Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Why I don't read the Catholic blogs anymore...

A Catholic pro-choice politician is interviewed, and trying to prop up his Catholic bona fides, mentions that he's been asked to join the Kinghts of Malta, a lay Catholic organization (that I honestly don't recall hearing about).

How should we react?

Well,this provides a great opportunity to add some fuel to our dislike of the bishops (who as far as I can tell have absolutely nothing to do with admission to the knights) and generally lament the fate of poor, orthodox Catholics.


First of all, the only evidence of McAuliffe's admission is his boast on the Hewitt interview. That's it. So, these complainers claim that McAuliffe has no moral qualms about slicing babies in half (or whatever graphic language they want to use to cow those who might think they're overreacting) but would never lie or embellish the truth in order to build himself up. But as we heard last Sunday, "love hopes all things, believes all things," so I suppose the same is true for the desire for righteous indignation.

Second, as mentioned, this is a lay organization. From their website, the only in put any ordained religious has in the process is a letter of recommendation from the pastor. So if this organization is about to honor someone like McAuliffe, shouldn't it be an occasion for us, the laity to engage is a long, hard, look in the mirror rather than another stream of insults hurled at "the bishops."

This is what ticks me off about the discourse on the Catholic blogs. On the one hand, outrage is ginned up over 3,500 babies being killed every day. Then we are asked to focus that outrage on bullshit issues like the possibilty that a Catholic lay organization might honor a poltician we don't like.

And how many babies will this save?

Yes, yes, I know about "giving scandal." I know about leading souls astray. Bullshit. Do you think anyone heard that interview and thought, "Well, I thought partial birth abortion was a terrible evil, but if Terry McAuliffe is going to be a Knight of Malta, then maybe I was mistaken?" Um, no.

But if someone opposed the Iraq war, and they spent most of their energy on say, preventing SMU from accepting the Bush Presidential Library, would you conclude that that person was really serious about opposing the war, or borrowing outrage from that for a personal vendetta.

So how do you think bullshit like this looks to an outside observer who doesn't like abortion, but is a little spooked out by the media's portrayal of the pro-life movement?

This stuff is worse than a waste of energy. It damages the cause of ending abortion. It leads people to think that we are motivated by hatred of our political opponenets rather than love of the unborn.

And it's not going to save one unborn baby. And it's not going to save one soul.

But it'll make us feel better about ourselves as noble warriors trudging forward without the support (nay, with the active opposition) of Church leadership.

Hope we enjoy it.
What does a "presidential exploratory committee" do? Is it just a euphemism for fund raising? A hedge so they can save face if a personal scandal or problem forces them to back out? Does anyone really think and "exploratory committee" will discover something that would make, say, Hillary Clinton, decide not to run for president?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Non-negotiable demands...

Via K-Lo at The Corner, Massacussetts social conservative groups endorse Sam Brownback over their governot Mitt Romney:

In order to preserve traditional values and actually win back ground in the ongoing fight for our culture, we need a leader who can articulate and fight for our values with compassion, optimism, and consistency. We know consistent leadership when we see it.


There's been a lot of debate in the last several years over whether Bush has used his office to advance the pro-life cause. The respones is typically a list like this And it is nice that Pres. Bush has used the power of his office to advance the cause of the unborn.

But the unborn deserve more. Why should I have to dig to find out what Bush has done for the unborn? Are the unborn better off than they were seven years ago? I'm not sure.

We need a leader who will help move the country to a greater respect for all life, not someone who will temporarily strengthen our position. Bush isn't it.

And so far, Mitt Romney isn't it, either.

Football thoughts

What if there were a playoff?
I've heard just about enough about how great it would be if Boise State could play for the national championship in some sort of playoff game. It seems extremely odd after watching one of the best games ever to advocate for a system that would have made that game impossible. But let's play along for a bit.

The BCS teams were:

Ohio St. (#1)
Florida (#2)
Boise State(#9)
Notre Dame (#11)
Wake Forest (#15)

A 10 team tournament wouldn't work out mathematically -- it would have to be 4 or 8 teams. (And a "one-plus" system would have to be seeded as well -- it would be unfair to make a team like Ohio St. play the second best team, and then the team deemed most worthy).

Boise St. doesn't make a four team tournament. Even if we limit it to conference champions, there are still five ranked head of Boise St. So that doesn't solve anything.

Let's look and an 8 team tournament. If we drop the bottom 2 teams, then Boise St. would be matched up against Ohio St. in the first round. Now, Oklahoma was a good team, but also one that lost to Oregon and Texas, who were nowhere near the national title picture. And Boise St. needed overtime and every gadget play in their playbook to beat them. Also, Ohio St. would be playing with more urgency than Oklahoma was, since they would need the game to keep their title hopes alive. So I wouldn't like their chances there.

Maybe we limit it to conference champions. Then, Michigan and LSU drop out, and Boise St. becomes the sixth seed, matched up with Louisville in the first round. They probably have a better chance there than against Ohio St., but I'm still not loving their chances. If they won that one, they would go on to face the winner of Florida-Notre Dame.

Again, I don't see this ending in a better way for Boise St. than what we saw. Can we just enjoy the game and the season Boise St. had without trying to puff ourselves up with this playoff talk?

Prediction for tonight
I think Ohio St. rolls.
(Got around to posting this at halftime with the Gators up by three touchdowns. Ooops.)

NFL thoughts

  • It seems somewhat typical of how the Eagles manage their team that they would have gone out and signed their old holder to position themselves for success.
  • I still like Tony Romo, and I think he’s going to be a great QB for a number of years.
  • Two great match-ups in the AFC next week – four truly great teams.
  • Quick picks – Pats, Eagles, Seahawks, Ravens. I just don’t trust Grossman.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Cut the sanctimony

Hey, I love Pater King's MMQB column, but I gotta call him on this little sequence..

Two weeks ago, I reported on NBC that I gave Saban two chances to say he would be back with the Dolphins in 2007 and not take a college job, and he wouldn't say he'd definitely be back. I thought it was news. NBC thought it was news. We aired it.

followed by...

Deep Coach answered the question the way I wish all of them would.

"Sorry I can't help you,'' he said. "I just don't talk about my contract. Ever.''

Great! Don't lie, don't tell. That should be the policy of every coach.

The hell you do, Peter. Otherwise, you wouldn't ask. Otherwise, you wouldn't have called it "news" when Saban did pretty much exactly what you're proposing.

And King isn't the only one on a high horse.

Look, I know Saban "lied." Lying isn't good.

And isn't it possible that when Saban made those commitments he hadn't imagined an offer like the one he received? And he's supposed to leave that on the table because he had told some sportswriters otherwise? Do you think that if any of them were offered a record contract to jump ship, they wouln't do it, regardless of what they might have said earlier?

But exactly who was hurt by this lie? He took the job in the first week of the offseason, giving the Dolphins as much time as possible to adjust. It's not like he had recruited players under the assumption he would be their coach.

No, Saban just made a few sportswriters look bad, and they're taking their revenge. And it's ugly.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I take it back -- Christianism is a threat..

I mean, if they can get a letter to the editor containing religious bigotry printed in the Charlottesville Daily Progress, can anyone deny the threat any longer?

Can mandatory Church attendance for all Americans be far behind?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Brain dump

Random thoughts on some things going on in the blogosphere.

The Althouse-Goldberg-Liberty Fund Conference brouhaha

You can follow the links from this post to catch up. And depite Adler saying those were the "last words," I'll chime in (I doubt anyone will notice).

a.) Regardless about who's right on this, I think Althouse's reputation suffers from her involvement in this debate. My impression of her is someone who is accustomed to accusations of racism ending debates in favor of the person launching the accusation, and doesn't know how to handle it when it doesn't.

b.) Jonah Goldberg detacts a double standard that isn't quite apt for reasons Matthew Yglesias outlines here.

But it's also true that the civil rights movement and the abolitionist movement were largely fueled by religious conviction. Shouldn't the many commentators warning about the dangers of fusing faith and politics have to account more seriously for the possibility that what they are proposing would have robbed these movements of their fuel? But I guess it's different because they were right and today's "Christianists" and "theocons" are wrong.

c.) If I'm basing a new ship's design on the design of the Titanic, I damn well better account for how my ship will avoid the same fate. If I'm proposing that we start using zeppelins again, I better be prepared to answer questions about the Hindenburg

And yes, if I'm going to say how great states' rights are, I better account for segregation and slavery.

Whether the Liberty Fund conference is a forum where this needs to take place is less clear.

Not a Bush Not A Nixon Not A Ford Not A Lincoln
Bruce Reed writes that Bush should emulate Ford in serving the remainder of his term in humility.

The thing is I don't think Bush is disposed to do that. And I don't think a President Kerry would have been either.

Ford is unique among presidents in that he never was elected or sought the office of vice president or president. Thus, this type of shot was in his bag.

But I think the type of person who would do everything it takes to launch a successful presidential run is not the type of person who is going to serve with humility. I also think it's human nature not to do that after all that work. I travelled all over the country, alienated my family, lived out of a suitcase for a solid year so I could stay out of the way? No, thank you.

In my opinion, the critical flaw of this administration is that it has aimed to maximize the power he has to do what Bush wants rather than doing the hard work of leading the country and the world community to support it. Maybe a different president would have a different style. But, "if elected, I will lead by building consensus!" doesn't exactly get people reaching for their checkbooks.

Football predictions

  • Chiefs over Colts -- Larry Johnson runs over the Colts; Dungy gets fired.
  • Cowboys over Seahawks -- I really think the Cowboys are better than their loss to the Lions.
  • Patriots over Jets -- Looks like the easiest call on the board, which gives me pause.
  • Eagles over Giants -- Both New York teams in playoff action against their closest geographical division rivals. Should be a fun week!