Sunday, January 29, 2023

So, three months after her husband's assault, it comes out that Nancy Pelosi wants her house exorcised.

 I'm not sure if that's exactly how she put it, but that's how it was stated in the report I heard.

On the one hand, this is good.  Everyone should want their house blessed.

On the second hand, asking for an "exorcism" to drive out post-traumatic "negative energy" one might feel after what looks like a mundane home invasion by a violently mentally ill acquaintance--you know, that normal phenomenon of re-experiencing the feelings surrounding a painful event when reflecting on (or being "triggered" by) it--smells like one of those PR-tweaking performances that high profile people enact after realizing they've done something too alienating but are in truth too alien to hoi polloi, to the degree where their attempts to bridge the gap and garner empathy push people farther away.  

Think of when Mark Zuckerberg had to testify before Congress, and all the memes about him being a lizard person in disguise and trying to drink water not to calm himself but to appear more mammalian, which is a very non-mammalian way to go about it.  Or when a parent tries to be cool in front of their tween children, not realizing that whether or not they were cool themselves when they were younger, it's not something you can achieve by trying.

So it seems like just another part of her flawed campaign to appear a devoted Catholic, like all her "I love receiving communion like you other Catholics and I appreciate all the nuns at school who told me I could do that while still promoting abortion; what do 915 cannons have to do with anything?" talk.  She might be trying to fool voters or maybe just herself, like with her other publicity stunts such as that public act of repentance for being white she participated in during the Floyd riots where she wore "African colors" and went down on one knee but couldn't get back up.

But back on the first hand again, this could be the camel's nose in the tent of grace in her life.  Maybe she really was shaken up a bit and is reaching out in the only way she knows how, maybe all the prayers for her conversion and the end to her scandalous politicking are starting to pay off.

Let's hope and pray for more of that.

Monday, January 23, 2023

A question for anyone who has contemplated the notion that Benedict XVI retained some papal features after he resigned

 I'm not talking only to people who maintained this theory.  I'm just asking anyone who has thought about it enough to understand the contention.  For the record, this is a hypothetical question, it's been interesting to consider these past several years, but I both lean away from the notion and decline to take a stand--it seems to violate the intent of the Petrine office but it's a matter for experts to explain why my hunch would be right or wrong.

But I'm asking all of you anyway, just for curiosity.  Now that B16 has died, does his munus automatically devolve back to Francis?  Or does Francis not inherit it at all, since the bifurcation had already happened before his election?  If that's the case, would he just be pope without munus and only his successor would resume the power?  But what if Francis resigned too?  If he doesn't have it, he can't also give it up.

I know this is just a rabbit hole.  It's an interesting idea to play with.  But that should also tell us that maybe it's too bad of an idea to be true.

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Revisiting a little clarity on state secrets and document classification

So the Left and its RINO allies--but I repeat myself--are making hay with the appearance of a double standard regarding Trump's and Hillary's handling of classified documents.

What they try to convince you of is false.  

I will only pass over briefly their contentions about double standards at all, since their predilection for hiding behind them is self-evident.

There are obvious differences between Hillary's situation and The Donald's.  The chief of which is that Trump was the president when he took those documents home.  As president, he had full authority to declassify anything he wanted at any time for any [or no] reason.  Being chief executive, he was beholden to no one regarding what needed to remain a state secret and what did not.  I've read, even, that the mere act of him taking classified documents out of secure locations constituted a de facto act of declassification; perhaps a reader who can cite the relevant rules and regulations could elucidate this for us.

Hillary, meanwhile, never held a position that carried that level of authority.  Instead, she set up a private mail server in her home so she could conduct state business and use her clout for personal gain beyond the eye of any entities in the DOJ who were not yet beholden to her.  I've outlined elsewhere what kinds of violations this act constituted, but let me close with one last comparison:

Trump cooperated with the FBI regarding the sequestration and seizure of the documents in question at Mar-a-Lago.  Hillary's staff, on the other hand, smashed their devices with hammers in the hope of  preventing evidence of their wrongdoing (yes, wrongdoing; that is not the way you protect state secrets from federal investigators who might lack clearance) from coming to light.

Okay, one last comparison, and a rhetorical question:  if they had anything serious on Trump, why did they wait a year and a half after he was out of office--until the end of summer before some uncertain midterm elections--to move on him? 

Monday, August 29, 2022

In case I didn't emphasize this enough before, one of the problems with defining racism as depending on power rather than personal animus... that people who are bigots but have relatively little institutional power will still tend to do evil--which still harms other people, and society, and themselves.

Why is this less urgent of a problem than the prevalence of a decent, inclusive people who happen to have white or rich or educated parents?

Friday, July 29, 2022

On the Kennedy case...been a big season for SCOTUS, hasn't it?

The prayer decision is more important than it may first seem. It’s important not just as a restoration of the first amendment, but in that it represents one of the first recent instances of opposition to the Marxist paradigm—that is, all interpersonal interactions always take place between people with dissimilar amounts of power (elites need not be considered), and so the one with more always acts evilly when not actively subjecting himself to the will of the weak. Even if they outnumber and outvote him—that kind of exercise of power wouldn't count.

What this case did was show that the weak need not fear the strong because the strong are not always malign nor even aggressive. This dovetails with the obvious outcomes of victim politics when promoted by people who, as the saying goes, make it harder for actual victims: which is to say, just because you claim to be or even are a victim doesn’t mean you’re right or entitled.

Just look at the dissenting opinion.  There was fear expressed that this decision would "open the door to much more coercive prayer in our public schools," but coercion against prayer has been steadily rising until now.  Congress isn't allowed to do either one.  But it allegedly also "sets us further down a perilous path in forcing states to entangle themselves with religion."  Look, that very same entanglement is what was undone here.  Coach Kennedy was penalized for praying on his own after the game--off duty, that is, when he is no longer acting as an agent of the school.  It's not reasonable to expect someone to be an on-duty representative of some organization 24/7, even if you can demand more from them in limited ways.  

The First Amendment restricts Congress from impeding or promoting religion.  Okay, a public school employee is an agent of the state, after a fashion.  Can he stay silent and not intimidate students who don't share his faith?  Yes, more or less, probably.  But that contributes to a chilling effect on the free expression of religion by people who is share his faith, which is happening all over the West.  And what about people of other faiths?  Some will be heartened to see anything they recognize as religious, and be encouraged to express and share theirs.  Others will be intimidated not for being irreligious but not fitting into Kennedy's brand.  But if Kennedy accommodated them, what about the ones he's now leaving out?  How can he be sensitive specifically to each of them--sectarian and nonsectarian--without running the risk of excluding any of them--nonsectarian or sectarian?

This is why Congress isn't supposed to meddle at all; why our government is minimalistic in the first place.  Mostly it's best to leave the tolerating up to the individuals.  Otherwise we end up with that scene in "Life of Brian" where the crowd Brian throws a shoe at is arguing about what the shoe means, only instead of a shoe it's civil rights.

Did some of his students feel forced to sit in, a la peer pressure?  Apparently so.  But unfortunately that's human nature--we're social animals.  Student athletes get pressured to drink underage all the time, and while that's not reflected in the First Amendment, it's against much more specific laws, and that kind of behavior is often ignored until the star quarterback drives home drunk right over the head cheerleader.  Did anyone approach the coach to say "hey, no offense but I'm not comfortable getting dragged into this; is this an expectation, or am I going to be all right on and off the field if I don't participate?" 

I can see some kids not being comfortable even bringing it up.  But none?  And no parents?

I don't know all the details, but apparently the problem started when Kennedy's school district asked him to stop out of fear for litigation--another instance of "there isn't an issue, but there's fear of a possibility of an issue." Which smells more like a disgruntled school board member than a principal who has received some difficult phone calls from people who followed up with mail on fancy letterhead.

Actually it didn't even start there; Kennedy started praying on his own, and students started joining him. When he was asked to stop praying in the locker room and on the field, he did, but continued praying by himself after the game.  Apparently that was too much.

Please.  This is not some high-profile representative of a lofty organization abusing his power to tarnish the organization's reputation.  This is a high school football coach.  He's allowed to have a private life.

Even if people can see him having it. 

Sunday, July 17, 2022

A few final words on the Dobbs case, at least for now....

For those of you complaining that this was the first crack in the wall protecting abortion rights and that it never should have gotten this far, well, this is the first crack, you're right about that--in a sense.
But you have to keep in mind that Roe was not a piece of legislation.  It was a Supreme Court case we were told to consider to be law.  Now it's back in the hands of the states, where legal questions of life and death are supposed to be handled.
This is a good thing for you.  Now, it is a matter of legislation.  Now any laws that get passed will have a more sound basis than Roe did.  You'll lose some states, but you gain security in others.  And all your threats and promises to leave your reddish communities that voted for Trump or against abortion or whatever the hot topic was, will now be easier for you to consummate.

And for those of you who are demanding that SCOTUS be stripped of its "jurisdiction" to "rule over" abortion, let me enumerate a few of the ways in which that is stupid.
  1. That's what the Dobbs case actually was about.  Did you not read the decision, or any of the actual-news articles about it?
  2. What do you think would happen when someone wanted to file a lawsuit against a pro-life law, and SCOTUS wasn't allowed to hear it?
  3. SCOTUS's powers might not be clearly defined on all sides--I'm just saying for the sake of the argument, not as a legal scholar--but what do you think would a precedent of "there are certain civil, humanitarian, legal, and moral matters the Supreme Court can't weigh in on" in the way you're proposing, do to our country when other people try to apply that logic to other topics?  What if someone challenged certain labor laws?  Proposed mandatory servitude for immigrants?  Moved to repeal the Nineteenth Amendment?  Moved to repeal the Nineteenth Amendment, with the stipulation that women thereby would exempt from all forms of taxation?  Sometimes convincing five justices instead of 51% of voters is an abuse of democracy--so don't talk to me about democratic crises--but it is also a necessary hedge against mob rule.
  4. Maybe you're not as dumb as all this, but are playing to the crowd.  That's the name of the game, okay, but do the people who are gullible and ignorant enough to believe you, tend to show up at the polls?

Monday, July 11, 2022

Posted to Reddit: "Department of Misinformation Paused over Free Speech Concerns"

Comment from a Redditor:  "Progressives have been warning about 1984 for decades.  It's republicans who try to bring them to life."

First, that's an interesting juxtaposition between the leftist movement and a specific political party.  The DNC hasn't been in the business of equal civil rights since the 20th Century.

Second, it's the Democrat president Joe Biden who, after a contentious election, brought Minitru to life.  Are you even trying to appear plausible to anyone but the people who already want to believe you?