Saturday, April 02, 2005

Extensive thoughts
on marriage rights. No conclusions, just a litany of things that must be considered.

Check it out.

As Power Line points out, it seems that in an article that "reports on his papacy in an article that inadvertently tells us more than the Times really wanted us to know."

So what does it say? In the middle of the article—apparently a note made by some publisher that was accidentally left in when the copy went up on the web—appears the phrase "need some quote from supporter."

Don't believe it? Check out the screengrab.

The most brilliant headline ever written (and yes, I'm being sarcastic)
Students download in dorms

Of course, it's actually an article about free downloading networks that are being rolled out on campuses nation-wide. Perhaps the best part of the article is the paragraph that belies the author's status as a member of some older generation, and his despair at youth:

In the search for online customers, entertainment companies are aggressively pursuing college students, who cannot remember life before the Internet.
Can't you just hear the condescension? 'In my day we had no internet. And we had to walk uphill both ways to school!'

Here we go currently reports: "Pope John Paul II's condition remains unchanged and 'very grave,' and he is showing the first signs of losing consciousness, the Vatican said Saturday."

By the time anyone reads this, the news will most likely have changed. I still wanted to take the opportunity to comment on an issue I see arising. I could be way off here (he could suddenly take a turn and be gone), but it's possible that the Pope will slip into a coma, and that the Vatican may be able to keep him alive on life support for some amount of time.

If that's the case, we'll learn a lot from the way they handle that possibility.

Mmmmmmm... Berger...

But we're worried about imposed theocracy
The Illinois state government is now requiring some pharmacists to act against their own morality—sort of. From

Gov. Rod Blagojevich approved an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies to fill birth control prescriptions quickly after a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill an order because of moral opposition to the drug[...]

Under the new rule, if a pharmacist does not fill the prescription because of a moral objection, another pharmacist must be available to fill it without delay.
If it weren't for that last bit, I'd be pretty upset. Doctors have an ethical obligation to treat patients—pharmacists, to my knowledge, do not. And birth control, while I think it should be available, is not a right or a medical necessity. (Yes, I know that some women need The Pill for medical reasons, but that's not birth control, now is it).

I think that anyone who becomes a pharmacist and is unwilling to dispense any particular kind of pill is an idiot. But still, the damage is done and he shouldn't be required to violate his morality to continue his job. AND, I think all of that can be set aside because, instead of filling the prescription they can refuse and allow another pharmacy to fill the order. But then, the "without delay" clause isn't exactly necessary, as even in the medical cases filling a prescription for The Pill isn't urgent.

Friday, April 01, 2005

In the market for a new car?
Make sure you get one that matches your poliitcal personality.

The New York Times has a neat article today publishing some of the information found in a poll conducted by Scarborough Research, investigating the political affiliations of people who own certain car brands.

Read it. You'll be surprised by some of the results, and not at all shocked to see a lot of the rest.

By the time you get to the third page, they start talking about my brand:

"A less affluent version of that car buyer might go for a Saturn, the offbeat brand of choice for aficionados who skew heavily Democratic, by 39 to 11 among last year's car buyers. Mr. Kaus says they appeal to Democrats because they are 'clunky, Earth Shoe-like cars.'

SATURN owners were also prone to put their Democratic loyalties on display, at least according to a count undertaken by Political Bumpers, which was billed as 'an extremely unscientific' project undertaken near the end of the presidential campaign last year."
Obviously, I'm no Democrat. But I do have my Bush-Cheney '04 sticker still hanging proudly in my rear window, as well as one for John McKinney, my State Senator. So, maybe there's some truth to the idea that Saturn owners are political to say the least.

Anyway, read the whole thing—it's interesting.

That's really too bad
Jonathan Last reviews Sin City for the Weekly Standard, concluding: "Which just about sums up Sin City: Great gimmicks, but not enough of a payoff."

I'm disappointed because I almost always agree with Last's reviews, and I was really looking forward to this movie. I'll see it anyway, and I have to hope he's wrong.

National Update
That's for the Red Sox Nation, of course.
Dean Barnett—who is fast becoming one of my favorite writers—writing in the Weekly Standard offers a column titlted 86 Years. Not surprisingly he celebrates the Sox victory of last fall, after a discussion of the curse:

WHETHER THERE EVER WAS A CURSE or not, its alleged spell was broken last Fall. After 86 years without a title, the Red Sox finally rewarded their fans base with a championship (although it's likely that given the length of the drought, many members of that fan base were too deceased to fully enjoy the experience).

But far sweeter than the title itself was the humiliation of the Yankees. It wasn't only that they beat the Sox for nearly 90 years, it was the haughtiness and cruelty of the beatings which lingered. For decades Sox fans endured Yankee chants of '1918' to remind them of their last title. For whatever reason, it wasn't enough for black-hearted Yankee fans to simply enjoy their own team's 26 championships. They had to taunt us, too.
And he continues:
YET NOW, at our moment of triumph, certain members of Red Sox Nation want to call a truce. In the cozy suburb of Acton, Massachusetts, two well-meaning but obviously misguided elementary school teachers have led their young charges in a quest to have the Red Sox and Yankees shake hands en masse immediately prior to their Opening Day engagement--in order to prove that 'it's only a game.
You've GOT to be kidding me. I have to agree with Barnett's conclusion:
I'll make a counter-offer: After the Yankees have gone 86 years without a title, then I will whole-heartedly endorse a group hand shake. By my math, that date should arrive in 2086.
Let's hope he's right. And I can't wait to see the Yankees dugout on Sunday while the Red Sox receive their world championship rings at the beginning of the game.

I get should be getting my Red Sox Nation bracelet any day now. And you can be assured that I will be wearing either my Yankees Hater hat (I have this one) or my "Yankees Suck" hat on Sunday. They're both reserved for days when my hatred of the Yankees flares up—otherwise I just wear my standard Red Sox hat.

Whatever ends up on my head, you know I'll be watching.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I may not be Catholic
But I will mourn Pope John Paul II's passing. CNN and others are reporting that he has been given his last rites.

Like I said, I'm not Catholic, but I'd still like to offer him our (the Episcopalian) Prayer for a Person Near Death:
Almighty God, look on this your servant, lying in great weakness, and comfort him with the promise of life everlasting, given in the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We are about to lose a great and holy man, who has served this planet with his whole being. Whatever faith you may be (even if you lack any faith whatsoever), you should be saddened by this loss.

(And I must admit, I'm more than a little anxious about watching the Catholics of the world select their new Pope).

What a whitewashing
InstaPundit points to a New York Sun article reporting on Columbia's report regarding the accusations of academic bias among professors. What we see very quickly is an attempt to keep this report's release quiet, and I'm inclined to believe that it's because the committee seems to have abdicated its responsibilities. On the whitewashing:

In an effort to manage favorable coverage of its investigation into the complaints, the university disclosed a summary of the committee's report only to the Columbia Spectator, the campus newspaper, and the New York Times. Those newspapers, sources indicated to The New York Sun last night, made an agreement with the central administration that they would not speak to the students who made the complaints against the professors.
The Sun obtained a copy of the report without the permission of the university administration. Last night, when a reporter from the Sun came to Low Library, the central administration building, for a copy of the report, a security guard threatened to arrest the reporter if she did not leave the building.
According to one student, senior Ariel Beery, one of the campus's most outspoken critics of the professors, a Columbia spokeswoman told him that students were not being shown the report yesterday "for your own good."
For more on how the committee disappointed—which it absolutely did—visit the Columbians for Academic Freedom.

When Lee Bollinger (president of Columbia) made promises to get involved, these students took down their blog in a show of support. With the release of the report, and their impression that this is an obvious snowjob—which, as I've said I see as well—led them to resurrect it.

It will
never happen, and more's the pity.

May she rest in peace
As promised, I will have lengthy thoughts about the Terri Schiavo case and right-to-die issues generally, now that the poor woman has moved on from this earth.

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait a little bit longer for it. I'm in the process of writing a column for the Yale Free Press concerning right-to-die issues, and I'd like to get my thoughts down there before I tackle it in this more informal setting. The piece for the YFP is due tomorrow sometime, so I should have something for you before I go to bed tomorrow night.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I'm not sure I ever thought I'd be saying this, but
I have to echo Gaijin Biker and say: Thanks Albania!!


I couldn't have made a better choice for myself. I don't know how accurate it is, but what a great movie.

Love that Stein
Man, Ben Stein is pissed.

Love those Kennedys
CNN is reporting that Senator Edward Kennedy's (Teddy, D - MA) ex-wife was found lying in the street with broken bones: "Joan Kennedy, who divides her time between Cape Cod and a Boston condominium, has struggled with alcoholism."

Unlike her ex-husband, who has embraced it.

All together now: Harvard sucks.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sexual harassment goes to an entirely new extreme. (Via InstaPundit).

Pure and simple. (Via Andrew Sullivan).

Misunderstanding the Right and the Left
Read it, it's smart.

You know what? Good for them.
On first glance, the news that Iraq's acting Speaker booted reporters from their session might seem like bad news, but I don't think it is. Of course, CNN does a great job by finding "a Western diplomat" to say it is. Here's their version: "During the session, an assembly member exhorted the body to take action, saying the world's attention is focused on the 275-member entity and the vote must be held as swiftly as possible.
At that point, the acting speaker kicked reporters out of the session and cut off the video feed from the convention center in the Green Zone, where the assembly is meeting. A Western diplomat watching the proceeding called the decision to cut the feed 'an embarrassment.'"

Of course, you have to remember that these people are trying to cobble together a brand new government in a country where just participating in the process can equate a death sentence.

In our own history, we have a similar case. You may remember that the authors of our Constitution did so in a closed session, so that they would be able to express (and change) their minds. You may also remember that, at that point in our history, they were under threat only of political death. These guys could be blown up on their way to work just for going to work, so maybe they don't want to make their opinions entirely public and, as a result, it's hard to get things done.

Closing the doors in a political session of this magnitude, while it could be "an embarrassment," could also just be a sign that these guys are getting serious about making progress. I have no problem with it, and I wish them luck in their efforts. If this begins to illustrate a pattern, maybe we'll have reason to be concerned—until that happens, there's no reason to jump to conclusions.

Define "disastrous"
It seems that every day someone else is calling Bush's foreign policy "disastrous," (today it's Jonathan Menitove in the YDN), and I need some to explain to me what the big disaster is. France (and others) may still be a little touchy, sure, but overall they've said that they're willing to put Iraq behind them and continue amicable relationships with the United States.

In the meantime, North Korea is on the same course it always has been, as is Iran. And many countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Lebanon, even Palestine) are moving towards increased freedom, and at least one country (Libya) has abandoned its nuclear ambitions. Honestly, what disaster have we precipitated?

Monday, March 28, 2005

Big media, poor copyediting
The first sentence in a CNN: Money article reads: "Burger King is reportedly set to unveil a large new breakfast sandwich that bets not everyone is looking to watch their diet."

Anyone else notice the serious grammatical error in that sentence? If it were correct, it would say "not everyone is looking to watch his diet." You'd think such a large media outlet would have people to check for such things. Heck, spell checker in Microsoft Word picks up on that mistake.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

and beautiful.