Friday, March 22, 2002
The distinction, of course, is real and important in a general sense, but Tierney doesn't seem to appreciate that the Catholic Church, as an institution almost uniquely obsessed with creating fine-tuned rules to govern every aspect of sexual life, is under a very strict obligation to uphold commonsense precepts of sexual morality like "don't have sex with children, even post-pubescent children, especially when they're entrusted to your care and especially when you've taken an oath of celibacy."
It's simply not a good enough defense for an organization that's all about moral leadership to point out that it hasn't done anything really, truly, tremendously awful...run of the mill wrongdoing is good enough. Knowing what we know now, what kind of a person could seriously turn to a Bishop for advice about how to resolve an actually difficult moral issue?
BYE BYE PRIVACY as the administration sells out the protected status of medical records to his good friends in the health care provision industry. I, for one, think privacy is overrated as a political concept, but I know this stuff is important to a lot of people, and I don't think it's going to play very well at all.
Thursday, March 21, 2002
The Pope said priests had to overcome human weakness by committing themselves more fully to the search for holiness.Some might say that priests need to molest fewer children.
If warbloggers ran the world, the US would be standing shoulder-to-shoulder right now with Israel calling for the overthrow of the PA, as well as virtually every other Arab government, but that's just not what's happening, and if I were Ariel Sharon I would stop waiting around for Foggy Bottom to see the light.
I can't possibly imagine this happening, especially considering that the nationalizations in question will be almost fifty years in the past. I certainly don't think that the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe did anything even remotely like that.
Now if the exile community in Florida consisted of sensible people, they would just let the issue drop and wish the people of Cuba well, but anyone who recalls the Elian hysteria will recall that these are not sensitive people at all, and their decades-long support for the obviously-failed sanctions regime is all the proof one needs to see that they're more interested in getting their sugar plantations back than helping the Cuban people.
Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Conservatives in the Rod Dreher mode, on this model, are fooling themselves if they think turning back the clock will solve the problem -- they'll just be recreating a world in which shameful secrets stayed secret.
Via Matt Welch
Speaking of grammatical errors, for an article allegedly penned by an American named James J. David the story doesn't quite sound, well, idiomatic:
If Iraq hit the United States with one or two missles, despite the loss of life, would strategically be nothing more than a pinprick.I guess when you've got an absolute monarchy you don't really need verbs.
Tuesday, March 19, 2002
Monday, March 18, 2002
These are the guys, after all, who managed to win the election, but only after allowing the other guy to get more votes. If it hadn't been for the butterfly ballot, wouldn't the line on Karl Rove be that he was the moron who had his candidate blow weeks of campaigning and tens of millions of dollars on a comically inept attempt to win California?
Keep in mind, too, that since then the Republicans have lost governor's races in both Democratic-leaning New Jersey and Republican-leaning Virginia. In New Jersey, in particular, the totally inept decision to summon Brett Schundler to the White House immediately after his primary victory, thus reminding voters that Schundler, like Bush, is out-of-step with New Jersey on social issues may well have ruined any chances he had.
The administration's cynical attempt to get liberal Republican Dick Riordan to win the GOP primary in California doesn't seem to have worked out any better. These are the same people, moreover, who managed to drive Jim Jeffords out of their party and who came perilously close at one point to doing the same to Linc Chaffee.
Now obviously Bush is very popular right now, but I would venture to suggest that that has more to do with his conduct of substantive policy -- viz. the anti-Taliban campaign -- rather than anything that Rove, and Fleischer, and Hughes (Oh My!) cooked up. They might do well to just lay off and try and let Don, Condi, Colin, et. al. do their jobs.
Sunday, March 17, 2002
As a student in Professor Heck's department, I'll refrain from further comment on the controversy: We report, you decide!
For the record, I'm too ignorant to respond to his critique of the recently praised (by me) Comeback Cities. I shall have to read more. Currently, though, I'm stuck with the appalling Napoleon III and the Rebuilding of Paris as an assignment for a course.
It's a terrible tactic for the same reason now as it was then: The Republicans control the White House, they control the House, and they're only one vote down in a Senate containing blue dogs like Zell Miller and John Breaux. There's nothing the Democrats can do to stop the Bush agenda or advance their own, the most they can hope for is to prevent Bush from accomplishing too much and hope that they do well in 2002.
In other words, there's nothing the Democrats would like better than for the Senate to grind to a halt. But Daschle can't make a move like that unilaterally -- he'd be killed in the press. A nasty bipartisan snarl, though, suits him just fine.