MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

Prisoners copyright their names, sue Warden for infringement.

I especially like the part where they file liens on his house and cars.

Why not? Seems like an entertaining way to spend all that free time, and besides, what’re they gonna do, throw them in jail? In any case, It’s not like they can really hide from the long arm of the law once they get busted. I wonder if they hired attorneys to do this work for them, you know, pro bono.

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IS THIS A WORD?

From an AP article about the World Series of Poker:

The final table says a lot about the globality of poker and the globality of our fans,” said Jeffrey Pollack, World Series of Poker commissioner for event owner Harrah’s Entertainment Inc.

Really, is globality a word? And if it is, should it be? I mean, I’m just an English teacher and  an attorney, I don’t know anything about, you know, language or anything like that, but that just seems wrong – on several different levels.

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NON-NEWS THAT IS MORE TRUE THAN THE NEWS

Sadly enough, it takes a fake news site to boil down all the nonsense we hear on the “real” news.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

“A time is coming when people will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, ‘You are mad, you are not like us.’”

 – St. Anthony the Great

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FAUX NO MO’

Okay, my last post was full of faux outrage. Mock outrage. Pseudo outrage. Not, uh . . . for real outrage.

Today I’m serious.

Last week in Salt Lake City (which, last I heard was still part of the Union) there was a soccer match between Real Salt Lake (an American professional soccer team for those of you who don’t follow the sport) and the National Team of The People’s Republic of China (a team representing the most repressive dictatorial government on the face of the earth).

The outrage isn’t the fact that there was a soccer match (I know some of you were thinking that), nor that the dirty lousy Commies team from the PRC were taking part. No, the outrage was this (quoting from the Deseret news article):

Several Real Salt Lake fans say their right to free speech was violated when stadium and team officials kicked out fans who had refused to stop waving Tibetan flags during Thursday’s exhibition game against the Chinese National Team.

“I was really, really shocked. I couldn’t believe this was happening in this country,” fan Colin Coker said.

Coker said he and several others, including five Tibetan men, were escorted out of the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium by about 10 officials, including stadium personnel and Real Salt Lake representatives, because they had been waving Tibetan flags and had refused to put them away when the officials told them to do so.

The controversy began shortly after halftime, when Chinese players complained about fans displaying Taiwanese and Tibetan flags and a sign that said “6-4,” written in Chinese. That sign referred to June 4, 1989, the date of the Chinese government’s attack on protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing

The guys who were exercising free speech had to go, but the representatives of the brutal repressive Communist regime got to stay. The world has truly been turned upside down.

And, yes, I am aware of the arguments about the stadium being private property (though if public funds were used in its construction, this may not be the case), and having a ticket to an event being a revocable license and all that garbage. That doesn’t make the actions of the organizers any less reprehensible.

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COME ON, GET HAPPY

Gretchen Rubin has this great blog called The Happiness Project, and today’s post was one of her best yet – a list of catchphrases to keep in mind when you’re stressed, worried, or, well, unhappy.

Not all of them will resonate with everyone, of course, but for me, the one that could absolutely change my life is the last one: “What would I do if I weren’t scared?”.

It’s one of those sayings I’d like to take with me on a time-machine, going back to various times of my life and trying it out. Who knows how things might have turned out for the better.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

caritas operit multitudinem peccatorum

– St. Peter

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.

– George Orwell

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ARTHUR BRANCH FOR PRESIDENT

There’s a serious movement to draft Fred Dalton Thompson to run for president on the GOP ticket in 2008.

I like the irony here. The party that most often attacks “Hollywood” runs an actor for the White House. Sweet.

It also reeks of déjà vu, doesn’t it? The Republicans turn to an actor to save the world from liberalism? Wait, I’ve seen this one before . . .

Of course, unlike Ronald Reagan, Fred Thompson was a politician before he was an actor, and actually has some serious credentials. Did you know he was instrumental in the downfall of Richard Nixon, as counsel to the Senate Watergate Committee? Did you know he’s never won an election by less than 2-1 margin? Did you know he was in “Days of Thunder” with Tom Cruise?

Okay, so nobody’s perfect. But still, this is the only potential candidate so far, from any party, that I could conceivably support. He doesn’t need, nor particularly want, the gig; this alone makes him electable. He has a common sense approach to public policy, as opposed to the ugly pragmatism that seems to drive everyone else in politics these days.

And, maybe he could get Sam Waterston to be Attorney General.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

From Cacciaguida’s review of “Breach“:

The world is not in fact divided between the pure and the impure (or take any other matched set of a virtue and its corresponding vice): it’s made up of impure people who acknowledge the obligations of purity and try to meet them, and impure people who don’t.

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WOW

A federal appeals court issues a ruling that supports the most historically alienable of those supposedly inalienable rights mentioned in the Constitution.

I’m shocked and amazed, and highly gratified.

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ARGUMENT CLINIC

The inestimable Fr. Neuhaus points out what Dave at Oklahoma Lefty was lamenting the other day: There is no such thing as civil discourse on important issues anymore. Just anti-intellectuals yelling obscenities at each other, then, after they can’t think of anything else to yell, merely trying to shut each other up.

Dave encountered this in discussions about different religions, Fr. Neuhaus observes it in politics. It seems we’re actually regressing as a society. There was a day when people could disagree respectfully, and actually be friends at the same time. I’ve been reading Heretics by GK Chesterton this week, and one of the things that jumps out at me is the high esteem he holds for many of the people he so vehemently disagrees with. He and Bernard Shaw carried on for years, simultaneously disagreeing and engaging in mutual admiration. Throughout his writings it is evident Chesterton has genuine affection for Shaw, and vice-versa. Where do we see that happening today? Nowhere outside the Carville/Matalin residence, it seems; we can’t even be sure about that (one never knows, it could all be an act. As the great Philosopher BB King once said, “Nobody loves me but my mother, and she could be jivin’ me too”).

It was said of Thomas Aquinas (by Chesterton, oddly enough) that he engaged in controversy with two goals: Clarity and Courtesy. Not only for the sake of moral rectitude, but because it made for more persuasive argument. What we have today is not intellectual give-and-take designed to persuade and inform. What we have today is the intellectual equivalent of trench warfare: firmly entrenched sides who lack the imagination to anything apart from make the occasional suicidal charge.

It would be easy to blame it on the media (CNN, Fox – I’m looking in your direction), but it also has to do with a general lack of common courtesy in society as a whole (whatever ‘society’ means). Politeness and courtesy are hugely underrated virtues. They are the oil which keeps the engine of a culture from overheating and blowing up. Want to be a hero? Teach a child basic manners. You’ll be doing more for the world than you can possibly imagine.

The lack of civil discourse also has to do with the fact that politics (and to some degree, religion) has been overtaken by that most loathsome of all human creatures: the power-hungry demagogue. Those with no desire to serve, but rather to be served. This type of “leader” doesn’t want truth to win out, and will go to any lengths to squelch it. Unless, by some fluke, the truth temporarily suits them. Either way, dissenting voices are snuffed out by any means necessary: obfuscation, slander, prosecution, murder – whatever it takes. Thank God we only seem to be interested in the first three in this country. For now.

And so, since (to quote Gandhi) “We must be the change we want to see in the world”, I’m going to try to do my part to raise the level of discourse around here. Just in case somebody listens to me some day.

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WHO’S MORE PATHETIC?

Welcome to “Who’s More Pathetic?” The quiz sensation that’s sweepin’ the nation.

The rules: We quote two sniping politicians, and you decide, without regard to partisan bias, Who’s More Pathetic?

Today’s Contestants:

Conservative vixen/villainess/potty-mouth Ann Coulter

vs

Democratic pretender and soulless gazillionaire trial lawyer John Edwards.

The Facts:

Coulter was quoted as referring indirectly to Edwards as a “faggot” at the CPAC conference*.

Edwards responded by saying that people who say things that hurt his feelings should be denied the right to free speech*.

YOU DECIDE: Who’s More Pathetic?

The Quotes:

* “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I … can’t really talk about Edwards.” Friday March 2nd 2007

* “we can’t stand silently by and allow this kind of language to be used.” Sunday March 5th 2007

My Take: (not to be used for official scoring purposes or assistance in wagering):

Not even close. Ann Coulter is an insignificant name-caller. Oooooh, she used a word we’re not allowed to use anymore . . .

John Edwards wants to be President of the United States, and he’s already willing to jettison the 1st Amendment. Add in the factor that Edwards, in his anger and pain, managed to use this incident as a fundraising tool.

The Verdict:

Edwards – definitely more pathetic.

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RANDOM PLAYLIST OF THE WEEK

1. Oedipus Rex – Tom Lehrer

2. Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J

3. Joe Bean – Johnny Cash

4. Vietnamese Baby – New York Dolls

5. Pax Aeterna – Monks of the Abbey of Notre Dame

6. Livin’ in the USA – Steve Miller Band

7. I am the Owl – Dead Kennedys

8. I’ve Been Everywhere – Johnny Cash

9. Mao Reminisces About His Days in Southern China – Camper Van Beethoven

10. Werewolves of London – Adam Sandler

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

The evil of militarism is not that it shows certain men to be fierce and haughty and excessively warlike. The evil of militarism is that is shows most men to be tame and timid and excessively peaceable. The professional soldier gains more and more power as the general courage of a community declines . . . Their never was a time when nations were more militarist. There never was a time when men were less brave.

– G.K. Chesteron, Heretics 

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

The human race, according to religion, fell once, and in falling gained the knowledge of good and of evil. Now we have fallen a second time, and only the knowledge of evil remains to us.

– G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

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THE DEATH OF SATIRE AS WE KNOW IT.

Al Gore winning an Oscar is like Yassar Arafat winning a Nobel Peace Prize. The award is irrevocably tainted from now to the end of time.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY

Boredom and fatigue are great historical forces.

– Jacques Barzun

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ADAM SAVAGE WOULD BE PROUD

Daniel Nicols at Caelum et Terra busts the “Liberals are responsible for the moral decay of America” myth.

Here’s a snippet, but do go read the whole thing:

Anyone who has driven cross country can tell you that porn shops and strip clubs are more common in the South than in New England. And I doubt that a survey of the patrons of such places, or the users of online porn, would show a disproportionate number of liberals among them.

The state with the highest divorce rate is Oklahoma, followed by other Bible Belt states. Massachussetts has the lowest divorce rate.

A number of celebrity representatives of oversexed American culture- Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Beyonce Knowles- come from Evangelical backgrounds, and at one time made a big deal about their faith. They went from being Public Virgins to Celebrity Sexpots almost overnight.

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HUH?

Wait, Prince won the Super Bowl?

I didn’t even know he had a baseball team.

I gotta get out more.

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