A lot of things on the mind again so we are just going to have to steal the style of Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column and say a few things;

And since I’m stealing his style may I say that you should read his column regularly and consider buying his book right off the top.

The last time I did this I wrote the following:

The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again.

Gateway pundit who I read regularly and you should too, hit the New York Times over this front page story that was frankly; a bunch of nonsense. He makes a very obvious point:

Obviously, if Democrats really believed that Republicans were responsible for the housing crisis we would be seeing mock show trial after mock show trial in front of the various Congressional committees. We are not seeing that today.

You can tell what is reality by what people actually do vs what they say every time.

A little more on the New York Times; you know there is nothing wrong with serving a niche market as long as you can make a profit doing it. The New York Times and a good chunk of the media in general is writing for a niche liberal east coast market and is tanking in value. If you can be happy being #2 or #3 and still make a buck all well and good (Read MSNBC) but if you are losing your shirt you can be doing this?

And is it just me or do liberals seem to forget the existence of YouTube and video tape? From the same Gateway pundit link above we see members of congress with a D by their side defending Fannie Mae. Then we see the media and those same congressmen pretending it didn’t happen. Have they forgotten a computer is now an appliance? People can see this stuff.

You know when I was working I had the 1 to midnight shift. Since my wife is a light sleeper and always had trouble getting back to sleep I would crash on the couch and moan when my early rising family would wake me up. Now that I’m not working I’m sleeping in my bed much more. My wife and kids have no school and I’m still waking up before 6. The only good side of it is Morning Joe.

Speaking of Morning Joe, it is the best show on MSNBC and not just because Mika Brzezinski is one of the most handsome women on television but the chemistry between her and Joe Scarborough is fantastic. It really seems that the people on this show genuinely like each other and are not afraid to disagree without being disagreeable. Watching them talk is like watching my friends talk with me, we come from all over the political and religious spectrum and we are friends and always will be.

Don’t forget that it was Morning Joe that grilled Axelrod when nobody else would.

Plus Mike Barnicle is from my home town.

However the hardest thing about watching the show is the ads for Rachel Maddow and Countdown, even the promos are over the top in their worship of liberalism and demonetization of conservatives.

Whenever I see Harold Ford Jr. on Morning Joe I think of Satchel Paige THE greatest pitcher of all time. Page resented that Jackie Robinson made the majors before him with his long record of accomplishment. I look at president elect Obama and Ford and think the same thing.

Then again we all know what Jackie Robinson did, maybe the president elect will do the same. But remember that Jackie won his world series ring in 1955. Satchel won his 7 years ahead of him.

Do you know who got the last hit against Paige? Carl Yaztrzemski in 1965. 1965! It was the only hit he gave up in three innings work, at the age of 59. And that’s assuming his listed birth date is correct.

Of course the Red Sox were one of the worst teams in baseball that year too. They lost 100 games and finished 9th in a 10 team league. Rico Petrocelli and Jim Lonborg were rookies and Tony Conigliaro was only in his 2nd year. They were two years away from greatness. They were also still the most lily white team in the league. Earl Wilson the great slugging pitcher was about it.

These days the Sox are perennial contenders with two world series under their belt and look like the UN by comparison.

It’s quite a thing to be a Boston fan of any sport this year. The Sox just missed the series this year, the Pats are 10-5 WITHOUT Tom Brady, the Celtics are the World Champs and have won 18 straight. and the Bruins are in First place. I don’ t know how long this can last but you’ve gotta love it if you are in Boston.

It almost makes up for the two feet of snow in my front yard, there is no place to put the snow and it isn’t even winter yet. And we have another storm due this week.

Did I just hear people comparing Sarah Palin to Caroline Kennedy and saying the comparison is unfair on Morning Joe and in print? Yes I did but they have it backwards. Gov Palin has actually run a city and a state. Caroline Kennedy hasn’t. Kennedy is so much less qualified that Palin that it isn’t funny.

Of course the newly popular Kathleen Parker makes that point in her column today too, but can’t do it without kicking Palin:

Palin’s demonstrated lack of basic knowledge, her intellectual incuriosity, her inability to articulate ideas or even simple thoughts all combined to create an impression of not-quite-there.

Few doubt that Palin is here to stay. She is the GOP’s chosen closer, as demonstrated in Georgia when she roused the crowds to help re-elect Sen. Saxby Chambliss. What she possesses by immeasurable orders of magnitude – personal power, presence, pizazz – one can’t purchase. The rest – theoretically – she can learn.

Kennedy, a relatively erudite person who has authored several books, may have the political clout to get herself a Senate seat, but it isn’t clear that she has the people power needed to sustain her. The electorate eventually will sort out the differences that matter.

In the meantime, a Sen. Caroline Kennedy would not be a nuclear-enabled leader of the free world, whereas a Vice President Sarah Palin might have been.

Gotta love the theoretically it sounds like Admiral John Jervis Lord St. Vincent in 1804 describing the threat of a French Invasion.

‘I do not say the French can’t come, I only say they can’t come by sea.’

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, God they must hate her!

Been reading about Jervis in The Line Upon the Wind the Great War at sea 1893-1815. Once I finish it I’ll link to the Amazon review but there is one thing worth mentioning up front.

I’ve read a lot of naval histories, this is the first one describing the Chesapeake Leopard incident from the British side of the coin and it seems to give justification for the act, although saying the cost was high in terms of international relations. It also repeats the nonsense suggestion of the Admiralty at the time that US frigates such as the USS Constitution was in fact more of a Ship of the Line than a frigate. 200+ year old biases die hard.

And if you’ve never visited the USS Constitution in Charleston Mass do so.

Some more recient biases include everyone’s favorite game “Name That Party!

How bad is the bias? It’s gotten so bad that yesterday when my totally non-political wife was reading the paper I pointed to this AP story and asked what was wrong with it. She took one look and said they must not mention he was a democrat.

She wouldn’t know the AG of Ohio from a hole in the ground. If my wife is figuring this out then the cat is out of the bag.

A little religion, did you see this:

He may not be a Catholic but it is the best description of Sin and the fight against it i’ve ever heard.

Played BANG, the wild west card game with my gaming crowd last Thursday I’m very surprised that the expansions are available at Amazon but the game is not.

And the Talisman game we played after it was the best I’ve ever seen, 4 people made it to the crown and the fate markers really add to the game even if I was turned into a frog. It was the most exciting single game that I’ve played in 30 years.

And if you are interested in all things Talisman check here.

Well I’ve been typing this for almost two hours and I haven’t even talked about battery cars and the coal that will be needed to power them. I’ll finish with this totally unrelated stat and thought.

Just before the storm this blog was being found, my hits were up by a factor of 3-5 and it looked like it was growing. The loss of power slaughtered my stats and they haven’t recovered, it is quite annoying but if that is the worst problem that I have (particularly with people on my street STILL without power then I’m a real lucky guy.)

And only three days to the Doctor Who Christmas Special The next Doctor; Huzzah!

From the Curt Jester here is a rather funny list of what programming language is your religion:

C would be Judaism – it’s old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can’t convert into it – you’re either into it from the start, or you will think that it’s insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

C++ would be Islam – It takes C and not only keeps all its laws, but adds a very complex new set of laws on top of it. It’s so versatile that it can be used to be the foundation of anything, from great atrocities to beautiful works of art. Its followers are convinced that it is the ultimate universal language, and may be angered by those who disagree. Also, if you insult it or its founder, you’ll probably be threatened with death by more radical followers.

For some reason the Catholic Church is not included and he thinks about it.

Now a programming language that reflected the Catholic Church would be a cross between Basic and machine language. Basic gives it the James Joyce ‘here comes everybody’ aspect and machine language would give it the direct access to God that we have through the Eucharist. The Catholic Church can nourish anybody from the humblest peasant to the most brilliant theologian. Like most languages an interpreter is required for compiled code. In computing if you don’t have a valid interpreter/compiler the code you write will end up either doing nothing or not what you intended. The teaching magisterium of the Church gives us that interpreter in real life. A good interpreter/compiler also has lots of error checking. On our own we are often prone to errors and so being informed of our errors is to our good to ensure that we write valid code. Often we think we are writing valid code only to find that when we go to build it something is not exactly right. You can’t just tell the interpreter/compiler you are sorry for writing bad code, you have to repent of your coding error and fix it.

He goes on quite a bit on it. I would lean toward machine code myself but that’s me.

Well as of this morning people on my street, my sister, my cousin and one of my wife’s best friends are all still without power.

Our Mayor’s press conference on the subject and on repairs etc is here, if you would like to download it then click here.

Mini-Update: (Did I just hear a reporter ask what will be the result of the investigation of our local utility before it has actually started? Playing the conference for the wife, she cackled outloud when the mayor said the city knows how to handle snow and is clearing the roadways.)

The 7″ or so yesterday didn’t help and the several inches today isn’t helping either.

Good thing I got the snowblower fixed in November at A & G Rental, or it would have been a good thing if it actually started when the storm came.

I know we have had a lot of help from power crews from out of state so I want to say to all of those guys, thanks an awful lot or thing would be a lot worse then they already are.

Powerline reports on riots in Sweden by “Youths” but if you dig a little you find out that you might be able to categorize them a bit narrower:

She said the trouble was linked to the closure of an Islamic centre. The owner of the building, in an immigrant neighbourhood, had decided not to renew the centre’s lease. The centre, which included a mosque, had to move out.

Mark Stein is shocked shocked that it might be an area dominated by Muslims.

Let’s take a wild guess here. Would the “Swedish city” happen to be “Malmo”? Why, amazingly, yes:

Dozens of youths have rioted in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for a second consecutive night, setting cars on fire and clashing with police.

While we’re on a roll, would it happen to be the part of Malmo known as “Rosengard”? Why, right again!

People stand near a burning barricades on the main road in the immigrant-dominated suburb of Rosengard…

“Immigrant-dominated”, eh? Is that a way of saying it’s the most heavily Muslim neighborhood of Sweden’s most Muslim city? Ah, well, let’s not go that far. All the BBC is prepared to say is that the otherwise non-specific youths’ riotous activities were “linked to the closure of an Islamic centre”.

Down under, I got into a little spat with a rather dour lady leftie on Australian radio who disputed my characterization of Malmo, and in particular my claim that ambulances would no longer respond to emergency calls in certain youthful neighborhoods without a police escort. I offered to buy her lunch in Rosengard and show her the town so she could judge for herself, but she declined to take me up on the offer.

You know one can deny reality for only so long before it bites you, or in this case torches your city.

Update: This must be a coincidence too.

In his New York Times column today Nick Kristof talks about Arthur C. Brooks book Who really Cares. The book contends that by all measures that conservatives tend to be more charitable with their money than liberals.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

A lot of this has to do with religion. Brooks study concludes religious Americans tend to be more generous than secular ones. There is one question that I would have on the subject myself. What is the source of the data?

As I haven’t read the book I can’t say but I know for myself I never claim any of my charitable deductions on my taxes even though I itemize my taxes. If I’m giving I’m giving I don’t need a tax break to do it. I don’t know how many other people think this way.

That’s why I always wince when people use tax returns to say “Oh this guy is stingy.” unless we know if they are claiming their gifts we don’t know.

In the end looking at what other people do is just fuel for pride. If you want to give; give. Don’t worry about what other people are doing.

Tonight begins the 8 days of Hanukkah.

For those who don’t know it is celebrating the purification of the temple after it had been defiled by their foes, you can find the longer story in the 1 Maccabees 4:35-59 the meat and potatoes of it are here:

On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it, on that very day it was reconsecrated with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals. All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven, who had given them success. For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered holocausts and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests’ chambers and furnished them with doors. There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed. Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness on the anniversary every year for eight days, from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.

To all those who celebrate it, a Happy and Holy Hanukkah and to those who do not, Have a nice week.

Let me give a shout out to the old HiWired company in closing, every year we would have a greeting for Christmas, and Hanukkah on the blog. It unabashedly acknowledged the religious nature of these days. It spoke very well of the company that they were not afraid to acknowledge religious holidays and I take my hat off to them.

Three years ago a complaint was launched by the aptly misnamed Canadian Human Rights Tribunal against a Christian pastor named Stephen Boission for a letter to the editor speaking against homosexuality.

The tribunal ruled against him:

the Alberta Human Rights Commission ordered Alberta pastor Stephen Boissoin to desist from expressing his views on homosexuality in any sort of public forum. He was also commanded to pay damages equivalent to $7,000 as a result of the tribunal’s November decision to side with complainant and homosexual activist Dr. Darren Lund. The tribunal has also called for Boissoin to personally apologize to Lund via a public statement in the local newspaper.

Whatever one’s view of homosexuality this sure seems like the stifling of free speech. At the time I wondered how Canada would react if he had been a Muslim iman rather than a Christian preacher, well we don’t have to wonder any longer. as the national post explains:

In April, a Quebec blogger named Marc Lebuis brought a complaint to the commission over a book published on the Internet by a Montreal-based fundamentalist Muslim, Abou Hammad Sulaiman al-Hayiti. Lebuis claimed that the book exposed gays, Jews, non-Muslims generally and other identifiable groups to “hatred or contempt” under the plain meaning of Section 13 of the act.

Mr. Lebuis’ purpose, he admits, was to “test the objectivity of the commission” in light of commission rulings against Christians for publishing equally or less strident language.

Considering the Boission case this should have been a slam dunk, guess again:

CHRC officials told Lebuis that they would not proceed with an investigation of his complaint. They argued that Mr. al-Hayiti was free to say whatever he liked against “infidels,” and particularly non-Muslim women (what with their disturbingly wanton habits of dress and behaviour!) because they do not constitute an “identifiable group.” As for Mr. al-Hayiti’s imprecations against groups established as “identifiable,” like gays and Jews, the commission reported vaguely that these “do not seem” to meet the criteria for promoting hatred.

Well in that case Mr. al-Hayiti must not have said anything strident right?

Allah, Mr. al-Hayiti warns, has taught that “If the Jews, Christians, and [Zoroastrians] refuse to answer the call of Islam, and will not pay the jizyah [tax], then it is obligatory for Muslims to fight them if they are able.” Christianity, in particular, is denounced as a “religion of lies,” which is responsible for the West’s “perversity, corruption and adultery.”

At one point, Mr. al-Hayiti’s book refers to “the incredible number of gays and lesbians (may Allah curse and destroy them in this life and the next) {emphasis mine}who sow disorder upon the Earth and who desire to increase their numbers.” In one short passage, this combines a seeming accusation of demonic “recruitment” with an open wish for the complete elimination of homosexuals and a claim that they are a source of social chaos.

Gee maybe Ann Currey can interview him about his views on gay marriage.

I agree with the Post that free speech demands that Mr. al-Hayiti views should not be censored, but neither should Mr. Boission’s. The unreality of the difference is clear and Glenn Reynolds has pointed out the danger of this:

Will other religious groups take the lesson that violence works? Because, in a world of the spineless, it does, and at very low cost. Thanks, guys, for establishing this incentive structure.

The best way to answer speech that is disagreed with is more speech and the best way to call out either a spineless worm or a bigot is with courage. So in that spirit:

My favorite of the cartoons
My favorite of the cartoons

This is my favorite of the infamous Mohamed cartoons. Think about it, Canada thought that this image was beyond the pale but the words of the Iman above were not.

Update: Nothing to see here either.

One of the things that I have been very frustrated with over the years are the number of my fellow Catholics who don’t know what Catholic teaching actually is.

A lot of this comes down to apathy, but you also have people who are ill informed by either teachers who don’t know what they are talking about, denominations outside the church who have their own false view of the Church, the media who love of the church is almost as large as their love of George Bush and groups of “Catholics” who want to change the rules or redefine sin to fit their own worldview.

Well with the internet there is no excuse for ignorance on this matter so I have added several permalinks to the Vatican including links to the Bible, Canon law (the internal law of the church) and most importantly to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This link is the most important because it is the document that contains what Catholic belief actually IS. Not what other people say it is but the bottom line. If you want to know what the Church says on any matter that is where you go. It is very complete, footnoted and well referenced.

If you prefer a copy that you can read on the go you can also pick it up at Amazon here. Hardcover here.

Every Catholic should have one of these, outside of scripture it is the most important book on your faith to have. If you are a non-catholic you will find it an excellent reference to what we actually believe. So pick one up or permalink the page so you can be informed.