Sunday, November 30, 2008

Latin Carols

Check out the left hand margin for a Christmas carol a day, translated into Latin. Thanks to Laura Gibbs at Gaudium Mundo.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shopping?




You Are a Reluctant Shopper



You really don't enjoy shopping. For you, it's just another chore.

You approach shopping systematically. You research what you're going to buy and come prepared with a list.



Of all the types, you are the most likely to not buy things you don't need.

You try to de-emphasize stuff in your life. You find shopping and buying things to be a rather empty experience.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How a libertarian can love a Christian, or,

if you're like me, how to be a Christian and a libertarian. Anyway, it is explained well in this article, by Randall Hoven.

A portion:

The most obvious point to me is that it is the do-gooding liberals who are telling us all what we can and can't do. The religious right usually just wants to be left alone, either to home school, pray in public or not get their children vaccinated with who-knows-what. Inasmuch as the "religious right" wants some things outlawed, they have failed miserably for at least the last 50 years. Abortion, sodomy, and pornography are now all Constitutional rights. However, praying in public school is outlawed, based on that same Constitution.

Just think for a moment about the things you are actually forced to do or are prevented from doing. Seat belts. Motorcycle helmets. Bicycle helmets. Smoking. Gun purchase and ownership restrictions. Mandatory vaccines for your children. Car emissions inspections. Campaign ad and contribution restrictions. Saying a prayer at a public school graduation or football game. Trash separation and recycling. Keeping the money you earned. Gas tax. Telephone tax. Income tax. FICA withholding. Fill in this form. Provide ID.

For the most part, the list just cited is post-1960. Neither Pat Robertson nor James Dobson ever forced any of that on us.



And:

Let's talk about the unavoidable issue: abortion. Who made it a federal issue? The ACLU and then the Supreme Court. Before 1973 it was left to the states; some allowed it, some didn't. Different states could adopt different criteria. Some might allow it under all circumstances. Some other none. Some at 12 or 20 weeks. Some might define "health" of the mother in different terms.

But all that flexibility was halted with Roe v Wade. Since 1973 abortion has been a Constitutional right. Do you know where that right is found in the Constitution? In these words of the 14th Amendment: "[No state shall] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Those words, according to our finest Constitutional scholars, mean it's OK to shove scissors through the skull of a baby and suction its brains out, as long as that skull has not yet left the birth canal. I'm sure you see that in those words of the 14th Amendment. Look hard, into the penumbras and emanations - it might take a little imagination.

Regardless of what you think about abortion, to find it in the 14th Amendment is an act of ink-blot reasoning. It might almost be OK, if it meant the court said we have true sovereignty over our own bodies. But the court explicitly said otherwise.

"The privacy right involved, therefore, cannot be said to be absolute. In fact, it is not clear to us that the claim asserted by some amici that one has an unlimited right to do with one's body as one pleases bears a close relationship to the right of privacy previously articulated in the Court's decisions. The Court has refused to recognize an unlimited right of this kind in the past... We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified..."


So you do not have the right to do with your body as you please. Neither women nor men own their own bodies. That's what Roe v Wade said. In short, the decision was not "pro-choice". It was pro-abortion, pure and simple. That is the only choice it protected.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Between Heaven and Hell

John J. Miller interviews Peter Kreeft about his book, Between Heaven and Hell. I read this book while in college. In it, Kreeft creates a "supposal" in which Lewis, Kennedy and Huxley, who all died on the the same day, meet and discuss their world views, Lewis taking the Socratic role.

Listen to the interview here or, better yet, read the book.

Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death wtih John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis & Aldous Huxley

Update:
Today, November 22, is the day of all three men's deaths.

Can you say Merry Christmas?

Here's an a short but interesting interview with Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal. Henninger makes the argument that by taking religion out of society, moral restraints are loosening which has led to the financial meltdown.

I think he has a point.



Here's his article on the subject.

Update:
Sorry about the video. It was working yesterday. If you click on the link to the article, you can get to the video from there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Camille Paglia


Has the best post election analysis I have seen.

On Barak Obama:

No one knows whether Obama will move to the center or veer hard left. Perhaps even he doesn't know. But I have great optimism about his political instincts and deftness. He wants to be president of all the people -- if that is possible in so divided a nation. His natural impulse seems to be toward reconciliation and concord. The big question will be how patient the Democratic left wing is in demanding drastic changes in social policy, particularly dicey with a teetering economy.


While I don't share her optimism, I think she's correct in that we don't know how he'll govern. He has a very liberal and pro-abortion voting record as both a state and national senator, but being in the executive branch is a very different role. My guess is that he will, at least privately, hold President Bush in higher regard by the end of next year. At the very least, I think he'll be more sympathetic toward him because of the difficult decisions presidents have to make.

On the press:

In the closing weeks of the election, however, I became increasingly disturbed by the mainstream media's avoidance of forthright dealing with several controversies that had been dogging Obama -- even as every flimsy rumor about Sarah Palin was being trumpeted as if it were engraved in stone on Mount Sinai. For example, I had thought for many months that the flap over Obama's birth certificate was a tempest in a teapot. But simple questions about the certificate were never resolved to my satisfaction. Thanks to their own blathering, fanatical overkill, of course, the right-wing challenges to the birth certificate never gained traction.

But Obama could have ended the entire matter months ago by publicly requesting Hawaii to issue a fresh, long-form, stamped certificate and inviting a few high-profile reporters in to examine the document and photograph it. (The campaign did make the "short-form" certificate available to Factcheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.) And why has Obama not made his university records or thesis work widely available? The passivity of the press toward Bush administration propaganda about weapons of mass destruction led the nation into the costly blunder of the Iraq war. We don't need another presidency that finds it all too easy to rely on evasion or stonewalling. I deeply admire Obama, but as a voter I don't like feeling gamed or played.


And:

Given that Obama had served on a Chicago board with Ayers and approved funding of a leftist educational project sponsored by Ayers, one might think that the unrepentant Ayers-Dohrn couple might be of some interest to the national media. But no, reporters have been too busy playing mini-badminton with every random spitball about Sarah Palin, who has been subjected to an atrocious and at times delusional level of defamation merely because she has the temerity to hold pro-life views.


On Sarah Palin:

How dare Palin not embrace abortion as the ultimate civilized ideal of modern culture? How tacky that she speaks in a vivacious regional accent indistinguishable from that of Western Canada! How risible that she graduated from the State University of Idaho and not one of those plush, pampered commodes of received opinion whose graduates, in their rush to believe the worst about her, have demonstrated that, when it comes to sifting evidence, they don't know their asses from their elbows.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.


Read the whole article. I've enjoyed reading and listening to Paglia for many years now, beginning with her smack down with Naomi Wolf on the Donahue show. How can someone talk so fast??!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Form over Substance

A great article by Thomas Sowell, (When does he ever not write a great one?), looking at what sells as intellectualism is most often an appearance rather than the real thing. Here's a portion:

Among the many wonders to be expected from an Obama administration, if Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times is to be believed, is ending "the anti-intellectualism that has long been a strain in American life."

He cited Adlai Stevenson, the suave and debonair governor of Illinois, who twice ran for president against Eisenhower in the 1950s, as an example of an intellectual in politics.

Intellectuals, according to Mr. Kristof, are people who are "interested in ideas and comfortable with complexity," people who "read the classics."

Adlai Stevenson was certainly regarded as an intellectual by intellectuals in the 1950s. But, half a century later, facts paint a very different picture.

Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson "could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book." But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual -- the form, rather than the substance.

It is hard to know whether to laugh or cry.


Sowell goes on to say that Harry Truman, who was considered a country bumpkin, would read Thucydides and Cicero in Latin. So much for country bumpkin.

What makes this even more absurd is that Beschloss himself was found wanting when speaking of President elect Barak Obama's high IQ. When asked the number of his IQ, Beschloss was at a loss. He himself has fallen into the form trap.

So, what is it about the form? What makes a certain form appear intellectual, and how did it even get started? What does it bode for our society if a certain form is so misinterpreted?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What is your taste in art?

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Conscientious, Fulfilled, and Spiritual


The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosopy, religion, art, politics, science, and all other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance artists looked at the human aspect of life in their art. They did not reject religion but tended to look at it in it's purest form to create visions they thought depicted the ideals of religion. Painters of this time had their own style and created works based on morality, religion, and human nature. Many of the paintings depicted what they believed to be the corrupt nature of man.


People that like Renaissance paintings like things that are more challenging. They tend to have a high emotional stability. They also tend to be more concientious then average. They have a basic understanding of human nature and therefore are not easily surprised by anything that people may do. They enjoy life and enjoy living. They are very aware of their own mortality but do not dwell on the end but what they are doing in the present. They enjoy learning, but may tend to be a bit more closed minded to new ideas as they feel that the viewpoint they have has been well researched and considered. These people are more old fashioned and not quite as progressive. They enjoy the finer things in life like comfort, a good meal, and homelife. They tend to be more spiritual or religious by nature. They are open to new aesthetic experiences.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy