Friday, April 29, 2005
Kill the Twins!
Angels vs Minnesota this weekend!
Apparently, there is now a professional baseball team playing in Minnesota. I'm sure this is as big a shock to you as it was for us here in OC. I was sure that since the NHL took the year off, ice fishing was the only other sporting option for my brothers in the twin cities.
I've noticed quite a few of the best blogs are from Minnesota so this should be a good time to start some serious trash talk on the upcoming series between the Twin-(kies) and the Angels. Go ahead, insert your infantile mocking of the Los Angeles of Anaheim name change here.
It's clear that the boys at Fraters Libertas are the only Minny bloggers with the right temperament for this kind of testosterone-infused blogging (sorry Lileks, no one believes you have any real sports knowledge, too many books on interior design). I suspect any blog cool enough to be on permanent, semi-double-secret probation from Hugh Hewitt can't be all bad.
So, I throw down the gauntlet! Let's hear it Fraters... Do you actually believe your little homer-hankie softball team has a chance against the Los Angeles Angels of an Orange County suburb 45 miles South of Los Angeles called Anaheim???
Give me your best shot!
UPDATE 4/29/05: Twins 7, Angels 4 How did I just KNOW this would happen?!?
The Elder rose to the challenge and attempted a little jousting over this weekend's series though I think it was downhill after the "Spank the Monkey" headline. Maybe the boys over Fraters are working on their own book on interior design?
Well, one game does not a series make. Go Halos!
OK, OK. I'm man enough to admit that it's highly unlikely that the Angels will win this three game series being down 0-2 at the moment. But this is a long season and it only raises the stakes for when the St. Paul Twins come to OC.
I still maintain that Colon will kick a little Santana Butt today and this series can be written off as the bizarre freak of nature that it was.
I really appreciate all of you who have commented and e-mailed me to update me on the scores this weekend. I would have never known the Angels lost without your notifications.
All is right with the world. Just another Halo Victory!
See you July 4 - 6 in OC, Twinkies!
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Then there's this, from another AP dispatch on the same subject:
Four bills aimed at reducing the number of abortion [sic] have been enacted since Bush won the White House in 2001:
Last year, Congress made it a separate crime to harm a fetus during an assault on a pregnant woman. . . .
So according to the AP, assaulting a pregnant woman and harming her "fetus" constitutes abortion. Do "pro-choice" advocates want to keep violence against pregnant women safe and legal?
Frequent readers of his column know that Taranto has had a lot of fun with newspapers' verbal contortions trying to use the word "fetus" in some very funny contexts, but this issue of violence against a fetus inspires a moral question:
A pregnant woman and her "fetus" is killed in cold blood by her husband. The State of California successfully tries him for a double homicide. No questions asked, right?
But, what if the murdering husband in question kills the wife and "fetus" by tampering with her car's brakes. And she was driving herself to Planned Parenthood to exercise her constitutionally granted "choice". Is this a double homicide??
If yes, then why is it not murder for the "mother" of the "fetus" to skid her car into the abortion clinic and finish what she was choosing to do.
If no, then we, as a society, are assigning the value of a life solely based upon the personal opinion of each individual woman who happens to be pregnant.
If "Woman A" is planning to abort a "fetus", the "fetus" has no value. If "Woman B" is planning to keep her "unborn child" then the "unborn child" has the equal protection of the law in cases of murder.
How can a crime be a crime solely based upon the state of mind of one of the victims?
I have been very worried that the debate everywhere is about this arcane and stupid senate rule rather than the basic issue of the judges and their right to a majority rules vote. Whenever the debate is about the judges, the Republicans win the debate (just ask Tom Daschle). When the debate is about clever parliamentary rules or whether Republicans appear heavy-handed with the use of their majority, the Republicans lose (just ask Newt Gingrich).
This is why Ann's column is so right on.
It's no excuse that the Democrats are lying. They do that all the time. Republicans have got to learn to let it go. In one sentence Republicans should state that the so-called "nuclear option" means: "Majority vote wins." (This is as opposed to the Democrats' mantra, which is "Our side always wins.")
Love it! Also:
As I understand it, the reason Democrats are in a blind rage about Priscilla Owen is that, as a state court judge in Texas, Owen interpreted a law passed by the Texas Legislature requiring parental consent for 14-year-old girls to have abortions to mean that parental consent was required for 14-year-old girls to have abortions. I think Americans need to hear Democrats explain that.
Thank you, Ann for getting the argument back to two key issues:
1. Majority rules when it comes to confirming the President's appointments.
2. These judges are exactly in the "mainstream" of public opinion and that is precisely why the Dems oppose them.
SHINE THE LIGHT, ANN!!!
Our most recent link is to Sundries and her very thorough, thought provoking and heart-felt reflections on the past month: Sundries: Why are We Afraid of Benedict XVI?
We highly recommend that you take the time to read this post and leave some comments. Although I don't share all of her opinions and forecasts, it's hard not to admire her intelligence and eloquence. Her observations are reminiscent of a young Peggy Noonan.
Also, check out her picture, she is HOT!!! :)
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Laura's Official Home On The Web:
"THE POWER OF PRAYER AND LAURA UPDATE: Laura's breast cancer surgery yesterday 'couldn't have gone better,' in the words of her surgeon Dr. Katherine Alley. Initial sentinel node testing done during surgery showed no signs of cancer involvement in the lymph nodes, and we all hope that this good news is confirmed by more in-depth tissue testing done over the next 48 hours. 'The outpouring of love and concern coast-to-coast in prayer, emails, telephone calls has left me feeling more blessed than I can possibly convey,' said Laura Thursday morning from home. 'I really don't know what I did to deserve such kindness but I will gladly wrap myself in it,' she chuckled."
This is such good news for all of Laura's fans. I'm sure she is genuinely touched by the prayers and support and I give you this link so that you may join in the prayers, too.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I was not able to post on the blog for the last 5 days due to a mandatory retreat ordered by the executive management team of the OC Chronicle. As you can see from the picture above, I had a greuling and exhausting sabatacal where I was forced to contemplate life's greatest issues.
Life is tough at the OC Chronicle.
Friday, April 22, 2005
"Over the years, Cardinal Ratzinger argued that liturgical changes after Vatican II were a disaster, and that slackening beliefs among the faithful were largely a result of the suppression of the traditional Latin Mass and related devotional practices. "
Loyal reader (I think there are six of you out there) William Knorr drew my attention to this article in the Washington Times. His perfectly pithy comment to me: "Here, here." says it all, I think.
Given Benedict XVI's opinion of the post Vatican II liturgical changes, even my dad might be able to embrace this pope!
"Yes, the pope is a Catholic. Yet that unsurprising result has clearly shaken many secular liberals--and more than a few liberal Catholics--who feel that they have been somehow cheated of an opportunity. Their vindictive snarls have been prominently featured in the coverage of the new pope's election. Benedict XVI has been characterized not merely as a 'conservative' but as an 'ultraconservative.' Words such as 'rigid' and 'stern' are ubiquitous. "
A nice bleat on Opinion Journal analyzing the analysis of Benedict XVI with the delightful headline: Is the Pope Catholic?
It is remarkable how many people thought that contraception would be deemed unsinful now that a new pope is installed.
The amazing irony I find is this:
Most of the people looking to find some liberalization in doctrine from the Vatican are protestants belonging to a more liberal denomination of Christianity. They may be Episcopalian or congregationalist or what have you. But one of their major beefs with Catholicism involves Rome and the Papacy. "Why should some old man in a robe dictate what we are to believe or not believe"
Of course, the irony is that the old man in the robe is actually adhering directly to Christ's own teaching. Any Christian waiting for Rome to announce a re-thinking of important doctrine such as contraception or abortion or the importance of reconciliation is wasting his time. These are matters of faith as passed down from the early days of the Church and aren't negotiable.
I was in a social setting tonight with some loving and deeply believing protestants. One of them asked me "Do you agree with the choice of Ratzinger for Pope?" Clearly, this person does not frequent OC Chronicle so I told her: "It's an interesting question. As a Catholic, I believe that the Cardinals are guided by the Holy Spirit in their choice since whomever occupies the throne of St. Peter must speak from a position of infallibility. Given this belief, it would be impossible for me to disagree with the choice that I consider to be divinely inspired."
Needless to say, this stopped the witty banter in its tracks.
Ah the perils of being a serious Catholic at a cocktail party!
UPDATE: 4/22/05, 9:42 AM
I wrote the above post at 2AM and upon further review, parts are incoherent. The irony I was trying to point out is that those protestants who are most ant-Rome and anti-Catholic magesterium and authority are the first ones waiting for a pope to come along and make up new rules and dogmas. If they are truly against the idea of the authority of the Vatican, why are they so keen on a pope using his authority in a way they could agree with?
The truly Catholic understanding of the pope's role is, of course, that he can no sooner alter the Church's views on birth control than he could alter the Church's understanding of the divinity of Christ, or the truth of His resurrection or any other dogma that ALL Christians agree upon. Pope's just don't do this. They don't decide what we believe at any given time. They re-enforce what we have ALWAYS believed since the birth of the Church as instituted by Christ.
If a "liberal" pope came in and began changing the Church's understandings of the sinfulness of abortion or pre-marital sex, then he would be doing exactly what anti-papists accuse him of: Dictating non-biblical teachings from Rome making the Church not "authentically" Christian.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
Looks like John Kerry is once again reminding us why a majority of American's prefer to call him Senator. (HT WSJ)
Hugh Hewitt has the transcript of his bizarre floor speech. The passage above is fascinating. Does he think this is his "At long last have you no decency?" moment?
He also has a fine diatribe about the evil forces secretly maneuvering and pulling the strings of the senators on the Judicial Committee to carry out the wishes of their fringe movement. But enough about NARAL and People for the American Way...
Peggy Noonan is probably the most consistently beautiful writer of commentary of our time. My favorite aspect of her writing is that her prose is eloquent and sophisticated, yet she always uses a common and accessible vernacular. You never have to pull out your thesaurus every paragraph or two when you read her column, yet her work always has the air of art to it.
She is at her best when writing about the Church and the Holy Father. I thought it was specific to John Paul II, a man she clearly adored, yet this week's column proves her love is for Catholicism and Catholics.
A few years back she had a column about the story of Saint Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe'. I'm going to search the archive for it and post a link, you have to read it.
Update: Here is the column on OLG. It's wonderful.
Update 4/22/05: Looks like Roman Catholic Blog agrees with the fabulousness of Peggy Noonan.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Roman Catholic Blog
Pope Benedict XVI
The Donegal Express
The Pope Blog: Pope Benedict XVI
THE MATERNAL OPTIMIST
The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian
It's been a while since we've had to eat our words so quickly, but forget everything we wrote here yesterday about why the
holy Father chose Benedict for his papal name.
You see, I stayed up late last night/early this morning and watched Benedict XVI deliver his first homily as pope. I'm glad I did. Although he heaped much praise on his direct predecessor, John Paul II, it was clear that this pope sees more for his papacy than to just validate the JP2 legacy.
He spoke often and convincingly regarding his direct succession of St. Peter himself. This was smart. He is being referred to as the successor to John Paul II but, more importantly, he is successor to Peter himself. This is what sets apart the Catholic religion from out protestant brothers. Our leadership and the interpretation of scripture and the magesterium and our Traditions are traceable directly and without interruption to St. Peter and, therefore to Jesus Christ Himself. This is His Church that He established and the keys that Jesus gave to Peter are now in Benedict XVI's care.
This is an important message and the pope was wise to deliver it. Just as George HW Bush became President mostly as a gesture of validation for President Reagan's term, one could easily interpret Cardinal Ratzinger's selection as merely a gesture to John Paul II. This is a mistake that should not be made. Benedict XVI sits on the throne of St. Peter and when he speaks on issues of faith and morals he will be guided by the Holy Spirit with the protection of infallibility. This is not about politics or conservatism or popularity, this is about the TRUTH of our FAITH.
How easy it is for American's to get caught up in the media driven, political perspective of these things. I'm embarrassed that I fell for it!
In our brief, six week history OC Chronicle has been linked by Hugh Hewitt, Michelle Malkin, Captains' Quarters and Fraters Libertas. And now in the midst of the attention on the Papal selection we are linked on a prominant Roman Catholic Blog.
This is highly flattering and very encouraging and we appreciate all of you out there who have forwarded links and e-mailed our popsts to your friends. We also appreciate any feedback you can give to help improve our content.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
There is symbolism in all things that Popes do and Pope Benedict XVI hascontinued this with the selection of his name. Benedict XV was Pope forseven years at the beginning of the 20th Century. His Papacy is most notedfor his continuation of the man he followed, Saint Pius X, a truly greatand important Pope who bridged the 19th and 20th centuries and fought againstthe modernism movement with great emphasis on the catechism and the importanceof sdaily communioun. Sound familiar?
Is it possible that by selectingBenedict XVI, our Holy Father acknowledges that his most important duty isto validate and continue Pope John Paul II's Papacy and to re-inforce hismessage to the Church?
More on Benedict XV here.
More on More on St. Pius X here.
Catholic Blogs here.
Monday, April 18, 2005
It is no big surprise that the world witnessed black smoke emerging from the chimney at the Sistine Chapel today. It would be strange and unseemly if the college of Cardinals met for a few hours on the first afternoon and chosen our new Pope. It would suggest that they've had someone in mind for years. Of course, they probably have.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been discussed here and there as a likely successor and the OC Chronicle agrees with this speculation. Here a re a couple of good reasons:
1. Doctrine, doctrine doctrine. Cardinal Ratzinger's chief responsibility for the past few years has been to properly articulate and enforce the Church's doctrine. As much as people would like to believe that Pope John Paul II's popularity and success was due to his personality and charisma, the fact is he was a successful pope because he was orthodox and unwavering in his support of and interpretation of the Church's teachings on faith and morals. This is a pope's chief function and Cardinal Ratzinger was the pope's number one advisor on subjects of faith and morals.
After the second Vatican council and the pontificates of John XXIII and Paul VI, there was much uncertainty about the direction and foundation of the Church. Vatican 2 has been misinterpreted as a reformation. It was not, in terms of faith and morals, it was in terms of the worship and practice, as well as the participation of the laity. John Paul II's rock solid stance on what the Church believes has pretty much quieted any confusion in local parishes.
Ratzinger is part of the foundation on which this message was built and he is the best man to continue it.
2. His age. Cardinal Ratzinger is 78 years old. This makes him perfect as a "transitional" pope. Our Church needs powerful and charismatic men on throne of St. Peter, but there should also be space between dynamic reigns for reflection and perspective. Cardinal Ratzinger will be Pope for a relatively brief period, and that's OK. We should not try to follow John Paul II's pontificate with another long and dynamic reign.
3. He's German. This sends strong messages.
a. "The Polish Pope" was not a fluke, but a trend.
b. We have moved on from Martin Luther
c. Perhaps a German Pope will do for the questionable society of Germany what the Polish Pope did for the government of Poland.
Finally, why the decision will come tomorrow or the next: Because they know. They've known for a while. And, I believe, they know because John Paul II let them know.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
OC Chronicle has been contemplating Laura Ingraham's pending nuptials. Knowing that there are many conservative broken hearts out there (forget it you never stood a chance), The Chronicle's been trying to figure out a way we can make this a positive for all involved.
It was revealed in the engagement announcement that Ms. Ingraham and her soon-to-be old man live both in DC and New York City. Frequent listeners to her excellent program can attest that she knows the city of New York well and has spent quality time there over the years, not just token residence. In fact, since she was born and raised in Connecticut, one could say she is a real New Yorker since Connecticut is really just a suburb of Manhattan!
I think it's time we begin the Draft Laura for New York Senate in 2006 NOW! Who better than to take on Senator Clinton than a real New Yorker with attitude? Someone who can properly articulate the conservative position? Someone from the fairer sex so that when tough political tactics are employed Ms. Clinton can't cower like a wounded female as she did in the last campaign?
Who among you wouldn't pay through the nose to watch the debate between Hil and Laura??? It would be the best theatre on Broadway!!!
Join me: DRAFT LAURA NOW!
Monday, April 11, 2005
The only news channel on the ship's satellite was CNN. Fascinating to observe the death and funeral Pope John Paul II through the eyes of Christiane Amampour and the whole gang at Ted Turner's network. How many stories did I have to see referring to the Church's "Archaic" doctrine. Amampour called the late Pope's message "contradictory" because he "embraced AIDS victims while speaking out against the distribution of condoms"!
Then there is the printed word. Each morning we received an 8-page abridged version of The New York Times. Each article edited down to just give you the basic information you need. Plus, the back page had two Times editorials and an Op-Ed column. What was revelatory was that when reading a multi-page Times article chopped down to five paragraphs, the slanted opinion of the reporter sticks out like a sore thumb! There were many references to the Pope's "divisive" papacy and the church's problems in losing ground in Latin America or the USA. (The church DOUBLED its membership during JP2's papacy, DOUBLED!)
The article on Tom DeLay's family receiving salaries from his political action committee was pretty remarkable too. I kept looking in the 6 articles on the subject for any kind of context. If this was, in fact, illegal. Or, if it was against ethics rules. or, if there was even any evidence that they did not actually work for their salaries. This information was not to be found. All I got from the article was that Tom DeLay's wife and daughter received money from his PAC, and the accounting refers to the payments as "payroll". What's the big deal?
I was craving some sort of access to the internet so I could read some blogs and get some actual fact and context. Unfortunately, any significant amount of time connected to the internet on a cruise ship would cost more than the cruise itself!
It is understandable that on a cruise ship one cannot expect multiple choices with regard to cable news stations or news papers. I just wonder if the only channel were Fox News and the only newspaper distributed were The Wall Street Journal, would that be so bad? Would people have any complaints about not getting the whole story? Why is it an international assumption the CNN and the Times are the best sources of information?
My advice to anyone going on a cruise... stay away from the news. What you don't know won't hurt you. If anything MAJOR happens, you'll hear about it. Then when you are home, set aside about three hours to catch up.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Friday, April 01, 2005
It seems Pope John Paul II is in his final hours on earth.
Of all the great things John Paul II achieved in his lifetime, and there are many as we will all hear and read about over the next few weeks, I believe his greatness was firmly established when he commissioned and authorized the new edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
I was born and baptized into the Roman Catholic religion. I had my first communion and my first confession. When I was eight years old, after my mother re-married a non-Catholic, I suddenly and inexplicably stopped being taken to church. As an eight-year-old, my overwhelming reaction was: "Cool!" You see, now I could spend my Sunday Mornings doing more important things like watching cartoons, or sleeping.
Twenty years later, after living a God-free existence (at least my conscious awareness of God was lacking), I was craving a spiritual anchor in my life. To a person, everyone in my life that I admired had deep religious convictions. This told me that there was something I was missing. I decided to re-visit the Catholic Church as this was where my life began. If it did not provide me what I was looking for, I would move on.
I began to attend Mass and there was something warm and familiar to me about it. I still had barely any idea of what and why we were doing the rituals we were performing, so I decided to research the Mass and the Catholic Tradition. I discovered the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Catechism was revelatory. It so clearly and coherently and logically explained why we believe what we believe. It is something that EVERY religion should have. What a gift from this great man. It guided me and countless others to the Truth of Christ's Church and fulfilled my life. If it were not for this, I would not have met and married Sabrina and we would not have had our children.
Thank you, Holy Father.
POSTSCRIPT: Do not be persuaded by the media's descriptions of the Pope as "hard-line", "ultra-conservative" or "inflexible" toward proposed modifications of church doctrine. These comments come from gross ignorance of the church. The Pope's role and duty is not to make the Church more accessible or main-stream by relaxing it's doctrine or standards in matters of faith or morals. In matters of faith and morals his job is to MAINTAIN the Church's teachings. These teachings on faith and morals have remained consistent for 2000 years.
The Pope does have leverage and freedom in matters of worship, magesterium and organization. In this arena, he was quite progressive in instituting the worship based reforms of the second Vatican council and in re-structuring certain aspects of the church's organization.
Because he did not waiver on issues such as birth-control, pre-marital sex, abortion or homosexual lifestyles, he will be labeled an arch conservative. What these people are misunderstanding is that NO pope can, or will, modify the Church's teachings on these matters. They can't.
The man was a revolutionary figure and we were honored to live in his time.
This weekend is the Freeway Series, the annual ritual n which the Angels prove their dominance over the embarrassing Dodgers of Downtown. Most exciting aspect is seeing the contrast between Angel fans and the atmosphere in OC versus the (yawn) somnambule fireworks of Chavez Revine. I ask you: If you're a kid growing up in So. Cal and you have to pick a team to back, how could you NOT pick the Halos?
So after we cream the Dodgers it will be time to defend our AL West Crown. I, alas, will be missing my first opening day in years as I will be on the first IDEA Cruise where in the company will review our strategic choices from last year (Ten Commandments, The Musical???) and chart our course for the coming fiscal year: New alliances in electronic component industry, New strategies in photo album entrepreneurship, New ventures in health, home and nutrition products.
I will miss the Angels, but I look forward to planning our future so I can finally get that luxury suite!