Friday, November 21, 2003

Only in San Francisco

A man who lives in the middle of one of the busiest sections of San Francisco sues a local Catholic parish (the one where Joe DiMaggio was married and buried) for loud bell ringing.

They're so annoying, he says, that the church should stop the chiming during funeral services. Sunday morning clanging should be scaled back, too, Coe said, because the racket is ruining his girlfriend's slumber on the rare day she can sleep in.

This bizarre crank, who has apparently never heard of the suburbs, also likes to complain about noises made by passing cable cars, foghorns that are frequently blown by cargo ships in the bay and "beeping" buses.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Pledge of Allegiance

Although I just discovered we have more time to get it filed, I probably won't be blogging too much for the next few days as I scramble to finish an amicus (i.e., "friend of the court") brief for the Pledge of Allegiance case in the SCOTUS. I'm actually revising and editing a brief drafted by somebody else, so it doesn't really contain all the arguments I would make. Ah well, at least it's an opportunity to have my name appear on something that could be read and considered by one of The Nine Eight (Scalia recused himself from the case).

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Hollywood's Self-Centered Culture Strikes Again

This is sad. Actor Tom Cruise, who at one point in his life apparently had aspirations of being a Catholic priest, helps convert actress, love interest, and one-time Catholic Penelope Cruz to Scientology.
Multiple Offenses Against God and Nature Makes for Bad Law

Working its way through the courts here in California is the case of two separated lesbians who are in a custody battle over children they each have biological links to via artificial insemination.

The case has polarized much of the San Francisco Bay Area's large lesbian community -- many of whom have become parents with their female partners through a variety of methods, including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Mosely has the backing of San Francisco's National Center for Lesbian Rights, which filed an amicus curiae brief with the appeal court in hope of clarifying the law in a field that's getting increasingly complicated as more same-sex couples have children.

"It's right at the heart of everything we hope to establish in the law," says Shannon Minter, NCLR's legal director. "We very much want the courts to find that when a same-sex couple has a child together using assisted reproduction that they are both automatically parents -- without the need for an adoption."

In other words, forget about the welfare of the children, the state needs to start treating disordered sexual proclivities on the same level as sex (i.e., male and female).
Federal Judge Say "Locals Only 'Bra"

The famed Kamehameha Schools in Hawaii are allowed to continue discriminating against any student applicant who isn't "Hawaiian."

"This is an incredible day for Kamehameha and we are ecstatic with the judge's decision," said Board of Trustees Chairwoman Constance H. Lau. "It was clear that the judge upholds that Kamehameha's programs are designed to correct all the imbalances of the past and we look forward to the day when Hawaiians will be on equal footing with all the residents in this state."

I put the word "Hawaiian" in quotes because I personally knew an otherwise haole (i.e., Caucasion) gal who was able to get into Kam because she was able to show she had maybe 10% native Hawaiian blood in her. And no, she didn't come from an impoverished family. What a farce.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

(B)ig (C)rappy (S)ystem

USC is ranked number 2 in both the writers' and coaches' polls, while THE Ohio State"Puke-eyes" are ranked number 4. However, the computer geeks at the BCS have knocked USC, who demolished Arizona last week 45-0, out of the number 2 spot and replaced it with the incredibly overrated Pukes (yes, Miami got shafted last year). If the BCS standings pretty much stay this way until the end of the year (there's no way the Pukies beat Oklahoma) look for the clamoring for an eight team playoff system to be beyond deafening.

As for the upcoming games this Saturday, Go Trojans and Go Big Blue!
Troubling but Largely Unsurprising

The Massachusetts Supreme Court strikes down the state's "ban" on gay "marriages". The one redeeming thing, however, is that the court stopped short of saying same sex couples had the right to obtain marriage licenses. (link via Drudge)

Monday, November 17, 2003

Yeah, but You're the Wrong Kind

Unlike former NBA Star Charles Barkley, the incredibly slutty acting Brittany Spears embraces her status as a role model.

In a radio interview to be broadcast Monday, the 21-year-old pop star said parents should not be worried if their children want to copy her. (...)

Spears, who kissed Madonna at the MTV Video Music Awards, also talked about her relationship with the singer, saying there was a special connection between them.

"She's like my godmother in a way. I don't listen to that many people, I'm a very stubborn person. When someone tells me not to do something, I do it, that's just my rebellious nature," Spears said.

I think she actually meant to say Madonna is a "role model" since godmothers are bascially supposed to provide authoritative direction to their godchildren. Although seriously misguided and shallow, at least Brittany hasn't in all seriousness misidentified Chicken of the Sea as chicken (a la fellow hoochie girl singer Jessica Simpson)--- yet.
Innocent Mistake or Purposeful Lie?

In pointing out a couple of articles which report on the crystallizing link between Saddam Hussein and Al Queda, Catholic apologist extraordinaire Mark Shea wrongly notes that President Bush had initially refused to say that such a link existed. Of course, what President Bush refused to confirm was a link between Saddam and 9/11.

Being the admirer I am of Mr. Shea's writing and skills in apologetics, I normally would have dismissed his inaccurate observation as an innocent mistake. However, since columnist Juan "I'll jump to any conclusion that supports my left wing agenda" Williams of Fox News Sunday was called on the floor for making the exact same false accusation about President Bush, I'm left wondering whether Mr. Shea's comments weren't intentionally revisionist. Whatever the case might be, there's no shortage of people writing in Mr. Shea's comment boxes, including yours truly, to set him straight.
In the Grand Tradition of American Sectarianism/Denominationalism

A new liberal religious group is formed to counter conservative Christian organizations.

The nonprofit organization, the Clergy Leadership Network, plans to formally announce its formation on Friday and will operate from an expressly religious, expressly partisan point of view. The group cannot, under Internal Revenue Service guidelines, endorse political candidates, and it will have no official ties to the Democratic Party.

But the driving purpose of the organization, according to its mission statement, is to bring about "sweeping changes — changes in our nation's political leadership and changes in failing public policies."
The New Guvanah