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Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Time Event
11:05a
The Blessing of Infanticide! Enjoying God's good gift of sexuality without consequences
The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge has unanimously elected a new dean, Dr. Katherine Ragsdale.  Chris Johnson at the Midwest Conservative Journal has the following on Dr. Ragsdale. I reprint it here without comment:

How radically pro-abortion is Katie Rags?  This radically pro-abortion:

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion - there is not a tragedy in sight -- only blessing. The ability to enjoy God's good gift of sexuality without compromising one's education, life's work, or ability to put to use God's gifts and call is simply blessing.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember - abortion is a blessing

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and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing - who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes -- in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You're engaged in holy work.

 

11:54a
Can't Libertarians and Socialists Agree?

Can't socialists and libertarians agree that we should not support that form of government sometimes called Plutocracy, or Fascism, where the state power and the major industries are intertwined in incest?

The libertarian will blench in horror at the sight of populist demagogues assuming the power to fire the CEO's of private corporations, forcing mergers, reorganizing Boards of Directors, setting or vetoing compensation and bonuses, interfering with contracts, establishing lines of production, types of goods produced, and generally usurping the rights of the owners and stockholders, and, ultimately, usurping the free choice of the customers and consumers: as when General Motors morphed into Government Motors, and the President vowed that car warranties would henceforth by underwritten and guaranteed by the taxpayers (or "tax-sheep" as the shepherds who shear them call them, or slaughter them for mutton).

The socialist will recoil from the sight of major industries, even if they pretend to be under state scrutiny, determining the course of political events: as when banks like A.I.G. contribute funds to politicians in return for political favors, bailouts, and winning the coveted status of "being too big to fail" (which means, in effect, being a permanent state subsidy). The question here is one of undue influence. In socialist theory, the means of production of certain industries (in some cases, all industries) are to be state-run for the sake of the common good. When an organization is still run on a for-profit basis, so that only the losses are socialized, and the gains are pocketed (as with the A.I.G. salary bonuses), this offends socialist theory, or should.

I admit I don't understand how socialists think but I would think that even they would recognize that once the government is running an industry, the industry ends up running the government, if for no other reason than to prevent the taxpayers (who are now stake-holders in the industry) from suffering a loss. It end ups not being a ruler-and-ruled relationship, but a marriage of convenience: the good old boys network. The same small cadre of highly placed individuals makes the decisions both for government and industry, and neither the common good of the voters nor the wishes of the consumers, make any difference. The incentives which lure Caesar into favoring the state-run industry over any private or foreign competition also act to lure Caesar to favor the state-run industry into favoring the industry over the workers or the consumers.

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3:45p
campaign finace reform = censorship
Back when the public was still debating the wisdom of campaign finace reform, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine, who claimed that the purpose of state supervision of political adverts was merely to "take the money of out politics." He was convinced it could never set a precedent to justify censorship of political speech.

Well, I should not say he was naive-- (he was, but I should not say it)- but I should say he did not appreciate how the law works. The law operates by categories and precedents. If something can be fitted into a given category, the case is treated as all other cases of that category, until and unless an exception can clearly be drawn. The 'slippery slope" is not some sinister process --- it is precedent, which springs from the simple human desire for laws that are understandable, expected, and regular. But is has sinister application if your draft your laws carelessly, or, as here, with malice aforethought.   

I came across this article on Breibart's 'Big Hollywood' blog
 
Last week the United States Supreme Court held oral arguments over a fascinating question:  whether or not the federal government has the authority to decide if a movie/documentary is a form of entertainment free from most broadcast restrictions or if the video is instead a lengthy attack ad - albeit 90 minutes long - against a candidate for federal office subject to the landmark 2002 federal campaign finance law. The BCRA (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act) prevents “electioneering communications” within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.  The case is Citizens United v. FEC and Hollywood should be greatly alarmed by its implications.
4:17p
On a Lighter Note

I saw this on Catholic and Enjoying It   a journal written by my water-brother Mark Shea (who groks were I am only an egg):

Dante's Inferno: 

Mark Shea's comment: 

 
They've changed things a teensy tiny bit. Now Dante is a beefed up veteran of the crusades who seizes Death's scythe to plunge the depths of hell and rescue Beatrice's soul, which has been stolen by Lucifer after she was brutally murdered while her love was away at war.

Vast volumes of social anthropology could be written to describe the change in world view between the the actual Dante and the people who wrote this game.

My comment: So very wrong you could not explain it, even with  charts.

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