Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hatred, Bigotry, Fun and Games

No, disagreeing with someone doesn't mean that you're full of hate, a bigot, or intolerant, anymore than disagreeing with your pal over whether to order buffalo wings mean that you have an irrational hatred of delicious chicken dishes or are an intolerant anti-hot sauce bigot. Jimmy Akin explains rather better than I can:
The take-home point for the reader is that just because you disagree with someone, whether it is on the subject of homosexual "marriage" or any other, doesn't automatically make you a hater.

You may be one--if you harbor actual hatred. But if you don't, you aren't. It's as simple as that.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bishops and moral authority

As Mark Shea points out, they lost it two thousand years ago.

Pictures from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in East Harlem

Nice. I have been there quite a few times but not in a while.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A little specific?

I've been reading the rules of the Senate and I came across this gem in rule 25, or XXV I suppose:
(f) A Senator serving on the Committee on Rules and Administration may not serve on any joint committee of the Congress unless the Senate members thereof are required by law to be appointed from the Committee on Rules and Administration, or unless such Senator served on the Committee on Rules and Administration and the Joint Committee on Taxation on the last day of the Ninetyeighth Congress.
I think maybe they had a particular and powerful individual in mind when writing the second half of this rule. Just my suspicion. At least it's not a grandfather clause that actually involves the grandfathers of Senators.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Confession and Lawyers

Hey what a great idea following on Ireland’s decision to do the same. This is really going to knock out a lot of abuse since child molesters are known for going to confession. Plus now with the new law you know child abusers will really be seeking priests out for confession.

While we are at it let us get rid of lawyer-client confidentiality. Lawyers can plead guilty against the client’s wishes if they are aware of them committing a crime. Why should any relationship be protected if it covers up a crime?
Thanks to the Curt Jester.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An even better trick!

While reading a piece about what democracy and republican forms of government are all about, I came across this curious expression:
However, I no longer believe that Ely pulled this rather unimpressive rabbit out of his hat because he had stuffed the forlorn rodent in there to begin with.
Which leads me to believe that the author either doesn't know that rabbits are lagomorphs, not rodents, or that I don't understand what's going on with this expression. Even if he has it wrong though, it's a pretty good magic trick, turning a rat into a rabbit.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Better to curse the darkness than to light a candle

At least if you work at the UN, that is:
In numerous European countries, baby hatches or "boxes" allow mothers to safely and anonymously abandon unwanted newborns. But now, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child is pushing to eliminate the boxes across the Continent, igniting a controversy over a measure many see as potentially saving babies' lives.

The UNCRC claims baby boxes violate children's right to identify their parents and maintain personal relations with them.
I don't recall such a right? And presumably one would like to be alive and not know his parent?

Also it's an odd position to take, given the various people arguing that children are the responsibility of the state and so the state should prevent parents from corrupting their children with various religious ideas.

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A store of value

Well here is a potential effect of inflation that never occurred to me before.
A second factor that I think has been much underestimated in the promotion of the most naked self-seeking is the now more-or-less permanent unsoundness of money as a store of value. No one can trust a dollar – or any other currency – to hold its value, bearing in mind that asset inflation is inflation like any other. Therefore, in order to secure ourselves against future impoverishment, we need to accumulate vastly more than we should if money were a real store of value. We must all speculate if we do not want to condemn ourselves to poverty. The unsoundness of money shifts the bell-curve of greed to the right, so that more people become what would formerly have been thought of as extremely greedy; while even the other-worldly now fall into the category of speculator.
Two effects of inflation are decreasing the value of debt and encouraging investment. But two other effects of inflation are decreasing the value of your retirement account and encouraging speculation, since you have to beat inflation unless you want to be eating grass. And pension plans have the same problem, I think, since their dollars are also declining in value.

And on a side note - How does this work with grace? I guess since there is a superabundance and it is freely given, the price can't decline. But then people talk about cheap grace? If I'm storing up treasure in heaven, do I want the price of that treasure to go up? Or does that not matter because the value is infinite? All very confusing. I guess that's why we should only apply economics to systems where there is scarcity.

The article also has some interesting things to say about the tendency and morality of banks screwing people over and holding their funds for long peroids of time somewhere in Jupiter space in order to earn interest on them. Seriously, I could use Voyager 1 as my communications method to transfer money across an international border and it would still be faster than using my bank, and Voyager 1 may not even be in the Solar System.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The great legislative debate

Do you want a legislature where everyone's asleep, like in South Korea, or one where no one shows up, as we have in the US? LTB investigates.

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Was there a wall here?

I guess it's ok for churches to talk about politics and politicians to talk to churches, as long as they think correct thoughts:
First lady Michelle Obama spoke to the AME conference last week, encouraging its followers to get political.

“To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better," Obama said at the Nashville conference.

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

PCUSA and divestment

Prof. Bainbridge weighs in:
Once again, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is considering divesting from certain companies that do business with the Israeli government. As I explained the last time the church went down this road, it's a bad, anti-semitic idea:

Let's start with a basic question: Will the PC(USA)'s decision "work"? In other words, do divestment campaigns tend to achieve their proponent's goals? The clear answer from the empirical literature is "no."
Not to mention they have holdings in China, which has a rather dubious human rights record by any calculation.

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Mark Shea argues with a Protestant commenter

Facepalmery ensues.
Memo to Protestants eager to save Catholics from the Catholic faith. Before refuting something, find out if the thing you are refuting is what the person you are refuting believes. Begin by finding out if the belief you are refuting is even in the same galaxy as the person you are speaking with.

. . . .

So, what you are asking me to believe is that *everybody* everywhere in the ancient Church—north, south, east, west, across the entire ancient world from India to Spain and from Scotland and Norway down to Egypt—all of them—were so massively stupid that they could not grasp that Jesus was obviously speaking symbolically and they—all of them—stupidly concluded that this obviously symbolic language really meant that it was the body and blood of Jesus. You are asking me to believe the apostles were epically bad teachers who spent some fifty years teaching the gospel, only to reap of harvest of moron so dumb that they couldn’t tell the difference between a symbolic piece of bread and the body of Jesus. You are asking to believe that you are 2000 years smarter and have just figured it out, along with a tiny minority of fellow Protestants.

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Plastic bags better for the environment?

Well, it turns out sometimes:
Yes, the convential High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) (aka "plastic") bag had the least impact upon the environment of all the bags considered in the study, which considered a number of bags made from different plastics, as well as both paper and cotton-based materials!
Especially helpful when you reuse them, which I tend to do excessively until they suffer structural failure or olive oil explosion while on lunch transport duty.


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