Archive for May 2006

Too Much

May 23, 2006

Madonna is at it again.

The popular (um… I use that word advisedly) entertainer (ditto) just can’t quite seem to leave her former religion, and mine, alone.

I’m more than a little surprised that her audience still feels that she has something to say after Like a Virgin, and more particularly, after her Truth or Dare movie, which showed, by the way, that her real talent is in the business of making music, not in making music.

But then again, her audience is very immatu^H^H^H^H^H^H young.

English Only

May 19, 2006

I’m not one who ever thought that English should be the ‘official’ language of the US. My own grandfather could barely understand English (Hey! I just thought he was a very quiet guy!). But at the same time, I grow extremely tired of of the “Press 1 for English” automated answering systems, the ATMs that do not default to English at the bank, and most particularly, the bi-lingual packaging for almost all items in the stores. Enough. The melting pot not only works, it serves to create better people. The first requirement must be to learn English.

See The Captain:

Does anyone else see the humor in the inability of the World’s Greatest Deliberative BodyTM to agree on which phrase in English best suuports its desirability? In fact, the two phrases don’t even contradict each other, so the dissonance between the two amendments is non-existent. The national language can also be considered common and unifying; the two are hardly mutually exclusive but rather almost axiomatically linked.

That didn’t keep Harry Reid from declaring the amendments “racist”. Apparently the Senator from Nevada has some information that proves an inability of certain ethnicities to learn English, a shortcoming that has never before occurred in anyone’s experience. This proves that the Senate may want to brush up on its own English, since the Minority Leader (heh) has no clue as to the epithet he tossed out so casually — and a sentiment with which a significant number of his own caucus obviously disagreed.

The News From Jupiter

May 11, 2006

Strange things have been happening on Jupiter lately. It appears that a new ‘red spot’ has formed out of the collision of two or three long lasting ‘white spots’. Red Spot Jr., as it is called, is due to pass by the original Red Spot (known since Galileo first turned his original telescope to the planet) in July.

Both are anti-cyclonic storms in Jupiter’s Southern temperate belt, and the smaller of the two is about the diameter of the Earth in extent. Their winds have been clocked at about 400 mph, but their most truly outstanding characteristic is their longevity. 400 years is quite a long time for a storm to last. If someone tells you that he understands why they’re red, he’s either due for a Nobel Prize (in Physics or Chemistry, sigh, not in Astronomy) or he’s lying.

You Know What They Say…Nobody’s Human

May 11, 2006

It’s purely coincidental that the Astrowife and I were contemplating a move to Cambridge just last week. This, however, gives me pause. The money quote:

One of the guests lives in what’s probably the most liberal zip code on the planet: 02138. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Not So Different

May 5, 2006

The rich are just like us, only different.

I’m sure you’ve seen the news about Patrick Kennedy by this time. The reactions have been… interesting. It seems like half the people I’ve heard talk about him (and isn’t that the very definition of gossip, by the way?) are almost gleeful at the sight of (yet another) Kennedy brought low. The other half are expressing some variation of the notion that his situation is similar to Rush Linbaugh’s. They feel we should “get off his back” because others are so much worse (or some such).

But almost universally I hear people say the Capitol Police treated Rep. Kennedy differently than they would almost anyone else, and that the special treatment was wrong. Indeed, people fully expect anyone, everyone, even a Kennedy in that situation to be treated the same. This is surely the American Way! It may be so that the rich are different from the rest of us, but they damn well will follow the laws and suffer the consequences of bad behavior in this country, they say. “Cynthia McKinney cannot get away scott free with punching a guard! This would be wrong!”

And so it is. Isn’t it remarkable that we think this way reflexively? I mean, what good is all the Kennedy money if they can’t use it to pay off a moving violation or two, hum? What good is all the Bush power/money if it can’t allow Jenna and Barbara do a little underage drinking, huh?

No, certain unreconstructed leftists not withstanding, we don’t hate the rich – we want to be rich. We want to be like them, and we want them to be treated just the way we are treated, especially by the law. That’s the true meaning of equality, and it has nothing to do with quotas or affirmative action or with relative worth.

Kennedy, Linbaugh and McKinney are discovering this most American idea still lives.

A Terrorist Gets Life Without Parole

May 3, 2006

My Catholicism tells me in no uncertain terms that I should not support the death penalty. With a failed Sept. 11 terrorist like Zacarias Moussaoui, I find that difficult, especially after hearing his taunts: “America, you lost. I won!”
BUT (big but)… I found this line of thought…

When was the last time you thought of Serhan Serhan? Well, I barely even noticed that he died in 2004: that’s how much of a non-entity he’s been since 1968. Ditto Dwight David Chapman and John Hinkley Jr.
How much will you or anyone think about Zacarias Moussaoui in five or ten years? You would have thought more about him, I am sure, if in five years his first (or maybe second) appeal had made the evening news.

But that’s not going to happen. Moussaoui will not be a martyr, and he will be forgotten. Alive, most likely, but forgotten.

From The Captain’s Quarters:

Now, however, he faces a very long time in prison and the gradual oblivion he deserves. Forty years from now, Moussaoui will die in this supermax facility of old age, and newspapers will have to explain to half of their readership exactly who this man was. Human rights groups will have no interest in him, and while a few lunatic terrorists will salute him in the near term, they will quickly move their focus to other martyrs and more intelligent and dangerous leaders. Hollywood celebrities will not hold benefits for his defense. Publishers of children’s books will not offer him book deals. Candles will not be lit for his benefit. He gets to live in a cage for decades, and die almost anonymously and unremarkably.

The Captain may have a point. As they say, read the whole thing.