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Showing posts from June, 2005

A post-modernist attacks Wilken

(NOTE: While I retain the title of this post for archiving purposes, it should be made clear that I withdraw my charge.

Rick Abanes is not a post-modernist. He does not deny that there is such a thing as ultimate truth, of a sort of inaccessible, Platonic kind. Instead- as the exchange in the comments on this post will make clear- he is merely a modernist- one who denies that truth is finally accessible.

Either way, the heresy he espouses is one of the most fundamental and dangerous the Church faces today. It holds, in theory, that no teaching of the Scriptures behind which a current consensus of American Christians (emphatically not the entire Church Militant) cannot be assembled is binding. In practice, teachings such as baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist- not only clearly taught by Scripture, but confessed by an overwhelming majority of Christians not only presently on earth, but throughout the ages- cannot be insisted upon without incurring the s…

Wood can't match Prior, either

Kerry Wood made his first start after coming off the DL today. He did no better than Carlos Zambrano did yesterday in keeping up with Mark Prior's one-hit performance after returning from his injury.

Wood, too, allowed three hits- although he didn't get the win.

When you have three aces on your staff, this kind of competition is nice.

You wanna reconsider that opinion, Justice Souter?

Supreme Court Justice David Souter was one of those supporting the Court's recent totalitarian decision that cities have broad powers to seize private property and award it to other private interests, who will pay more taxes on it.

Well, justice may soon be served. In fact, the Justice may soon be served.

A private developer, citing the Court's decision, wants to build a hotel on the site of Justice Souter's home- and is trying to get the city of Weare, New Hampshire to seize the property and give it to him for that purpose!

Hat tip to Matt Drudge.

Canada OK's gay "marriage-" at least until the next election

Canada's House of Commons has passed the bill authorizing gay "marriage" on final reading.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin lost one cabinet member over the issue. Meanwhile, Conservative leader Stephen Harper promises that should he become Prime Minister, the matter will be "re-visited." He argues that most Canadians "aren't buying it," and that the new law "lacks legitimacy."

Tsk, tsk, Carlos!

Good thing Kerry Wood is coming back tomorrow. The Cubs' pitching is slipping. Carlos Zambrano didn't quite measure up to Mark Prior's performance against the White Sox.

The Brewers managed three hits instead of only one.

It's a miracle, even so

Scientists in Pittsburgh have revived dogs who have been clinically dead for up to three hours- no heartbeat, no brain-waves- by replacing their blood with a frigid salt solution, then replacing the blood and administering electric shocks.

They plan to try it on a human being within the year.

This process has the potential to save the lives of battlefield casualties and others who have suffered massive blood loss, but who cannot be transfused in time. If it works, its' a blessing- like all medical science, a gift of the God who works through means- often human means- to sustain and preserve the life which is His gift alone.

Contrary to what the story implies, it's not the resurrection of the dead. But it's still a miracle.

SCOTUS gets it exactly right

After the U.S. Supreme Court's property rights debacle last week, it's about time they broke out of their slump.

They did, in two separate rulings on the issue of the display of the Ten Commandments on public property- rulings which dealt with two entirely different issues, however puzzling some liberals and media types profess to find them.

The Court ruled that the Commandments may not be displayed as a symbol of sectarian religion, but may be displayed in their role as forebear of the entire Western legal tradition.

Only a fanatic, a bigot, or someone with absolutely no sense of history could object to the latter. Only a non-believer in the First Amendment could object to the former. The decisions are not "confusing," as MSNBC has been insisting all day. Rather, they're a precise and logical parsing of the two completely seperate issues involved.

Tom... it was a bet, for crying out loud!

Some years ago, science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard bet fellow sci-fi writer Poul Anderson that he could invent a religion and actually get people to believe in it.

He called his joke-religion "Scientology." He won the bet. Countless people have been its victims. Tom Cruise, for one, is not only a very vocal Scientologist, but he seems to have swallowed the garbage peddled by the cult which started out as a bet pretty much whole- including the notion that electrical gizmos which actually do absolutely nothing are more beneficial to psychologiclly troubled people than is medical science.

No wonder a nice (nominally) Catholic girl like Nicole Kidman had problems with this person. Nothing nominal about Tom. What you see is what you get- engrams and all.

These folks had a table set up in Springfield Mall down in Virginia. It was sad seeing the naive and desperate people being hooked up to those non-functional gizmos an the pretext of being given a "stress test--" and…

A good day on the diamond!

Son of a gun!

Ugly. Just ugly.

There is one team I hate seeing the Cubs lose to more than the Cardinals.

They lost to them today.

First case of U.S.-origin mad cow discovered

There's been a new mad cow case in the U.S.- this time in a native born animal.

Can't blame the Canadians for this one.

This thing is 100% preventable. We need to be as Draconian as we need to be to keep animal protein out of animal feed! If this results in problems for the ag industry- well, they will be nothing like the problems bovine spongiform encephalopathy causes for people who contract it. Or the ones the cattle people themselves will encounter when nobody eats beef anymore!

More frustration

Once again, the Cubs are unable to pick up ground despite a St. Louis loss. ARRGGH!

At least Derrek Lee (as in MVP) is still doing his part!

Rove tells it like it (obviously) is

In the wake of 9/11, Democrats- including, as I recall, John Kerry- protested that what we were engaged in was not a war, but a matter for criminal prosecution. Leftists- to be fair, generally outside of electoral politics, but in large numbers nonetheess- spoke of how understandable it was that young Muslims should so express their frustrations.

Now, Karl Rove does nothing more than accurately attribute such statements to "liberals," and "outraged" hypocrites on the Left (including Hillary Clinton) are calling for his head.

Get real, people.

But then, if you did that, I suppose you'd have to stop being liberals, wouldn't you?

The Midwest is Red?

During my last pastorate, I lived in Kellogg, Iowa, a tiny town nine miles east of Newton.

Newton is the home of Maytag Appliances. You may have noticed from the TV ads that the name of the lonely Maytag repairman's dog is Newton.

The city of Newton (the county seat of Jasper County, BTW), is in a chronic state of pins and needles because of layoffs at Maytag and rumors that the plant will move out of state. Recently the whole central part of Iowa was thrown into a state of extreme apprehension by the news that Maytag is about to be sold.

Well, it seems that the shock may be a large one indeed; one of the leading contenders to take over Maytag is the Red Chinese!

This could be interesting.

As General McAuliffe would say...

God must have chuckled when He did this!

Apropos of nothing in particular, I happened to come across this photo of the Martian crater Galle in the Argyre region of the Red Planet in my picture files.

Anyone who thinks that God doesn't have a sense of humor should think again:

Is hockey coming out of deep freeze?

Moving in the right direction!

I've been tagged!

I've been book- tagged byBunnie Diehl!

I'm not quite sure how this works, but let's see...

The initial "tag" reads thus:
Imagine that a local philanthropist is hosting an event for local high school students and has asked you to pick out five to ten books to hand out as door prizes. At least one book should be funny and at least one book should provide some history of Western Civilization and at least one book should have some regional connection. The philanthropist doesn't like foul language (but will allow some four-letter words in context, such as expressed during battle by soldiers). Otherwise things are pretty wide open. What do you pick?

Bunnie adds these requirements: 1) one book must be something you're a bit embarrassed to admit is on your favorites list, 2) all books would be suitable for adults and 3) one book changed the way you look at the world.

Bunnie, you don't know what you've done, asking me to write about books! But ok, here goes...

F…

Back on track

A certain gruesome logic

A Kansas abortionist has been accused of going Jeffrey Dahmer on the fetuses he aborts.

No, I don't really think that this is where fetal stem cell harvesting leads, and the sacrifice of most such kids to the opportunity for their mothers to indulge their appetites without consequences is obviously not quite the same thing.

But there is a kind of gruesomely logical connection here, nonetheless.

Hat tip to Endlessly Rocking.

Vilsack returns the vote to Iowa ex-cons

Our beloved governor, Tom Vilsack, has signed an executive order restoring the vote to felons in Iowa who have completed their sentences.

Washington State would have a Republican governor today if it were not for the illegal votes of felons, and Florida would never have been close enough to justify that phony recount in 2000 without them.

In one sense, I can't blame Vilsack for wanting to grant the vote to an overwhelmingly Democratic constituency. I guess it's what happens when a red state turns blue!

In this case, silence doesn't give consent

I've opted out of the discussion on Bunnie's blog of whether or not cremation is a sin. Far more heat than light is being generated by it (believe me, no pun is intended)- and I find the nature of the disagreement there to be sufficiently disturbing that my normal tendency to rush in, mouth (or keyboard) blazing, where angels fear to tread could do damage I really don't want to do.

As I've pointed out there, the discussion isn't really about cremation at all. It's about some of the most fundamental theological principles of the Lutheran Reformation, which seem to me to be getting thoroughly trashed in that conversation.

Suffice it to say that considerable confusion seems to exist among some in that discussion about Luther's distinction between the magisterial as opposed to the ministerial use of reason (deduction from what Scripture clearly asserts is one thing; reasoning chiefly dependent on human logic which does not necessarily follow from Scripture, on t…

Broom time at Yankee Stadium

This is getting old- especially in combination with this.

Is Chicago America's dirtiest city?

Readers' Digest thinks so. Mayor Daley begs to differ.

I haven't lived in what I still consider to be my home town in nearly a quarter of a century. For decades, though, I've noticed while back there on visits that what was once famous as "the city that works" has in fact gotten progressively filthier and more run down as time has gone on (most of it, that is; the Little Village neighborhood on the near Southwest Side, where I grew up, went to pot in the late 'Seventies- but has staged a dramatic comeback in recent years due to the pride and care of the community's mostly Hispanic residents, to the point at which I am once again proud of the area of the city where I spent my childhood).

Every visit to the Loop- once the pulsing heart of the city- plunges me into a depression. It's dirty, it's deserted- and it's just not the Loop I grew up with.

Chicago should be bigger than any other city in America, other than New York (overcoming Gotham in popu…

We just keep falling further behind

Once again, the Cubs lose- and the Cardinals win.

Next year, can we play Tampa Bay?

Surprised, is what I am.

You are Psalms.

Funny. I would have picked Romans. Or Galatians.

Which book of the Bible are you?

Baseball is not berry, berry good to me today.

Cremation and Christian liberty

Bunnie Diehl currently has two seperate discussions going about the same book: Dr. Alvin J. Schmidt's Ashes to Ashes or Dust to Dust?, a book which argues that it is wrong for Christians to be cremated.

Traditionally, Dr. Schmidt's position has indeed been the Christian one, for a very good, practical reason: it's pretty generally been scoffers at the idea of the resurrection of the body who have been cremated. It might be well to begin by saying, first, that to the extent that such remains the case, the argument against the practice remains valid.

The problem is that with the exception of a relatively small number of traditionally-minded Christians, nobody even thinks of cremation in terms of its implications for the general resurrection any more.

Now, the argument can still be legitimately made that the practice should be shunned lest offense be given to those few remaining Christians for whom the matter is even an issue. The argument can even be made that it's an unwis…

Another opportunity lost!

Once again, the Cubs have lost...

...on the same day that the Cardinals were also beaten.

Another chance to pick up ground on the Birdies out the window!

Even Fox News!

The autopsy report on Terri Schaivo did NOT conclude that she wasn't abused! That assertion- made by the article to which this link points- is simply a lie!

It's true that the autopsy found no evidence of abuse. But so many years after Terri lapsed into her coma, what evidence would have remained?

Reports also falsely claim that the autopsy proved that she was in a persistent vegetative state. But such a determination cannot be made as the result of an autopsy!

The dishonest and outrageously inaccurate reporting which characterized the entire controversy over this woman's murder continues now, even after her death.

And even by Fox News!

Let's hear it for Christian "intolerance!"

Voltaire gave the word "tolerance" its classic definition when he said, "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Though most lack the self-awareness to realize it, by that definition nobody is as intolerant as a modern liberal! You see, in today's post-modern society, a new definition of intolerance has arisen. It is regarded as intolerant to disagree with anybody else at all- at least if one insists, at the same time, that the disagreement matters.

I, for one, am glad that people disagreed, say, with Hitler. But that's just me.

Incarnatus Est has an excellent post on why Christianity's "intolerance" is a good thing. When it comes down to it, of course, the same thing can be said of any idea that matters, from Lister's germ theory of disease to the notion that orange juice is more healthful than arsenic.

Hat tip to Glen at Territorial Bloggings.

What's with Sergio Mitre?

I've never thought much of Cub rookie pitcher Sergio Mitre, but his last two starts he's pitched like a Cy Young winner!

He and the Cubs took down the Florida Fish Tuesday night 14-0.

Unfortunately, the Foul Fowl won, too, behind an equally impressive Chris Carpenter.

Canadian Libs hanging on by their fingernails

The Liberal minority government in Canada has survived the first of a series of "no confidence" votes- but more are coming.

I have always admired our neighbor to the North, and I am happy to learn that the resurgent Canadian Right may yet bring down the Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin, who seems content to let the Canadian courts pave the way to social anarchy.

May Conservative Stephen Harper be Prime Minister soon!

The verse we ought to sing

Pr. McCainalso has a Flag Day post which contains the last verse of The Star-Spangled Banner- the one which doesn't end with a question, and which- in my opinion- ought to be the one we sing if we sing only one:
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

How did crucifixion kill?

Pastor McCain's Cyberbrethren has an interesting entry on the specific cause of death in crucifixion.

It squares well with other things I've read on the subject. Contrary to what is often claimed, people crucified in the position archeology suggests was customary didn't suffocate, but in fact could breathe very easily. Nails driven through the ankles and wrists, though, would have caused unimaginable agony- and the immobility of the legs would eventually have resulted in death by embolism, just as the article Pr. McCain points to suggests.

Perhaps on reflection the title of this entry should be "How does crucifixion kill?" Despite our understandable desire to see this barbaric death as a part of the past (except insofar as it reconciles us to God through Christ's crucifixion), it has never truly disappeared. Saddam Hussein, for one, was very fond of it.

A grand old flag

Today- lest we forget- is Flag Day.

Forever in peace may she wave- and may "forever" begin soon!

A threat is dawning in the East

Make no mistake: we have a rival on the horizon who may make us long for the good old days of Soviet Russia. It's a Communist state with a vibrant economy and an army we can't hope to match.

Our main problem in the near future may not be militant Islam at all. It may be a economically and militarily powerful China- which may well prove the most formidable adversary the United States has ever faced.

Missed opportunity

The Cubs lost 9-1 to Florida last night.

On the other hand, the Cardinals lost, too.

So we don't fall any further behind. On the other hand, we missed a rare chance to pick up a game on the Ruddy Fowl.

Interesting questions

Like many Americans of my generation, I read Little Black Sambo when I was a child.

The drawings of Sambo represented a sort of cartoonish stereotype of Black people (interesting, since in the original story Sambo was from India!), and the very word "Sambo" had racist overtones. I could easily understand why it might have been considered offensive when objections to it began to be raised. In fact, it's hard to see how, in the context of our culture, it could not be!

But it's making a comeback now in Japan- in a society with no experience with term "Sambo" and with such little experience with Black people that the character's exaggerated physical characteristics aren't noticed. Moreover, it's being sold as adult fiction; Japanese grownups miss what they remember as a charming story from their childhood about a heroic little boy.

Two interesting questions arise here: first, does a book with racist overtones remain racist in a culture where the overto…

The source of the problem?

Could this be the source of the EpicWired nonsense whichBunnie reported on a while back? The similarity of the name and apparently of the philosophy make me wonder.

Pr. David Luecke of Royal Redeemer "Lutheran" Church has been pushing "Church Growth" nonsense in the LCMS for years. Perhaps it's wishful thinking to imagine that tracing one particular contamination to one of all too many sources means that the pollution of LCMS doctrine and practice it represents may yet still be stopped. But it's worth a prayer. Perhaps the LCMS may yet repent, and return to the divinely-ordained means of the Word and the Sacraments, rather than human gimmicks and manipulation, as the means actually spread the actual Gospel, rather than merely building large membership rolls and impressive attendance figures on the basis of an adulterated facsimile.

Thanks to the Aardvark for the link.

Bad day in baseball

Baby pictures

Atvar and Muad'dib are the two on the left. On the right is a childhood friend.

Atvar is now about a foot long and a beautiful sky blue with dark blue, slate gray, orange, brown and white markings. Muad'dib, aka "Little Guy," isn't nearly as big. But then, he does things other than eat. It should be said that Ornates like Atvar generally are "couch potatoes" who love to eat and sleep. Rainbow Bentis like Little Guy have been described as similar in personality to semi-tame chipmunks.

The photo- and uros for sale, too- can be found at Dr. Doug Dix's site.

Doug is an excellent source of uro information. So are the Kingsnake Uromastyx Forum, and the Yahoo uro group I help moderate.

BTW...never believe anything a pet store tells you about uros. And never buy one from Petco, which knows nothing about the care or feeding of genus uromastyx- and apparently doesn't care.

Consider a uromastyx if you're in the market for a reptile pet. Past the initial co…

I thought the ACLU liked men who wear dresses in public!

Tongue Tied features the following piece of idiocy from Texas:

The ACLU is objecting to plans by Harris County officials in Texas to name a new park after the late John Paul II, according to the Houston Chronicle, claiming that to do so would be insensitive to other faiths.

County Commissioner Steve Radack wants to build an 865-acre park in his district near Houston and name it in honor of the late pontiff.

But ACLU officials questioned whether taxpayer money should be used to promote a particular faith.

"I would not want to name some park the Dalai Lama Park because some people might not be Buddhists," said Randall Kallinen, president of the ACLU Houston chapter. "It is insensitive to other religions."

I'm sure.

I guess only agnostics can have parks named after them, eh?

And we pick up a game on St. Louis, too!

Cubs 7, Red Sox 6!

Though I suppose winning our last series against the BoSox would have been better (for the uninitiated, that was the 1918 World Series).

Al Franken is wrong. Again. Good thing nobody is listening!

Fraters Libertas has busted Al Franken- who likes characterize mistakes or even the use of better sources than his by conservatives as "lies-" in what by Franken's own standards would be a whopper.

On the say-so of somebody from the Brookings Institution, Franken claims that Ruth Bader Ginsberg- correctly characterized by Rush Limbaugh as more extreme than any of President Bush's judicial nominees- never suggested, as Limbaugh has maintained, replacing Mother's Day and Father's Day with a gender-neutral "Parent's Day." Writes my brother blogger:

Thanks to Ed Whelan, who writes on the new, excellent NRO Blog Bench Memos, we know what a Senior fellow of the Brookings Institute does not. Quoting page 133 of "Report of Columbia Law School Equal Rights Advocacy Project: The Legal Status of Women under Federal Law," co-authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Brenda Feigen Fasteau in September 1974:

Replacing "Mother's Day" and "F…

Huzzah! Clueless Dem extremists flock to Dean's support!

Extreme left-wing and merely clueless Democrats are coming out of the woodwork to defend one of the Republican Party's best weapons: DNC Chair Howard "The Mouth" Dean.

Dean has been under attack by various Democratic leaders of late for his pattern of over-the-top slander and hate-filled, often bizarre accusations against Republicans, simliar to those which helped re-elect President Bush last year.

Other, more ideologically- minded Democrats apparently have yet to realize that having someone like Dean as the DNC chair makes their party look to the average voter like a hate-filled gaggle of crackpots and fanatics with no constructive program to offer America.

In fact, there are many Democrats who are neither hate-filled, crackpots, or fanatics, in spite of having no constructive program to offer America.

Canadian Supreme Court: 'Our healthcare system doesn't work.'

I have to begin by saying that I am not an orthodox, doctrinaire conservative.

I believe strongly that four things should be guaranteed to every human soul, regardless of means: 1) some sort of shelter; 2) enough calories per day to sustain life; 3) justice (aka "equal protection under the law"; and 4) health care.

Having said that, in practice, delivering at least health care as a matter of right has proven, in practice, to be extremely problematic. The dirty little secret of the Canadian healthcare system has been the number of Canadians who die each year waiting for the simple diagnostic tests which the huge government bureaucracy can't seem to deliver in a timely fashion.

Well, guess what?

The Canadian Supreme Court has thrown out the law prohibiting private healthcare insurance on the ground that

...the evidence in this case shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread and that in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for publ…

More truth than humor here

The church-growth gurus in the ***A and the LCMS are well-intentioned, to be sure- despite pushing a theologically terrible ideology which, in practice, doesn't work as a means of bringing people to Christ. It's most successful in attracting members from other churches who find all that pandering to their fallen natures attractive.

One thing they do accomplish, though: making faithful pastors who understand the difference between bringing people to Christ and adding members feel like miserable failures. The effect of the totally unbiblical emphasis on numerical growth on clergy morale is devastating.

Lark News is a satire site, but this time they make a point which is far too valid to be funny.

Thanks to the Bunniemeister for the tip.

Stomp on your pregnant girlfriend's stomach, go to jail

A 19-year old Texan has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of two counts of murder for stepping on his girlfriend's stomach and causing her to miscarry twins.

The girlfriend, who requested the stomping, could not be prosecuted because of Roe v. Wade.

In a world in which hospitals are killing fetuses in one room while at the very same time saving them at the same point of development in another, yet another conundrum presents itself to the crazed American judiciary: how do you jail the stomper, but not the woman who asked him to do the stomping? My guess is that they'll finally end up siding with death, and letting both off the hook; they seem rather fond of the Grim Reaper.

Must be the robe.

Couldn't have said it better

As a Blackhawks fan, I suppose I should have gotten used to not watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs by now.

But hockey is like a family heirloom to me. My parents courted in the First Balcony of the old Chicago Stadium. My dad was in the stands when Mush March scored the dramatic overtime goal that won the Hawks their second Stanley Cup. We didn' have a pro basketball team in Chicago when I was growing up; Champaign Urbana was far away, Northwestern never caught my interest, and I wasn't Catholic, so college basketball wasn't an option, either. After baseball season came football season. And then came hockey. It was as simple as that.

Admittedly, hockey doesn't televise well- but it remains the most exciting of all major sports, despite its rapid decline from any popularity level sufficient for it to even be considered a major sport anymore.

For which I concur with Dan Wenzel and his thoughts about the two chief villians in my currently hockeyless existence, NHL Commissiono…

'And I don't care which one'

An AP poll reaffirms the important place religion holds in the lives of nearly all Americans

But what religion? The answer, I'm afraid, is "the religion of the lowest common denominator."

"God" is important to Americans. But what god? The answer, I'm afraid, is a generic deity, a kind of "god in general-" usually created by worshipper in his or her own image.

Americans are said to be more willing than citizens of other countries to "mix religion and politics." But the characteristically American confusion over that expression is reflected in the poll. If one's religion doesn't impact every dimension of a person's life, that would tend to define that person as a hypocrite. On the other hand, theonomy and other confusions of the Two Kingdoms are rampant in American political life.

We remain a very confused people religiously- and not nearly either as Christian or as pious as we are apt, collectively, to consider ourselves.

When I wa…

Mixed blessing

I don't believe in baseball's wild card.

Yes, it increases interest in what for years have been miscalled the "pennant races." Yes, it makes things more exciting- at least for some. But the best test of a team continues to be the long haul of the regular season. No post-season series- or series of series- comes close. The current set-up merely rewards mediocre teams which happen to get "hot" at the right time.

In my view, a team which finishes the regular season with a record inferior to any other team which has played the same schedule has no business being eligible for the world championship.

Now. That having been said, my Cubs now lead the National League wild card race.

For the Cubs to win their first world championship since 1908 as a wild card team is a kind of nightmare of mine. In my view, a wild card team that wins the World Series is at best a "cheese champion."

I want the Cubs' World Series championship to be for real.

Go get those Cardin…

Random thought

Isn't it fascinating how the media and the Left glorified Jimmy Carter for making human rights the centerpiece of his foreign policy- and have vilified George W. Bush for doing the same thing?

Further evidence that it isn't I- a former Carter supporter who currently is in Dubyah's corner- who have changed!

Hyperbole, anyone?

Amnesty International is backing off its comparison of the U.S. prisoner of war facilities at Gitmo with the Soviet Gulag.

As well it might!

Natan Sharansky, who knows a thing or two about the Gulag, says of that comparison, ""In Guantanamo Bay, there was a very serious violation of human rights and it's very important to deal with this and to correct it. But the comparison of Amnesty International is very typical, unfortunately, for this organization, which has no moral clarity."

Whether such a "serious violation" has indeed taken place remains to be documented. But certainly Amnesty International's dwindling credibility has taken a hit as a result of what seems at the very least to be an exercise in malicious hyperbole.

But I AM pressing charges!

I just received this article by email from a Democratic friend with a note: "According to this, Bob, you're a real liberal."

I concur. I didn't leave the Left; the Left left me.

A "neoconservative" has been defined by someone- I forget who- as "a liberal who's been mugged by reality." A "progressive" has been described with equal aptness by someone else whose name I can't remember as "a liberal who has been mugged by reality- but who has declined to press charges."

I guess I'm a neoconservative.

Far too much time on my hands today

Given that even in declaring the office of the Papacy to be the Antichrist, the Confessions do not deny the possibility of the salvation or even of the personal sanctity of individual popes, I thought it not amiss to follow Glen's example in taking a test to determine which Twentieth Century pope I most resemble. The result:


You are Pope John Paul II. You are a force to be
reckoned with.


Which Twentieth Century Pope Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

They're setting me up for yet another broken heart

Just when I was ready to write this season off, my Cubs have won seven in a row, and now trail the evil St. Louis Cardinals by only five and a half games.

Tonight, it was Cubs 5, San Diego 0 on a four-hit complete game by Glendon Rusch.

Derrek Lee- now hitting a major league-leading .389- also leads the National League in both home runs and RBI's. Lee has had eight consecutive hits, and has reached base in ten consecutive at-bats.

Neifi Perez is having an All-Star caliber season as he fills in for the injured Nomar Garciaparra.

The winning streak ironically started when staff ace Mark Prior got hurt. Kerry Wood was already on the disabled list. Rich Hill, who looks likely to be the next of the five or six possible future superstar pitchers to reach Wrigley, made his Triple-A debut yesterday, breaking Prior's Iowa Cub team record by striking out fourteen in six and a third innings.

I am still skeptical about catching St. Louis, or even winning the wild card (I think the wild card w…

I wonder whether Howard Dean has heard this

Bunnie is one of several sources which point out that the professor who cited the flawed data allegedly demonstrating that abortions had increased under President Bush's administration now concedes what has long since been obvious to everyone else (everyone else but the most dishonest or ill-informed of Bush-haters, anyway): that not only is the data is bad, but that better data proves conclusively that the opposite is true.