Had a fun little day hitting three locations with the youngest going from pinball machine to pinball machine to pinball machine. We started with The Adams Family , progressed to Theatre of Magic, and finished off with Terminator 2.

Well for $4 and a couple of small pizzas we got 3 hours of serious pinball. Its a great bit of fun and a great way to relieve stress. I recommend it as the best therapy in the world when you need to unwind.

It’s funny.

As I recall before the election the problem of what to do with those in Gitmo was not a big issue, the only issue was getting in closed.

Now that the order has been given suddenly we are seeing a lot more stories like this:

One day after President Obama ordered that the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, be shuttered, lawmakers in Washington wrestled with the implications of bringing dozens of the 245 remaining inmates onto American soil.

Republican lawmakers, who oppose Mr. Obama’s plan, found a talking point with political appeal. They said closing Guantánamo could allow dangerous terrorists to get off on legal technicalities and be released into quiet neighborhoods across the United States. If the detainees were convicted, the Republicans continued, American prisons housing terrorism suspects could become magnets for attacks.

Meanwhile, none of the Democrats who on Thursday hailed the closing of the detention camp were stepping forward to offer prisons in their districts or states to receive the prisoners.

And this:

Two men released from the US “war on terror” prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have appeared in a video posted on a jihadist website, the SITE monitoring service reported.

One of the two former inmates, a Saudi man identified as Abu Sufyan al-Azdi al-Shahri, or prisoner number 372, has been elevated to the senior ranks of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, a US counter-terrorism official told AFP.

Three other men appear in the video, including Abu al-Hareth Muhammad al-Oufi, identified as an Al-Qaeda field commander. SITE later said he was prisoner No. 333.

or this:

The report, which could be released within the next few days, will provide fresh details about 62 detainees who have been released from Guantanamo and are believed by U.S. intelligence officials to have returned to terrorist activities, according to two Pentagon officials who asked not to be identified talking about a document that is not yet public. One such example, involving a Saudi detainee named Said Ali Al-Shihri, who was released in 2007, received widespread attention Friday when Pentagon officials publicly confirmed that he has recently reemerged as a deputy commander of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Al-Shihri, once known publicly only as Guantanamo detainee No. 372, is suspected of involvement in a thwarted attack on the U.S. embassy in Yemen last September.

or this:

The emergence of a former Guantánamo Bay detainee as the deputy leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemeni branch has underscored the potential complications in carrying out the executive order President Obama signed Thursday that the detention center be shut down within a year.

One would think that the media wants to give cover to the new administration in case it takes say the first terms to decide what to do with these oppressed individuals, dangerous terrorists. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Don Suber in his just ask me column gets it exactly right on the nonsense column comparing Princess Di and Michelle Obama. It is an insult…to Obama:

Mrs. Obama is an accomplished lawyer, pretty good mom (from what I see) and a person of substance who would not fritter away a good marriage for a roll in the hay. Di had her good points, but she was Paris Hilton with underpants.

I don’t like Mrs. Obama’s politics and her neo-patriotism was bizarre. That said, I respect her as a first lady because she acts like a lady first.

I know Baxter meant it as a compliment but America is no place for royalty. As Princess Caroline just found out.

One of my pet peeves is the idolatry over Princess Diana. It is an odd phenom. I like this Mike Barnicle from the week of their death:

And an odd thing happened today. If you believe in God, or a higher being, it’s almost as if God tapped the news media around the world on the shoulder at about 1 o’clock this afternoon and said, “It’s time to straighten your priorities out. Mother Teresa is dead.”

For five straight days we have been making Princess Diana larger than life. She seems like a very wonderful woman, a nice woman. She was 36 years of age. A woman died in Calcutta today who spent all of her life touching the poor and helping the poor. And I’m going to be interested, and I think many Americans would be interested to see if Peter Jennings and Dan Rather and CNN and Tom Brokaw go to Calcutta.

His Boston Globe column of that week on the subject, which I’ve been unable to find free online, was one of the best things he ever wrote.

The fact that Mother Teresa died the same week and the media was forced to give her funeral the same coverage as Diana is one of my “indirect proofs” of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.
I’ll be doing a post on the subject of “indirect proofs” later in my religion series.

At yesterday’s party my liberal pal Mike pointed out Wonkette and a story there concerning the Conservative version of Wikipedia.at Wonkette that I promised to link to.

Back in my hiwired days I had a love hate relationship with Wikipedia in particular and Wiki formats in general. I think Glenn Reynolds put it best:

And there’s more on Wikipedia’s problems here. I find it a decent place for casual reference when the subjects aren’t politically charged, but much less useful when they are.

Wikipedia has been accused of liberal bias (among other things) so naturally a competitor; Conservapedia arose still in the wiki format but with different rules. Answering speech with more speech is a good idea but a wiki format is a wiki format and you have to watch out on politically charged content. Well you can’t get more politically charged than this:

For example, say your home-schooled-in-Christ kid needs to do a report on which states would benefit from Dem senators who, tragically, “were unable to complete their terms and were replaced by qualified Republicans by their Republican governors.” Where to go? That homosexual devil box “Wikipedia” surely would be of no assistance, to Patriots!

The screen shot on Wonkette’s page shows the actual entry that was actually posted. Wonkette rightly denounces it and I join them. It didn’t however stay up for long:

This “Article” Was The Work Of An Internet Parodist/Vandal

Conservapedia in no way sanctioned it, and cannot, because of the wiki format, completely stop the work of political terrorists, who are intent upon and dedicated to mocking our conservative, Christian-friendly encyclopedia.

Thank you.

I think the word “terrorist” is a bit much here but the point is made. The real point is any format where a vested interest can edit the stuff shouldn’t be used for anything that might be controversial. (Do you really think that Cuba or China doesn’t monitor their Wikipedia related entries?) You want Dr. Who stuff its fine, you want facts go to Encyclopedia Britannica online.

I’m jumping a bit ahead in my writing about religion and Catholic faith to touch on something that people find uncomfortable particularly in this modern age.

If one claims to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular there are several things that are required beliefs. The defining belief is the divinity of Christ. No less critical is the existence of the Devil and Hell.

People like to think that due to the modern world that such things as Devil’s and Satan can’t be real, that no reasonable person can choose to believe in such a supernatural concept. One doesn’t want to deal with the ridicule of such a belief, particularly publicly expressed. After all its one thing to believe in Christ, there is history that shows his existence but to believe in a fellow with a pitchfork and horns out to novel you, that’s just a story to frighten children.

CS Lewis talked about this very thing in Screwtape #7:

We currently live in an age where people believe in psychics, witchcraft and various unseen forces. I can drive down the street in Leominster or Worcester and see the shingle for psychics advertising their services. I have wiccan friends one who is a wiccan priest. You see all kinds of books on harnessing various forces. Science Fiction fans talk of all kinds of planets that might be inhabited by all sorts of creatures; yet all these same people would look as if you had 4 heads if you suggest that the devil or hell exists. Continue reading “Required Catholic Belief; The Devil and Hell”