Friday, December 16, 2005
Oh, maybe the political storm here will have political consequences next year for the Republicans. Maybe it won't. Maybe, even now, John Murtha is being measured for his angel's wings by a grateful Divinity. Maybe, on the other hand, God likes his angels a little more coherent. Who's to say?
But here's what really happened in 2005: The Iraqis voted and voted and voted again. And no matter what was said to him or about him or of him, George W. Bush didn't blink and didn't falter. He stuck to his policy with a steely determination.
John Pohoretz, "Talkers Here, Doers There," New York Post, December 16, 2005 (link)
HOMOSEXUAL PRIEST QUITSThe church is in desperate need of mentors and role models for Catholic youth, not pitiable wretches who spend their time trying to control their abnormal urges.
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - (AP) - A priest at Minnesota's St. John's University said he was resigning his leadership position because of the Vatican's latest statement that homosexuals should be barred from entering the Roman Catholic priesthood.
"Because I can no longer honestly represent, explain and defend the church's teaching on homosexuality, I feel I must resign," the Rev. Bob Pierson said in an e-mail Wednesday to administrators and students at St. John's and the nearby College of St. Benedict.
The Vatican announced last month that it was toughening its stand against homosexuality, advising that men with "deep-seated" gay tendencies or who "support so-called gay culture" shouldn't be admitted to seminary or ordained. Others with "transitory" homosexual inclinations can be accepted if they have "overcome" them for three years.
Pierson, the chaplain and director of campus ministry, wrote that he is gay and celibate. (link)
The Reverend Bob's departure strengthens the church. Now, if the Lutherans can learn from this and decide - some day - what it is we stand for ...
Gene That Determines Skin Color Is Discovered, Scientists ReportImagine. If scientists could learn how to manipulate this gene such that all newborn children could be born with the same skin color, we could put an end, within a generation, to all this silliness about racism and discrimination based on skin tone and we could put Al Sharpton back under the rock from whence he came.
By NICHOLAS WADE
A gene that is responsible for the pale skin of Europeans and the dark skin of Africans has been discovered by scientists at Pennsylvania State University.
The gene comes in two versions, one of which is found in 99 percent of Europeans and the other in 93 to 100 percent of Africans, the researchers report in today's issue of Science. (link)
The mind reels at all the opportunities.
Well, it turns out there are certain instances where Junior is willing to sacrifice environmental concerns and side with the petroleum industry. When its in his backyard. He's written a letter to the New York Times arguing that wind power is a wonderful technology ... somewhere else:
An Ill Wind Off Cape CodI can't tell you how much pleasure I take in this hypocrisy. Robert Kennedy Jr. is a big supporter of wind farms but not if they're built off the coast of Cape Cod because his family and leftist friends live there and enjoy the view - as is. Like the burgeoning prison system here in Southwest Virginia, wind farms are a great thing in areas where poor people live. Let the little people deal with it. What are they going to do, pass a referendum against it? They're poor. They're stupid and illiterate. The great unwashed. They should be grateful to have our murderers, rapists, child molesters and wind farms. Kennedy is even willing to fly in and sign autographs, I'll bet.
By ROBERT F. KENNEDY Jr.
As an environmentalist, I support wind power, including wind power on the high seas. I am also involved in siting wind farms in appropriate landscapes, of which there are many. But I do believe that some places should be off limits to any sort of industrial development. I wouldn't build a wind farm in Yosemite National Park. Nor would I build one on Nantucket Sound, which is exactly what the company Energy Management is trying to do with its Cape Wind project. (link)
Junior, you're a hypocrite.
* Not In My Back Yard
Hypocrisy à la Carte
The Portland (Maine) Press Herald offers some advice to the cable TV industry:
"Why does a sports fan have to buy a package that includes women's programming or rock music videos--or a country music afficianado [have to be] forced to pay for shopping channels or public affairs networks?
The solution is simple: Let customers pay for just the channels they want. Cable companies could sell so-called 'a la carte' programming at a bit of a markup, but would be restrained from excessive charges."
We haven't been to Maine in a while, so perhaps one of our Down East readers can answer this question for us: How much does it cost at a newsstand to buy just the sports section of the Press Herald? (link)
I posed a similar question to the leading newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky a number of years ago in a letter to the editor when I lived nearby (there were no weblogs then; I had to play the letter-to-the-editor game).
A private company, Channel One Network, was setting up - or had proposed to set up - TV sets in Louisville public schools and was offering - free of charge - news, public affairs segments, and a few commercials to students in attendance. The local newspaper came out with clamorous condemnation of the very idea that students in public schools would be subjected to propagandizing, brainwashing and insidious corporate-induced degradation. Channel One was a for-profit operation - a corporation - and, therefore, was not to be trusted. The newspaper demanded that Louisville public schools ban Channel One.
My question to the geniuses at the paper was:
The ownership of your newspaper, last time I looked, was a for-profit corporation, and while it has news and current affairs sections, it also contains commercial advertisements. Does this mean you support a ban on your paper in the same schools?
I never heard back from the op/ed page editor and my letter never appeared in the paper. Perhaps the editorial team is still pondering the implications of its silly ethically-challenged line-in-the-sand.
Or maybe I just confused them ...
Ban Torture. Period. (link)It sounds so easy. So right. We should never torture people.
But there's a small problem with this sophistry that the New York Times is prepared to exploit. What is torture?
If you've been paying attention to the mindset emanating from the bowels of "The Old Gray Lady," and if you accept their thoughts as gospel, you're prepared to accept the fact that any harsh discipline imposed upon enemy combatants in American custody is considered torture. Remember the infamous panties-on-the-head-of-the-terrorist scandal? That hazing was deemed by the left to be torture. Lynndie England putting a leash around the neck of an Iraqi thug? Torture. Flushing a Koran down a toilet (a bogus story, by the way)? Torture. Dogs on guard in the halls? Torture.
In a more sane time, torture was considered the infliction of severe physical and/or prolonged psychological pain on a prisoner. To the people at the Times, it's anything Americans do to non-Americans (and not vice versa, by the way).
For those of you who think the Times and its ilk are being straight with this debate and aren't referring to Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo when it whines about torture, read this and this and this and this and this.*
So. When you sift through all the hand-wringing and hate-America-first-and-always, you conclude that (a) sleep deprivation is torture (b) playing loud music is torture (c) turning the air conditioner up is torture (d) altering a detainee's menu is torture (e) putting panties on a prisoner's head is torture. Anything we do to our enemies that our enemies don't appreciate is torture.
President Bush is right in opposing John McCain and his leftist pals on this. "Banning torture" means nothing because it can mean anything.
You want to ban something? Ban the terrorists who laugh at your whining and weak-kneed pleas and who continue to plot to slaughter our children and grandchildren.
* These are secondary sources because the New York Times charges an exorbitant price for archived material.