Monday, October 12, 2009
With "opposition" like this ...
Not long ago, I found an ex-Catholic chastising the officialdom of his former religion for not, "proudly stating the Catholic tradition on universal health care and then demanding that abortion be excluded from public option benefits."
As it turns out, his trigger finger was just a little bit itchy. From George Stephanopoulos:
In a letter just released, the three Catholic bishops leading the Church’s efforts on health care warned Congress that “we will have no choice but to oppose the bill” unless current bills are amended.Here's the whole letter.
Bush Deserved It
Yes, my current experiment with focusing on things I enjoy on Friday caused me to miss news of Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. But what did I miss? A chance to state the obvious? I can do that just as easily now: The Arafat-inflated moral currency of Norway was just good enough to point out yet another similarity between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. (Fiat currency has proved similarly suitable as a wallpaper in the past.)
Not so obvious is this: The Nobel, however, weaker and fading faster than the Dollar, was not quite good enough to state what really needed to be stated: That if the Nobel committee were completely forthright and consistent, it would have also awarded the so-called Peace Prize to George W. Bush -- separately, or together with Barack Obama.
On the one hand, Saturday Night Live's gag to the effect that Obama won this award simply for "not being George W. Bush" has a grain of truth to it: Obama is not Bush, at least in the sense that he does not even pay lip service to the individualist political and moral ideals of liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
On the other hand, Bush did much more to further the causes of serfdom and sacrifice -- which are clearly what this committee is in the business of promoting -- than Obama could have ever done, and he did this by sugar-coating his poison in pro-American platitudes. The fact that Bush set the table for Obama puts either the sincerity or the competence of this committee to the lie.
In the vein of never underestimating an adversary, I'll go with the former. Besides, they're still calling it a "Peace" Prize, aren't they?
Liberty! The American Revolution
I have just finished slowly working through the DVD's of the above-mentioned series. Here's a description from the PBS website:
Liberty! is a six-part series of one-hour documentaries for PBS. It describes how the American Revolution evolved and how a new nation was born in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War, using actors, Revolutionary era scholars, and eyewitness accounts of the time. [minor edits]This started off slow, but the details from a wide variety of accounts from both sides, the generally patriotic tone, and good narrative flow made this series worthwhile.
Especially memorable, because it kept popping up, was the fact that Americans generally lacked the feudal deference that Europeans expected. This came out in the diary of a captured British soldier as he expressed his surprise at the rag-tag group that had succeeded in capturing him. He said he felt like he was seeing "a new race of men."
All in all, this was very enjoyable and unexpectedly good.
If you missed it over the weekend, head over to Trey Givens.
Rationally Selfish Radio
Like Craig Biddle, Trey Givens has good things to say about Diana Hsieh's new radio show:
I have to give Diana props for her shows. They're always so clear and concise. And she does a very, very good job of avoiding those awful uh, ums, and ahs when she's speaking. They're not just full of great discussion, but they're really well-produced!Being swamped over the past couple of months and not driving regularly anymore -- in my Houston days, I did most of my radio in the car -- I haven't gotten around to listening yet. However, I am not at all surprised to hear that it is going well. (This introvert is especially intrigued by episode 3.)
I'm glad it's available on mp3 so I can catch up when I get a breather. I'm looking forward to it!