Monday, March 16, 2015

The Lattanzi Ten - 3/16/15

It's been an interesting weekend, and a lot of that came back to the fun of the conference tourneys. The selections and brackets will be dealt with in a separate post, because, well, it is worth its own! Today's Ten is a look at the weekend in review and potentially what is coming up in the near future. -- J.L.

I rarely agree with The Washington Post's editorial board, but here they get it absolutely right. Governmental pension plans (at any level) need to be dealt with soon, lest there be a complete meltdown in the financial system from which even printing more federal dollars to throw to the jurisdictions can't solve.

The Post is carrying Mrs. Bill Clinton's water here by doing an old fashioned tu quoque regarding Jeb Bush's use of email while he was governor of Florida. I'm guessing even logical fallacies can be used in the service of said water carrying, so long as the target is a potential presidential opponent. It is a more polished and printed version of Lanny Davis' protest-too-much session he did a couple weeks back on the WMAL morning show (where he makes regular appearances). Methinks this story doesn't make much of a dent in Bush's campaign, since Mrs. Clinton keeps digging her own hole deeper and deeper.

Bigotry (I really don't like the term "racism" because it is horrendously misused as a term; unless one is a social Darwinist or one supports policies that are meant to separate people based on color or ethnicity such as Jim Crow or apartheid, "racist" and "racism" are incorrect terms to use) is an ugly thing; something that has no place in decent society. That being said, I am very uncomfortable with steps taken in places such as the University of Oklahoma and Maryland against recent episodes of bigotry. These are not private institutions - they are public institutions and as such the First Amendment still applies. I wonder if there are lawsuits going to occur as a result of any action taken against the individuals. So-called "hate speech" is still protected speech. People will need to remember that when the shoe is (potentially) on the other foot.

Another thing, why does the University of Maryland have an "Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct"? The latter should be in the purview of the police; the former should be in the purview of a legal team on call should there be actual instances of civil rights violations.

As in better things to do, that is. I know the gun control lobby will go nuts (if they aren't already there), but this is a commonsense (I can use that word too!) proposal. If we are going to guard money, as the article talks about, then why not one's family? Self-defense is an inherent right, so the means in doing so ought not to be too strict.

I'm not going to belabor this point, because thousands (and probably millions) of words have been written on the topic of Seattle raising its minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. But consider that since labor costs are the highest expense of any business, artificially forcing businesses to double said expense is not usually the way to help them succeed. The real test is how the inevitable increased prices of goods and services will affect the spending habits of families. I think the (un)intended consequence will be that the suburban businesses will get a lot more customers and people will flee the city businesses. Great on paper, not so great in reality.

I found this from Pope Francis to be sobering, even if it is realistic. Long live Pope Francis! I know he has only been on the throne in office for two years, but I am hoping he makes it to five at least.

The Episcopal Church has been a joke for some time, although it went beyond parody for me personally when I had to deal with a snarky mother at a back-to-school night meeting in my second or third year. At that point, I was teaching a course for sophomores called "Sacred Scripture," which was a two-semester Biblical course, for all intents and purposes. 

Anyway, this woman kept harassing me and interrupting me during my presentation (which is only ten minutes long for each class) with condescending remarks, and at one point she says "uh, excuse me professor? [How's that for insulting the teacher?] You aren't going to be teaching any of that fundamentalist nonsense are you? [Imagine an elitist sneer with that question!] You see, we are Episcopalian, and we don't really believe in anything." Oh. My. God. I had to turn around to keep from laughing my guts out. Never have truer words been spoken!

The linked story above is tragic, but it is farcical at the same time. All because it was so important that they get a female bishop involved, even if she's a drunk who committed manslaughter. Because...diversity.

I don't watch The View (kinda hard when one works for a living during normal daytime hours, although I don't watch it during the summer either), but it is entertaining reading the overanalyzing of how each cast member fit into some family mold, as if the show were some evil-parallel universe of The Godfather

I want this medieval castle! If I lived in Tuscany, I could eat Olive Garden every day! You noticed I didn't ask someone to lend me the money. Of course, if someone gave me two billion dollars, I could give most of it to charity and live modestly for the rest of my life. But who are we kidding anyway? Maybe Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, or Carlos Slim wants it.

Tomorrow is the Feast Day of Saint Patrick. I do wish more people took the time to contemplate the man himself. The whole Irish pride thing is a little overwrought, considering that Patrick was...British. The real feast day this week is on Thursday, of St. Joseph, someone who has incredibly great meaning for me personally. Stay tuned for Thursday on that end. The link is a nice piece by Chuck Colson (yes, that Chuck Colson) and captures some of the spirit of Patrick.

For some reason, DeMaurice Smith won re-election as head of the NFLPA. Too many challengers lead to a divided field. At least we'll know to see three more years of Roger Goodell acting as a dictator as we see a continuously weakened players' side. 

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