Saturday, July 08, 2006

Post-Independence Day Trivia

Charles Carroll was the only Catholic to have signed the Declaration of Independence. He was also the last surviving member among the signers, having died at the age of 96 in 1832. (link via Totus Pius)
Ted Kennedy: Big Fat Joke

Are the voters of Massachusetts that clueless?

Just six months after quitting the all-male social club to which he belonged for 50 years, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy is questioning one of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench about his membership in an all-male dining club.

"What is your reason for failing to resign from the club any earlier than February 2, 2006?" Mr. Kennedy demanded in writing of Oklahoma lawyer Jerome A. Holmes, nominated to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Documents provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee and obtained by The Washington Times show that Mr. Holmes belonged to the Men's Dinner Club of Oklahoma City but quit after expressing interest in becoming a federal judge.

Mr. Holmes told the committee in writing that he never perceived the dining club to harbor any bias toward women but he resigned to clear up any appearances of impropriety.

"Its membership consisted of widely respected business, community and government leaders, including at least two judges of Oklahoma's courts of last resort," he explained to Mr. Kennedy. "I recognized in February 2006 that some might perceive the Men's Dinner Club as being an improper organization of the kind discussed above. That was unacceptable to me."

In January, Mr. Kennedy quit the Owl Club after The Washington Times revealed his continued membership in the fraternitylike organization for Harvard University's select male students and alumni.

Mr. Kennedy's ties to the Owl Club came to light after he interrogated Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. over his association with Concerned Alumni of Princeton, a group founded to combat campus liberalism at Princeton University.

Friday, July 07, 2006

If the GOP Loses Control of Congress in November

It will have no one to blame but itself, because 'Rat Chairman Howard Dean just can't help dragging his party down the toilet.
Lack of SCOTUS Restraint May Cost Lives

Such is perfectly illustrated by the recent Hamdan v. Rumsfeld ruling where the military tribunals that were set up to try the captured terrorists at Guantanamo Bay were struck down. Professor John Yoo, who worked in the Bush Administration from 2001-2003, further explains:

The court's decision in Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld ignores the basic workings of our separation of powers and will hamper the ability of future presidents to respond to emergencies with the forcefulness and vision of a Lincoln or an FDR.

Long-standing U.S. practice recognizes that the president, as commander in chief, plays the leading role in wartime. Presidents have started wars without congressional authorization, and they have exercised complete control over military strategy and tactics. They can act with a speed, unity and secrecy that the other branches of government cannot match. By contrast, legislatures are large, diffuse and slow. Their collective design may make them better for deliberating over policy, but at the cost of delay and lack of resolve.

Fire in a rabbit cage, 9/11? Yeah, I see the similarities. (link via Relapsed Catholic).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Just So You'll Stop Staring at His Hairplugs

Joe Biden in all his foot-in-mouth glory. (link via Drudge)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Violent Peace Activist

Reason #959039403943409 as to why I never take these hypocritical yayhoos seriously.

On anything.

A New Zealand peace activist is facing serious assault charges after he allegedly punched a rock singer in London, leaving the man in a coma.

Christiaan Briggs, 30, who spent three weeks in Iraq with the Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action Group in 2003, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to face a charge of grievous bodily harm.

Police say the incident occurred on June 22 when Briggs allegedly punched 19-year-old Billy Leeson, causing the rising rock star to hit his head on the ground.

Leeson, the lead singer with rock band Les Incompetents - who have supported Pete Doherty's group Babyshambles - was "still very ill", said Scotland Yard spokesman James Nadin.

His condition was described as "critical but stable".
This Will Surely be a Classic

From the campaign of Vernon Robinson, a Republican running for Congress in North Carolina. I love it.

(link via Jimmy Akin)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day

To quote the great Catholic Brit, GK Chesterton:

"The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man." - Chapter 19, What I Saw In America, 1922

Monday, July 03, 2006

Can "Sola Scriptura" Protestants Authenticate the Bible?

I'm working on a case right now that looks like it may go to trial, and there is a potential issue regarding the admissibility of a document that I might try to offer as evidence. This issue involves authentication and it got me to thinking a little bit about the "Bible-only" approach to Christianity that many Protestants follow.

Within the lexicon of civil law, to "authenticate" a document during a trial generally means to establish its' claimed source of origin. For instance, any police report allegedly written by Officer Smith is inherently questionable and unreliable unless Officer Smith provides sworn testimony that he in fact wrote the report. Without this sworn testimony, no one can be certain as to whether Officer Smith really wrote the report or if it was just made up by someone out of thin air.

With this in mind, I'm geuninely curious as to how any non-Catholic Christian who subscribes to sola scriptura (i.e., there is no other authority for Christianity except the Bible) is able to authenticate the Bible. (The principle of self-authentication would not appear to be an option, since even that requires recognition of an external authority).
From Our Bulging "Al Gore is Full of It" Files

Al's not a scientist, and he doesn't even play a very good one on TV. The latest reality hit on Gore's globaloney crusade:

Mr. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over."

That statement, which Mr. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, ought to have been followed by an asterisk. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over, it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place.

The media rarely help, of course. When Newsweek featured global warming in a 1988 issue, it was claimed that all scientists agreed. Periodically thereafter it was revealed that although there had been lingering doubts beforehand, now all scientists did indeed agree. Even Mr. Gore qualified his statement on ABC only a few minutes after he made it, clarifying things in an important way. When Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted Mr. Gore with the fact that the best estimates of rising sea levels are far less dire than he suggests in his movie, Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists "don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence" one way or the other and went on to claim--in his defense--that scientists "don't know. . . . They just don't know."

So, presumably, those scientists do not belong to the "consensus." Yet their research is forced, whether the evidence supports it or not, into Mr. Gore's preferred global-warming template--namely, shrill alarmism. To believe it requires that one ignore the truly inconvenient facts. To take the issue of rising sea levels, these include: that the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940; that icebergs have been known since time immemorial; that the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually growing on average. A likely result of all this is increased pressure pushing ice off the coastal perimeter of that country, which is depicted so ominously in Mr. Gore's movie. In the absence of factual context, these images are perhaps dire or alarming.

They are less so otherwise. Alpine glaciers have been retreating since the early 19th century, and were advancing for several centuries before that. Since about 1970, many of the glaciers have stopped retreating and some are now advancing again. And, frankly, we don't know why.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Starting Off on the Wrong Foot

According to this story in the Washington ComPost, the number of weddings within the Church in the United States has been steadily declining since 1970. One of the apparent major reasons for this is that marrying Catholics want the ceremony performed "on their own terms." If they can't do this, then they'll have the ceremony at a non-Catholic faith community, or just get hitched at city hall.

With this kind of selfish attitude, is it any surprise that the divorce rate in this country, even among Catholics, is around 50%?
The Always Amusing Bobby Jones U.

Ever wonder which 37 places in America are in most dire need of Fundy Churches? Now you don't have to, thanks to good 'ol BJU.

And, of course, it's just a coincidence that most of these places are "dominated" by Jews and Catholics.