people to advocate their - our - wholesale slaughter.

To reduce the deficit.

Don't Screw With Hillary

Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen of Tennessee doesn't think much of Hillary Clinton. And has spoken out against her running for president as a Democrat. Boy, is he in trouble.
By DEBORAH ORIN, New York Post

WASHINGTON — A popular Democratic governor from the South has raised eyebrows by saying that Democrats should look beyond Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for the 2008 White House race because people want "something different."

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen — seen by some as a potential dark-horse presidential contender — said voters are "kind of dissatisfied" with all current Democratic 2008 prospects, according to the London Sunday Times.

"People love [Clinton] or they hate her, and I don't know in the end how all that plays out. But I sure hope there are other people who would step forward," he was quoted as saying.

"It may well be someone that nobody has thought of . . . The sense I get is that people are really hunting around and looking for something different." (link)
What? Bredesen doesn't want his party to nominate another northeast liberal to lead the ticket in 2008? Did he learn nothing from the candidacies of John Kerry, Al Gore (he was no more a Tennessean than I am), and Michael Dukakis?

Oh, wait. Maybe he did.

They Make Us Proud

America took time out yesterday to honor a fallen hero.

By IAN BISHOP, New York Post

WASHINGTON — The widow of fallen Iraq hero Paul R. Smith broke down in tears yesterday as their 11-year-old son accepted the Medal of Honor from President Bush on his father's behalf.

At a White House ceremony, Bush patted young David Smith warmly on the back as he handed him the medal for his father, an Army Sgt. 1st Class whose battlefield bravery saved dozens of his own men.

"We thank his family for the father, husband and son and brother who can never be replaced. We recall with appreciation the fellow soldiers whose lives he saved and the many more he inspired," Bush said on the second anniversary of the 33-year-old Smith's death.

"On this day two years ago, Sgt. Smith gave his all for his men. Five days later, Baghdad fell and the Iraqi people were liberated," Bush added.

Sgt. Smith, whose small engineering company was outnumbered by Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard outside the Baghdad airport, grabbed a .50-caliber machine gun mounted on an armored personnel carrier — killing 50 attacking enemy fighters and saving up to 100 of his comrades before a bullet ended his life. (link)

As much as I'd like to see more of these moments, I wish we had far fewer fallen heroes.

Paul Krugman Thinks We're All Boobs

Some say Paul Krugman is an economist. And a columnist for the New York Times. Although he rarely writes on economic matters, he is an expert in all other fields.

Today's example is his attack on Republicans for being anti-science. And I think he's being serious.

An Academic Question

It's a fact, documented by two recent studies, that registered Republicans and self-proclaimed conservatives make up only a small minority of professors at elite universities. But what should we conclude from that?

Conservatives see it as compelling evidence of liberal bias in university hiring and promotion. And they say that new "academic freedom" laws will simply mitigate the effects of that bias, promoting a diversity of views. But a closer look both at the universities and at the motives of those who would police them suggests a quite different story.

One answer is self-selection - the same sort of self-selection that leads Republicans to outnumber Democrats four to one in the military. The sort of person who prefers an academic career to the private sector is likely to be somewhat more liberal than average, even in engineering.

But there's also, crucially, a values issue. In the 1970's, even Democrats like Daniel Patrick Moynihan conceded that the Republican Party was the "party of ideas." Today, even Republicans like Representative Chris Shays concede that it has become the "party of theocracy." (link)
Now we all know that Krugman can go for weeks without ever rubbing elbows with a Republican so he can be forgiven for coming across as being completely stupid as it relates to this subject. But to claim that there are few conservative economists and mathematicians in teaching roles on campus because they tend toward Godliness and away from intellectual pursuit is silly.

First, it ignores the fact that the trend toward every professor at America's colleges and universities being liberal is a recent one. Thirty years ago they were all notoriously conservative. Paul.

Second, you can, on any given day, go online and read missives on economic matters and such being written by some really intelligent webloggers who make Krugman look like a simpleton writing inane columns for a once-great rag. As a matter of fact, wasn't Mr. Krugman - former academic - a paid advisor to Enron before it went belly-up? Look it up. That would suggest that smarts certainly aren't a prerequisite to landing a job in academia but that his being a flaming liberal just might be.

There are countless anecdotes related by individuals who, as conservatives, tried to make a career out of teaching on campus and were shunned - only because they were found out. They were conservative. Migrate over to Frontage magazine on most any day and David Horowitz is delineating the problem to great effect.

We're not professors because we are intellectually incapable of believing in both God and Descartes. Please.

Choosing To Pay For Something That's Always Been Free

This is a fascinating trend.
As Satellite Radio Takes Off, It Is Altering the Airwaves
By LORNE MANLY, New York Times

The announcement on Friday by XM Satellite Radio - the bigger of the two satellite radio companies - that it added more than 540,000 subscribers from January through March pushed the industry's customer total past five million after fewer than three and a half years of operation. Analysts call that remarkable growth for companies charging more than $100 annually for a product that has been free for 80 years.

Total subscribers at XM and its competitor, Sirius Satellite Radio, will probably surpass eight million by the end of year, making satellite radio one of the fastest-growing technologies ever - faster, for example, than cellphones.

To keep that growth soaring, XM and Sirius are furiously signing up carmakers to offer satellite radio as a factory-installed option and are paying tens of millions of dollars for exclusive programming. On Sunday, XM began offering every locally broadcast regular-season and playoff Major League Baseball game to a national audience, having acquired the rights in a deal that could be worth up to $650 million over 11 years. And Howard Stern is getting $500 million over five years to leave Infinity and join Sirius next January. Each company offers 120 or more channels of music, news, sports and talk. (link)
If you travel a good deal, like I do, you occasionally get aggravated because that segment on a local station somewhere that you were engrossed in is suddenly fading as you drive down the road. Or you find yourself flipping through channels searching for anything entertaining, and can't find it because every station you can pick up on Sunday afternoon is featuring NASCAR.

Satellite radio becomes very attractive very quickly.