Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Theological Ignorance...

While I am sitting here recovering and in a curmudgeonly mood, I figured I would write a post that is bound to piss off half of you and make the other half shift uncomfortably in your seat even as you agree with the sentiments I am going to express here.  So we begin...

Barack H. Obama, the President of the United States of America, is a theological ignoramus.

Well, why do you have to use such harsh language?

If you ask this question, my rabbinic rejoinder would be: why are you changing the subject? Every time the man opens his mouth to say something remotely religious, I cringe, reach for the remote, or just mutter at the television (or radio, for that matter).  While I do not possess a mandatum, no one can accuse me of being uninformed about my faith or about the basic tenets of Christianity and the Bible.

I will say this, just to clarify myself - I do not believe President Obama to be the Antichrist, or the Devil, or even a non-Christian (although a few do).  I do believe that in a personal way, he is sincere about his Christianity.  What sticks in my craw is when he does speak of religion, it is almost always in a context of policy, and that is what shows his ignorance on the subject.

Example A - earlier this month, the President gave a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast that said Jesus would support higher taxes on the rich, using a quote from the Gospel of Luke to allegedly buttress his argument - "for unto whom much is given, much will be required". Never mind that the quote is pulled from a parable that has to do with judgment day, the problem ultimately is that the President always assumes that when this subject comes up, it is only within the purview of the state to dispense the goodies.

When Jesus speaks of giving and such, it is under the auspices of charity - a freely given gift that springs from a kindly heart, not a legalized form a theft taken at the threat of violence from a 'benevolent' state.  Quite often, people of the same mentality of the President will use the story of Jesus overturning the money changers' tables in the Temple as a way of showing that he was for the redistribution of wealth.

There are two problems with that interpretation: 1) Jesus never overturned merchants' tables outside the Temple, showing that it was as much (or even more so) about profaning the Temple, and 2) The money changers and merchants were living up the rear end of the power structure of Jerusalem, so if we want to modernize the story, Jesus would be going into SEIU, UAW, and NEA headquarters and overturning their tables.  In other words, be careful with the analogies being used.  However, I am not expecting that, because it isn't politically expedient. On top of that, the double standards are odious. If Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney talk religion, they are fanatics; President Obama does so, and he is hailed as being sensitive - even as he seeks to tyrannically curtail religious freedom in this country.

Example B - President Obama's incessant use of "my brother's keeper" as a rationale for whatever new statist agenda he has planned.  A quick look into any concordance (or BibleGateway.com) demonstrates that there is only one time in the entirety of the Bible where those three words are used in succession - in the fourth chapter of the Book of Genesis. Cain, the son of Adam and Eve had just killed his brother Abel and God asks where Abel is, and Cain tries to change the subject with a sarcastic rejoinder, "I do not know, am I my brother's keeper?"  There is a reason why the true keeper of all is not any man, but God himself - just look at the traditional benediction:
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26)
My point is, at least do your homework before trotting out phrases like that.  Of course, he could never just flat out say what he wants to say, so he has to dress it up in language that contains religion-like substance and try to co-opt Jesus.  What he should say is this...
The government of the United States has the best and brightest people working in all sectors, and those people are much smarter than the average American.  As it follows, they are thus eminently more qualified to make decisions for our citizens in regard to the food they eat, the cars they drive, the healthcare they receive, the appliances they use, and even the light bulbs they place in their homes.  In order to maintain this superior level of government, we need to fund all the programs they have thought of, and that means the rich will have to pay more.  You are just going to have to trust us, because we know what is best for you.
Of course...if he did actually say that, he would lose in a landslide.  

February Dog Days...

I have long said that February are the real 'dog days' - whether of the school year, or the calendar year.  This February has been a little different because the weather has not been cooperative and sooner or later, it was going to catch up.

It did, overnight.  

100+ fevers are always fun.  I wasn't feeling great last night, but something I picked up from my childhood is that if I don't have a fever and I am not vomiting, I go to school/work.  Thankfully, it looks like it will only be a 24 hour affliction and tomorrow will be ready to go.  

When I was a kid, I had two books that lamented illness - one that you see in the upper right hand corner of this post, and the other one was a Big Bird-centered book entitled Nobody Cares About Me!  The latter started with Big Bird's envy over Ernie getting attention for being sick, so he tries to fake being sick but eventually does actually get sick.  The tagline of that book was "It's no fun to be sick", even when all of Sesame Street brought presents to him.  

I agree - I would rather just be left alone when feeling ill.  I absolutely hate the feeling, and getting out of the routine of the day is awful.  The two times I have had long-term illnesses (November, 1996 and July, 2009) were some bad times.  I don't wish to repeat them.  

This being Lent...Kyrie Eleison.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's Lent!!!

Ok, I'm sure some of you are probably wondering just what in the hell I am so excited about with the three exclamation points in the title.  Lent is one of my favorite times of the year, and today being Ash Wednesday, it behooves me to write something about it.

When I was a kid, it was always about 'giving something up' for Lent, and every year I did just that.  One year I even announced to my mother that I was giving up Lent for Lent, but the requisite slap put that idea to rest really fast.  As I got older, the giving-up-something aspect moved to a more serious 'what can I do to change myself and my life for the good?'

Giving up things is good - it shows us that we can do without particular goods, items, and wants.  But ultimately, we can do it because we know that we will be getting them back in 46 short days (if you include the Sundays).  Fundamental change of our lives is a little more difficult, and is rife with failure.  I have failed many times in my attempts to do this, only to fall back on some temporary sacrifice of a minor item.  It's an eternal struggle, just as anyone trying to do the right thing can attest.

I like the starkness of Ash Wednesday - it's a day to contemplate our own mortality, such as the words of the Book of Genesis - for dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.  When I receive ashes, I like to hear those particular words.  There's nothing necessarily wrong with the statement "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel", but if there ever was a day (other than Good Friday) to contemplate what exactly the 'wages of sin' (Romans 6:23) are, this day is it. 

The forty days of Jesus in the desert, in which he fasts and reverses the sins of Israel from the days after the Exodus, provides a model for us to follow.  No matter how great the temptation is (materialism, vanity, or power), we have the example to reject sin and all the works and empty promises of the Father of Sin.  It's not an accident that the final words of the prayer directly attributed to Jesus are lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  

Kyrie Eleison.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Observations - 2/19/12

- Today was the semi-annual pancake breakfast at Holy Redeemer.  It was incredibly tasty and both the missus and I had a second helping.  Usually, this is done in the middle of October and the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. In my teen years, I took a much more active role in the preparation - no one was better at cleaning griddles than me!  We went to 8 AM Mass and then chowed down - some of the finest traditions of our Faith going all the way back to the earliest days of the Church.

- A big thing has broken out over an ESPN headline on their website that stated "A Chink In The Armor", with a picture of Jeremy Lin being prominently displayed after the Knicks' long winning streak was broken.  Ok, I completely understand that the word 'chink' is a derogatory term and all that, but when did we become so hypersensitive to cliches?  ESPN apologized, disciplined the guilty parties, and admitted that it was in poor taste; given the subject of the headline (and I agree, it was in poor taste), but it is time to move on.  Cries of "RACISM!!" during instances like this take attention away from actual acts of bigotry and tend to make people yawn and ignore the real thing.

- The Maryland House of Delegates just passed a bill to legalize Same-Sex Marriage in our state.  This puts it on the track to become law, since the State Senate passed it last year and Governor O'Malley has said he would sign it.  It will be interesting, however, to see what happens when it is put forth to the voters as a ballot initiative in November.  The issue has never been approved by a majority of voters in any state, not even California.  I have been on record as saying that I am in favor of civil unions, but not same-sex marriage - and thus would vote against any kind of ballot initiative that would enshrine what the state legislature has proposed and passed.

- It is supposed to snow tonight; I'll believe it when I see it.  According to forecasts, it won't even drop to freezing tonight.  It is supposed to stay at...wait for it...33 degrees.  Delightful. Cold February rain.

- Gasoline is $3.57 per gallon in my neighborhood today and it will continue to rise.  On January 20, 2009, it was $1.76 per gallon.  Are there any questions?

- Speaking of gasoline, our illustrious governor wants to raise the gasoline tax.  He says it will help pay for roads and such.  Nick asked in a post last week, where exactly was the money before?  We have a large deficit, but let's be honest, the reason we have such a large deficit is because it gets spent on things that it would be better unspent, such as a huge bureaucracy and full pensions and healthcare for teachers who retire at 52, but live until 80.  In other words, we are becoming Greece here in Maryland.  

- Martin O'Malley may have presidential aspirations for 2016, but in my opinion, those are dead are in the water at present.  His record is that of a tax-and-spend liberal, and we haven't elected an honest one since...ever, actually.  Yes, President Obama is a tax-and-spend liberal, but he had to pretend he wasn't in order to get elected in 2008.  O'Malley won't have the luxury of hiding behind vapid slogans and accusing people of racism if they don't support him. I predict that he doesn't even make it to Super Tuesday in 2016 if he throws his hat in the presidential race. 

- Two closing words for today = SPRING. TRAINING!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Are We Lost?

Today is Whitney Houston's funeral in Newark, New Jersey.

It is being streamed on CNN.

I am not watching it.

Reading some of the stories about how 'upset' people are for not being allowed into a private family and friends viewing at a funeral home makes me wonder how far we have become removed from reality.  Some of the quotes from the offended parties are something to behold:
“I’m a taxpayer in the city … born and raised in this city … They should stop treating us like animals. We’re taxpayers … We made this lady who she is today,” resident Floyd Bishop said.
Ok, so you bought her music and such - that doesn't necessarily mean that the family owes you anything.  I would be interested in knowing the political views of the gentleman quoted, because I would like to get his take on other things his taxes fund.  Given the city in which this is taking place, I would not be shocked if there is a total disconnect in this complaint versus how he views other tax expenditures.

The question posed in the title has more to do with the fact that we are, unfortunately, a completely 'star-f*cking' culture.  Look at what we care about (as a culture) - awards shows, clothing on the red carpet, professional athletes, politicians' wives, movie premieres, and the like.  People are getting into a snit because they can't indulge their fandom in what should be a solemn private ceremony of remembrance.  

Today's funeral is for Whitney Houston, the person, the woman, the individual who has been known for 48 years by friends and family who loved and cared about her.  It is most decidedly not meant to be another opportunity for our culture to engage in one more exercise in star-f*cking.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

False Arguments...

An interesting argument,
but ultimately a red herring.
Listening to more arguments between others (I chose not to jump in) over not just the HHS mandate about contraception, but about the very nature of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a certain point made by the pro-centralization side struck me -- requiring people to carry medical insurance is the same as states requiring insurance car insurance.

On the surface it sounds reasonable.  But is it true?

First of all, let's remember what insurance actually is:
[T]he act, system, or business of insuring property, life, one's person, etc., against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire, accident, death, disablement, or the like, in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.
We see how that works with car insurance in both of its forms - both liability and collision protect the driver and his car in any kind of incident that especially involves another person. A clean record and being part of a lower-risk demographic will get lower premiums for that particular driver.  

Medical insurance (I don't like calling it 'health' insurance - because you can't actually insure health) used to operate in this fashion, back when it was called 'major medical'; some decades ago, the purpose of medical insurance was to provide some kind of financial protection in the case of a major injury or disability that would normally bankrupt a family.  It was most decidedly not devised to pay for routine doctor visits, regular prescriptions, and all sorts of exotic 'health care'.  But that is what it has devolved into and because of this, it can no longer be called 'insurance' in any meaningful sense.  'Coverage' is probably a better term, but even that has a similar meaning to insurance.

Nowadays, most states have requirements that drivers carry insurance (at the very least, liability; collision is usually a requirement of a lender) on their cars, and supporters of the individual mandate that is at the heart of PPACA have been insistent that since states require car insurance and it has passed constitutional muster, ergo, the individual mandate to carry medical insurance is likewise constitutional.

Think again.

The key difference between the car and medical insurance mandates (aside from the different levels of government involved) is that in the former, there is an opt-out.  In the latter, there isn't.  If you choose not to drive or own a car, you do not need to have insurance for such a purpose and will not be penalized for such a decision.  The PPACA individual mandate, on the other hand, does not allow for any kind of decision to avoid getting some kind of medical coverage.  It doesn't matter whether the person is of good health and a low risk - buy some kind of medical insurance or else pay a stiff fine.

This is the heart of the matter - whether or not the federal government can compel you to take part of economic activity, and more importantly, can they penalize you for not taking part in a certain economic activity.  The 'commerce clause' of the U.S. Constitution says that Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce.  That, however, implies that there is some actual commerce occurring.  If I don't buy a particular product, there is no commerce occurring and therefore nothing to regulate.  

The danger is that the Supreme Court will rule that Congress has the authority to regulate commercial inactivity, and then we will have enshrined thoughtcrime into the lawbooks of the United States of America.  What could they not compel us to buy under such a statute?  I predicted that the Supreme Court would overturn the individual mandate, but some days I am not so sure, even though this should be a slam dunk.

What I want is a cogent argument on constitutional grounds why we should be compelled to buy a particular product.  I don't expect to hear one, because if the propagators of that side are anything like President Obama, they will probably complain that the Constitution is too 'constricting' and 'outdated' to get anything done.  But then again, this has never been about access to health care.  It's about enlarging and expanding the role of the state in the lives of its citizens.  

Be careful what you wish for...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

All Your Lunch Are Belong To Us...

Tyranny comes in many forms, but the ever creeping one is the soft variation:
A mother in Hoke County complains her daughter was forced to eat a school lunch because a government inspector determined her home-made lunch did not meet nutrition requirements.


The mother, who doesn’t wish to be identified at this time, says she made her daughter a lunch that contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, apple juice and potato chips. A state inspector assessing the pre-K program at the school said the girl also needed a vegetable, so the inspector ordered a full school lunch tray for her.
I'm trying to figure out a) how pre-school came under the guise of the state in the first place, and b) what business is it of the school, the district, or (God help us) the United States Department of Agriculture. Seriously, the nutrition standards are based on the thoughts and opinions of a bunch of bureaucrats in downtown DC and Beltsville. Beltsville!
The nutrition standards for pre-K lunch require milk, two servings of fruit or vegetable, bread or grains and a meat or meat alternative.
What the hell is a 'meat alternative', anyway?  Back to the point...

My parents would have gone to jail based on these standards. My lunches in "pre-K" - we called it nursery school back then - were sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich, or when Mom was feeling generous, she would cut up a couple of potatoes and deep fry them. No fruits or vegetables made their way into my lunches then. I drank Kool-Aid (just plain old Kool-Aid, rather than "the"), iced tea, or Coke with it. Guess what?  I think I turned out fine, and so did my peers.  And we aren't that old.

Like so many other things going on in our society, it's all about who is in control. No more and no less. Power, in other words, is the only 'currency'. The question is: are we going to keep letting ourselves get walked all over? At this moment, it sure looks like it. I pray we don't, but let's just say it doesn't look good.

A Reversal Of Sorts On Tracking...

Would be nice for
all kids to get these, but
it just ain't happening
Some time ago, I went through all the positives of 'tracking' in education; this is the notion of differing levels of the same course work. Before I got to the positives, though, I named a couple of negatives.  To wit:
First, you have the ‘stigma’ of the different tracks and secondly you have the notion of familiarity, i.e. when you have the same students in every single course of a particular track. Familiarity will either a) breed contempt, so goes the cliché, or b) it will become a distraction, thanks to the chumminess that having the same classmates all day long fosters.
This isn't so much of a problem with higher/faster tracks (such as honors and Advanced Placement courses), but it is clearly a problem in any kind of lower track.  The reason it isn't a problem in the faster track is mostly due to the fact that those students are driven to succeed and feed off the competition and knowledge that most of their peers in the class are, at the very least, at the same advanced intellectual level, if not even more so.  Despite what many in academia think, I believe competition to be a good thing, something to be encouraged, and the higher/faster tracks implicitly do that.

The lower tracks, on the other hand, do more to confirm and lock students into a particular mindset and attitude, especially the whole familiarity aspect alluded to in the blocked text. It's one thing to have a course of two with a lower track (such as math and English), but once every single subject has a lower track, it becomes an exercise in segregation, with no sense of ever breaking through.  

The kids who are in mostly lower track classes all know this too, and it is demonstrated through their performance (I have taught the lower-track Scripture class for the past three years).  They stop caring, and it becomes a class of clowns who exist mostly to egg one another on.  There are a couple of students who do their best to perform, but for the most part the attitudes range from apathy to antipathy.   Any attempt to elevate the discourse of the classroom is resisted, because of what they perceive to be as lower expectations for them.  

In the original post (linked first), I said I was in favor of tracking 'for the most part', but I think now I am only in favor of a faster track, and no lower tracks at all, save for maybe a technical subject like math.  It has been made clear to me that a rising tide will raise the ships in education.  Kids who need motivation need to be in an environment where they are challenged and see others potentially pulling ahead.  Once again, it's that competition factor, but unfortunately, we are living in a competition-challenged society, especially with regard to the education sector.  I have hope, though.

It's a faint one, but nonetheless it is there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Most Interesting Character...

The Godfather is my favorite movie, and it is a film that has long stood the test of time.  Many people have favorite characters, and I would have to say that my favorite is Don Vito Corleone.  However, in my humble and (nearly worthless) opinion, the most interesting character is Santino 'Sonny' Corleone.  That's probably an odd choice for most people, but hear me out...

Sonny is by far the most flawed character, prone to outbursts of anger and passion and saying the first thing that comes to his mind.  In an indirect way, he is responsible for his brother Michael becoming the cold and ruthlessly efficient character.  Consider the following:

1) Sonny nearly cost his father his life because he couldn't keep his mouth shut when they met with drug runner Virgil Sollozzo.  Sollozzo sensed Sonny's enthusiasm for getting into the drug game and decided to knock off Don Vito.  Vito survived, but only after Michael had to fake being a button man at the hospital. 

2) Michael got punched out by Captain McCluskey and then was mocked by Sonny when he suggested that he take out Sollozzo and McCluskey.  Michael does so and has to run away to Italy.  

3) Sonny's temper and over-protectiveness toward his sister Connie cost him his own life as he was wantonly wasted at the toll booth on the causeway.  That news, plus Michael witnessing his wife being murdered, turned him into a vengeful and cold Don - a character that would ever descend into the depths of hell over the next decade.

Why?  Simply because Sonny let his reason get clouded by emotion.

He was a character who also let his hormones do his thinking - there were a couple of scenes that showed him with his mistress Lucy, but there was never a doubt that he also loved his family, even if he was not in control of his emotions, temper, or libido.  For the first 90-100 minutes of the film, Sonny Corleone is the engine that drives it.  Vito is the focal point and Michael becomes the focal point, but Sonny is the glue between the two. 

There are four sons of Vito (if you include Tom Hagen) and you have four distinct personalities.  Hagen is really the only one who does not have a misplaced role, although it can be argued that as a 'Kraut-Mick' (according to Jack Woltz), he is horrendously misplaced in a Sicilian operation.  Fredo should never have been given a position of authority; Michael grudgingly took on the family business as a tribute to his father; Sonny was the only one who truly wanted the mob lifestyle, but could not handle being the Don, and it got him killed.  

However, without him, The Godfather is not the same story, and not the same film.  Sonny Corleone is the filler and cohesive that holds it all together.  Now, I am sure many will dispute this, but this is just one man's take on why Sonny is the most fascinating and interesting character.

Some More Blog Changes...

I have decided (with the consent of the Real Author™), that the share buttons needed an upgrade, especially since Google+ is now part of the equation.  Instead of having the Facebook 'share' and the Tweetmeme buttons, I used my ShareThis account and placed a 'Like' button, a Tweet button, and a Google+ button, along with the generic ShareThis 'Share' button.  The Real Author™ had expressed a desire that we reach out to more people, and I agreed, as I am wont to do, since he knows where I sleep.

That being said, while I am not in the business of driving traffic, I hope it is a more efficient way of sharing the material from this blog.  I don't like the default Blogger sharing tools, so third party was the way to go, and has always been, at least until Google/Blogger stops half-assing it with their sharing buttons.  

You can also subscribe to Lattanzi Land by email - either by clicking here, or by filling in the form in the upper right hand corner of this blog.  It will deliver any posts I make right to your inbox for consumption at your own leisure.

As always, your comments are welcome here, or by email.  I will discuss pretty much anything with anyone, and I don't shy from controversy - if half of my posts here are any indication.  Call me an idiot or call me right, I'll talk about it.  Have a great day, everyone!

 -- J.L.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Projection Writ Large...

Making its way around Facebook has been a picture of a young person six different times with captions in the style of a LOLCats poster to demonstrate the hypocritical nature of a lot of the young people who make up the 'Occupy (fill in the blank)' movement.  This is the one...

What's interesting, first of all, is that the middle two are actually opposite sides of the same coin.  The typical attitude of 'free speech for me but not for thee' is actually bound up with the notion of 'diversity', as it tends to be understood by that ilk - a diversity of look, but not a diversity of opinion.  The expectation is for all people to fall into lockstep with the subject - whether they are white, black, Asian, and so forth.  Zombies, though, are still zombies no matter their appearance if they all mumble the same incoherent slogans and chants that all seem to begin with 'hey hey ho ho...'.  Is there anything more lame than recycling the same cliches from forty-five years ago?  And one more thing on the diversity front - I have noticed that most of the 'Occupiers' have all been young, white, semi-educated hipster types. Diversity for thee, but not for me?  Et tu, Occupiers?

Sunday Observations - 2/12/12

It has been an interesting week all the way around - whether in politics, the world, sports, and just life in general. Not bad for the week after the Super Bowl, indeed.

- The scandal and controversy over the mandate from the Obama Administration is not going to die out any time soon, that's for sure.  Nor should it.  Wanton assaults on basic freedoms of citizens should not be ignored at all, no matter how many attempts at 'accommodation' there are.  This is a shell game being played by the White House, and although my forum is small and limited, I throw my voice behind those who have larger forums in continuing to denounce these attempts at tyranny.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Not Good Enough (Continued)...

If you wanted this, congrats...
Instead of continuously updating the last post as I was doing yesterday, I figured I would just do another post here instead.

The so-called 'accommodation' from yesterday is not an accommodation at all - the same people still will be forced to buy things they consider morally objectionable, but certain corners, such as the Washington Post editorial board, thinks that the 'accommodation' is a 'win-win' for President Obama:
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION appears to have found an elegant way out of its contraceptive problem — or, perhaps more to the point, to the political problem created by its approach to contraceptive coverage.
It's elegant only if you wish to be talked down to and if you were looking (or begging) for the Obamaites to do SOMETHING to make it all go away (like Sr. Carol Keehan - who has been a major cheerleader for 'health care reform', and who keeps being trotted out as a representative of Catholics.  Here's a clue, she has revealed herself to be a useful idiot by her swaying in the wind on this issue).  Continuing...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Not Good Enough...

It is coming forth that perhaps the Obama Administration is looking for some kind of 'compromise' on the  basis of the firestorm that has been ignited over their wanton and tyrannical disregard for the First Amendment.  

Since when did freedom of religion become a point of negotiation in a compromise situation?

Resist.  Nothing less than full surrender on the part of the Administration with regard to their mandates is acceptable.

UPDATE - The Hill reports that the Hawaiian-type law will be used as the basis of the 'compromise' (the Administration refers to it as an 'accommodation').  That's no compromise at all.   It still requires the referral and subsidization of morally objectionable items.  In other words.  Not. Good. Enough.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More Than Just Contraception...

I have been thinking a bit more about the whole fiasco that the Obama Administration has been trying to foist on religious institutions and organizations regarding contraception and its payment. I have come to the conclusion that keeping the issue solely about the product and who pays for it is a pretty narrow point of view. Naturally, I do not support such a thing, although it could be seen coming from a mile away. This is why I did not ever support the passage of the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act' in any form.

No, this issue is about first principles of who we are. I believe this issue is a dividing line between those who believe that people (read: women) have an unfettered right to contraceptives, with that right trumping those who believe in freedom of religion and conscience. The Obama Administration and its sycophants clearly believe that the former supersedes the latter. Oh, they’ll talk about ‘freedom of worship’ and all that, but let’s be perfectly clear (to borrow a cliché from President Obama), ‘freedom of worship’ is not the same as ‘freedom of religion’. The former is but one narrow part of the latter.

Down With PETA!!!

The Real PETA
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is a scourge on our society, and so I applauded the fact that a judge in a Federal District Court in San Diego has thrown out a lawsuit brought by PETA against SeaWorld for ‘enslaving’ killer whales, claiming that SeaWorld has violated the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery and other involuntary servitude.

My basic thoughts on PETA are here, and I won’t rehash them in toto, but let’s just say that the things mentioned nearly two years ago are just as relevant now, and in some ways, even more so.  Here's to hoping that all appeals are denied and PETA will be required to pay any court costs incurred between the taxpayer and SeaWorld.

Now, pass the meat, please.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Levels Of Sports Misconceptions...

Only these leagues count!
In a conversation with Dustin last night, we got to talking about misconceptions in the sports world; by this we mean the idea of certain events that have taken place that have been inflated beyond their particular significance either by the media or through legend.  

However, as the conversation went on, we determined that not all misconceptions are equal. Some are much more egregious than others, and so we came up with a ladder system to determine to which level the particular misconceptions belong. There are five levels, with increasingly bigger misconceptions than the previous one. Here, I shall go through the levels, beginning with the lowest ones and moving on up. The significance of the events also generally increases as we move up the ladder, but not always.  It is noteworthy to mention that very few of these events have taken place in the era of the internet, and it should be somewhat obvious as to why.