Evan Sayet: Indiscriminateness

Sat, 24-Mar-07

Pajamas Media: Lecture of the Week

It’s God or anything.

Sat, 03-Feb-07

“A man who ceases to believe in God does not believe in nothing; he believes in anything.” — G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

c/o J. R. Dunn: A Necessary Apocalypse

Also see:

Respect Freedom

Fri, 06-Oct-06

Shortly after the Behzti incident in Birmingham, England, Lionel Shriver wrote, rather memorably, I thought:

I am under no obligation to respect your beliefs. Respect is earned; it is not an entitlement. I may regard creationists as plain wrong, which would make holding their beliefs in high regard nonsensical. In kind, if I proclaim on a street corner that a certain Japanese beetle in my back garden is the new Messiah, you are also within your rights to ridicule me as a fruitcake.

I am under no obligation to respect my neighbor’s religion; rather I am obligated to respect his right to freedom of religion — or of conscience, if you prefer — and he mine.

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On the Road to Mecca —

Thu, 05-Oct-06

. . . one thing you won’t hear is, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” *

Gurpreet: “Behzti
Mozart: “Idomeneo

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The Foley Follies

Wed, 04-Oct-06

Former Representative Mark Foley is not my kind o’ guy, but at least he — unlike Franks and Clinton — had the shred of decency to recognize his disgrace and resign.

Though it makes little difference in the sleaze quotient, what is not clear — legally speaking — is whether any of this went beyond the “talking” stage, or whether any of his “interests” were under the age of consent (16 in DC). Clinton certainly went beyond the talking stage, and Franks had a prostitution ring running out of his apartment.

A most curious aspect of all this is how the damning evidence, the Instant Messages (IMs), surfaced with such exquisite timing months after the curious (but not damning) emails — and how the media is conflating the two. All in all the evidence is months, if not years old. Whoever “sat on it” was not the least concerned with the welfare of the pages, but utterly consumed with concern for how it would “play in Peoria” a month before elections. That bastard (or those bastards) is the shameless (and thusly unrepentent) creep who should be locked in a small room with the pages’ parents for about an hour.

We went through all this crap in 1983 and it says something about the jerks many of us elect to Congress that we are going through it again. One would think that out of nearly 300 million people we could find 434 without having to include reprobates. But how would one select them without election? And as Churchill said, “democracy is the worst form of Government except all those others that have been.” He also noted that, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.”

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Good Citizenship, The Crux

Tue, 03-Oct-06

I have been looking at RSS feeds for posts tagged “citizenship.” So far nearly all of these posts approach the topic in much the same way as one might address the teenager’s question, “How do I get my driver’s license.” Now of course this is a legitimate perspective for the great number of folks who need to know the ins and outs of being naturalized, but this is not the center of my considerations. I am looking at the rather quaint notion of “good citizenship.” That is to say the implicit personal discipline of citizenship rather than the acquisition of the objective legal status.

As we all know, or should know, possession of a driver’s license is scant assurance that the bearer is a good driver — after all, that’s how insurance companies remain profitable. Similarly, possession of citizenship — whether by birth or naturalization — is little assurance that the individual has concerned himself with developing the personal institutions of good citizenship.

It seems likely that good citizenship and being a good neighbor are closely aligned. Which might be a subset of the other remains here to be considered.

The other major concern of Layman’s Log is faith. A sound starting point for both concerns of faith and citizenship would seem to be Matthew 22:36-40.

36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
37 He said to him, ” “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Verse 37 is the primary directive for one’s relationship with God — one’s “vertical” orientation, so to speak, of one’s self to heaven. And verse 39 commands one’s relationship with other men on earth — the “horizontal.” Suggestive of a cross, isn’t it?

To be continued…

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Don’t Know Much About History

Wed, 27-Sep-06

Pete Du Pont writes:

Do our colleges and universities provide their students the American history and constitutional understanding needed to make them strong and responsible citizens?

A study released this week by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute — www.americancivicliteracy.org — demonstrates that the answers to both questions are no. The study concludes that “America’s colleges and universities fail to increase knowledge about America’s history and institutions.” In a 60-question multiple-choice quiz, “college seniors failed the civic literacy exam, with an average score of 53.2 percent, or F, on a traditional grading scale.” And at many schools “seniors know less than freshmen about America’s history, government, foreign affairs, and economy.” more »

The worst of popular culture, main-stream media, and partisan politics today can be blamed in large part on a 35-year history of discounting history — of failing to understand, appreciate, and celebrate the exceptional essence of the American Republic and its democratic institutions.

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Kubrick Theme Image Tool

Tue, 26-Sep-06

Kubrick Custom Header Image Mask

– Using your favorite graphics program, set the black (#000) on this mask to ‘transparent’ and overlay it onto your source image.

– Position the mask so that the image you want on your blog shows in the “window.”

– Save the precise 760*200 mask with the ‘framed’ image as a graphics file.

– Upload and do NOT crop (the default selection image area is the whole thing as uploaded and that’s what you want, so just hit the crop image button without moving any of the dotted lines.)

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When what ‘was’ is . . .

Sun, 24-Sep-06

. . . may be skewed by what one’s definition of “is” was.

Instapundit has a round-up of reactions rebutting claims made by former President Clinton on yesterday’s ‘Fox News Sunday’ that at the time, Republicans did not back him in his military actions against Iraq, but instead widely and roundly accused him of “tail wagging the dog” tricks to draw attention away from the Lewinsky scandal.

UPDATE: Opinion Journal strikes back at Bill by reprinting this WSJ editorial from August 21, 1998.

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Secrets of ‘South Park’

Sun, 24-Sep-06

ABC News Nightline has an interview with the cartoon’s co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

“That’s where we kind of agree with some of the people who’ve criticized our show,” Stone says. “Because it really is open season on Jesus. We can do whatever we want to Jesus, and we have. We’ve had him say bad words. We’ve had him shoot a gun. We’ve had him kill people. We can do whatever we want. But Mohammed, we couldn’t just show a simple image.”

During the part of the show where Mohammed was to be depicted — benignly, Stone and Parker say — the show ran a black screen that read: “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.”

Other networks took a similar course, refusing to air images of Mohammed — even when reporting on the Denmark cartoon riots — claiming they were refraining because they’re religiously tolerant, the South Park creators say.

“No you’re not,” Stone retorts. “You’re afraid of getting blown up. That’s what you’re afraid of. Comedy Central copped to that, you know: ‘We’re afraid of getting blown up.'”

h/t Instapundit