The Ground Zero Mosque and Religious Freedom, Part Two

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Since publishing my original article on this topic, I have received a lot of feedback on it, both positive and negative. The article was cross-posted at The American Catholic, Il Sussidiario, and Catholic Online. A local version of the article ran in my hometown newspaper as well. Too be sure my article has provoked an important dialog. Due to the critical judgment that I have received from Catholic friends whom I admire I would like to clarify some of my thoughts. The overall position I took in supporting the building of the Ground Zero Mosque remains the same though.

First, I recognize the building of the Ground Zero Mosque is a prudential matter in which good Catholics, Christians, and Americans can agree to disagree upon. It is prudential matter and both sides have legitimate reasons to either support or oppose its construction at the current location.

It’s important that I address my use of the word “support.” My intention in using this word has caused unnecessary confusion on exactly what I meant by it. By support I do not mean Catholics should monetarily support the construction or operation of it. Construction workers who are Catholic can legitimately refuse to work on this project. It would be more precise to say that I would “allow” or “permit” it to be built. Catholic do not have to actively support it in any other way.

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Christine O’Donnell on Tolkien and Women

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

In a recent column, Maureen Dowd heaps scorn on Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell for her admiration of famed Catholic writer J.R.R. Tolkien. That is according to the Christian Science Monitor. I confess that I am unable to comprehend most of what Dowd writes, so that when I read the column in question all I see are a series of impressionistic comments that have little apparent logical relation to each other.

Anyway, if you’re interested in Ms. O’Donnell’s thoughts on Tolkien and feminism, here is a C-Span recording of her talk on the subject (and here is a Catholic Exchange article on the same subject).


TAC Pro Football Rankings: Week 2

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Week 2 provided a bit of a reality check. We found out that a few teams are far from the panic button; some, like in Minnesota and Dallas, need to be jamming the panic button.

This week we had four rankings: Tito, myself, Paul, and MJ Andrew. See the results after the jump.

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Wishful Thinking Revisited

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

Following the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, it looked for a time as is if the passage of the recent Health Care Reform legislation was unlikely. The most common arguments aimed at moderate Democrats in the House during this time period were as follows:

1) That the Health Care reform bill would become more popular after it had passed.

2) That given widespread voter ignorance, it was unlikely that this particular vote would have much effect on any individual House member’s re-election campaign.

The first argument has long since been proven false. And now it appears the second was incorrect also:

Out of the original 50 districts, only 41 had members who cast a vote on health care reform and are running for reelection.  If we just divide these members based on their health care votes, those who voted for health reform are running 2.7 percentage points behind those who voted against it.  But, of course, we should control for other things, especially district conservatism, since those from the more conservative districts voted almost uniformly against reform.  I also included the members’ DW-NOMINATE scores to distinguish the health care vote from the members’ overall voting records.

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TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

No upsets before midnight central standard time made for a fairly quiet rankings; this week we lined up more or less with the AP poll (though Tito and I threw it some curves). Some random thoughts of my own before the rankings:

Could we please stop with the Locker for #1 pick and Heisman? This is the second game he’s blown this year. He shouldn’t still be on a Heisman ballot. The Heisman is between Pryor, Robinson and Patrick Peterson (his interceptions this weekend were insane) at this point.

If Ole Miss had listened to their fans and made Admiral Ackbar their mascot, maybe they would have known that Vanderbilt & Jacksonville St. had the potential to be A TRAP! (Seriously, Ole Miss is terrible and Ackbar is a better choice than the moronic suggestions they’ve come up with so far to replace Johnny Reb. of course, the stupidity & lack of creativity of Ole Miss’s student body is how we got stuck with the lame “Magnolia Bowl” title between LSU & Ole Miss /rant.)

Brian Kelly is not a good coach, or at least not from what I saw Saturday night. A bizarre 4th & 1 decision to go for it in Notre Dame territory late in the 4th quarter as well as being totally unprepared for an obvious fake field goal situation makes me question Kelly. Coming from a fan who puts up with Les Miles’s gambles, that’s saying a lot.

Ok, time for the rankings! Read the rest of this entry »


A Tale of Three Videos

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 \AM\.\Tue\.

Ah the exuberance of the Obama supporters just two years ago.  Peggy Joseph was especially fervent in her unrealistic expectations of Obama, but I think it is fair to say that most of his supporters really did think Obama stood for Hope and Change, whatever that campaign shorthand was supposed to mean.

After two years of an economy in the tank, and government running the largest deficits since World War II as a percentage of gdp, I think the woman who spoke up yesterday at an Obama townhall speaks for many of Obama’s erstwhile supporters:

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