Friday, January 30, 2009


In a refreshing show of unity, House Republicans voted against the new stimulus bill, a bill that the Wall Street Journal calls "a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years" (article here).  

All of the Republicans voted against it.  Every last one.  Impressive.

While I do not hold strictly to the ideals of either left or right, I believe that we are indeed in an economic crisis right now, one partly of our government's creation.  As such, now is the time for reasoned discussion and bridge-building (both literal and figurative).  Bi-partisanship is not simply a nice idea, it is a neccesity during these times.

To say we haven't been seeing much bipartisanship in the House would be an understatement.  As Peggy Noonan aptly noted:

Consider the moment. House Republicans had conceded that dramatic action was needed and had grown utterly supportive of the idea of federal jobs creation on a large scale. All that was needed was a sober, seriously focused piece of legislation that honestly tried to meet the need, one that everyone could tinker with a little and claim as their own. Instead, as Rep. Mike Pence is reported to have said to the president, "Know that we're praying for you. . . . But know that there has been no negotiation [with Republicans] on the bill—we had absolutely no say." The final bill was privately agreed by most and publicly conceded by many to be a big, messy, largely off-point and philosophically chaotic piece of legislation. The Congressional Budget Office says only 25% of the money will even go out in the first year. This newspaper, in its analysis, argues that only 12 cents of every dollar is for something that could plausibly be called stimulus.

What was needed? Not pork, not payoffs, not eccentric base-pleasing, group-greasing forays into birth control as stimulus, as the speaker of the House dizzily put it before being told to remove it.

Read the entire post here.

Right she is.  It is ironic that House Democrats, upon gaining ascendency, promptly used their newfound power to shut down fairness rules that had been instituted for their benefit, and put together the only piece of legislation that could manage to unite every last splintered Republican into a single, angry body.  Well done, Nancy.

I mean, they just went nuts.  And, even though the bill passed, the Republicans sent a clear message: throwing a "we're in the majority" party is inappropriate right now.  We've got a sick nation to mend.

If Obama ever wants bipartisanship and change, he's going to have to see his House majority for what it is: a bloated good-ol'-boys network intent on solidifying their hold and pleasing their motley collection of interest-groups.    

Current attitudes must change.  The House should not be the playground of the current ruling party.  We're involved in serious times.  We should take this situtation seriously.  Obama must recognize that change in Washington often involves stomping members of his own party.  He's the president, it's his prerogative. 

So here's my advice.  Stomp Nancy Pelosi.  Threaten to veto any legislation that reeks of pork, no matter who came up with it.

But then again, this is Obama.  Chicago politics is the name of his game.  To that, I say: watch out, my pragmatic Mr. President.  Enjoy your majority while you can, because at this rate, it won't last.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Post about Cats

I am allergic to cats. And I have a cold.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Doing Your Part

We all know what is happening today. We cannot underestimate the hope that so many (millions) of Americans have in this one man. He, in their eyes, is the embodiment of greatness and virtue. Remarkably, he gives them, postmodern and jaded Americans, the idea that there still is greatness and virtue. What can our response as Catholics be, in light of the heavy burden of the truth that we carry?

First, we must not be dour. We know exactly what we are up against, the slimness of the odds, the gravity of what is at stake. Nevertheless, who can say we are at a disadvantage? Who can say that though Obama fans put their trust in a man and we put our trust in the Son of God, they oppress us? That's why an ad like this one on is an excellent response. It's not that opponents of life have something good that we must tear down in order to show them the light. Rather, they are now looking for brightness and we have to show them that the true Light of the world is much brighter than they expect.

Second, we have to pray. Please join me in praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day at 3:00 (the hour of Mercy) for our new president. We won't succeed by bringing down God's justice upon us. We don't want that for ourselves, so we can't want it for others--who can stand blameless before the face of God? Let's pray, then, that for the sake of the Sorrowful Passion of Jesus, God will have mercy on all of us, most especially President Obama.

Finally, as Fr. Fasano reminded us in his homily on Sunday, though we pray in the knowledge that all depends upon God, we should also throw ourselves into action as appropriate to our state in life. Therefore, we should most definitely keep writing (or start writing, as the case may be) our elected officials and representatives both on the state and federal levels. They need to know our support for truth, and for the moral law. Moreover, we should participate in events like the March for Life if possible. Many of us already do pro-life work for a living. If we do not, we should not hesitate in contributing financially to these organizations and keeping ourselves apprised of the news about our ailing culture.

What say you?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Don't Call Me While I'm Driving . . .

. . . in fact, don't call me on my cell at all!

Today on Google News, I saw this article explaining why the National Safety Council wants to ban cell phone use while driving. Overall, I think the reasons are sound. The fact is that driving an automobile is one of the most dangerous things we do, and we do it routinely, every day. It's honestly a life-threatening activity. Why would we want to split our focus, then, between driving and having a telephone conversation?

Some commenters on the article I linked to argue that they might as well ban passengers in the car, as these people cause distraction when the driver talks to them. Well, I don't know about you, but when I'm a passenger in a car I'm sensitive to the driving conditions and the driver's need to pay attention to the road. I "pause" my conversational flow as needed, and don't generally get into deep or engrossing conversations because I can tell the driver should concentrate on his surroundings. Usually, the person on the other end of the cell phone can't have the same sensitivity. The problem with this scenario is that choosing to talk & drive doesn't just impact you but also affects the fellow drivers around you. I'm going to make a conscious effort not to be distracted and not to talk on my cell while driving.

In the oddly enough category, just this morning a friend emailed me an article about the health risks of cell phones in general. I choose not to link to that article, because it contains nudity (!) and also because I doubt the authenticity of the research. Still, some people still worry about whether cell phones are completely safe. It's a question people are not asking right now, and sometimes those are the questions most worth examining.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's a Guy Thing

Contrary to the claims of radical feminism, there are a lot of things in life that girls simply don't have figured out. Certain facets of day-to-day existence puzzle and mystify us, though only the most feminine of us dare to express our bewilderment. A better course of action, surely, is to fall back on the handy expression, "It's a guy thing." This phrase can explain just about anything that ladies do not understand. Why do I have to have my tires rotated? It's a guy thing. Why are some people ambidextrous? It's a guy thing. Why is electrical tape black? It's a guy thing. Why do we have a complex system at work of owing "the universe" lunch using Whopper Jr's as currency? You get the idea. The "guy thing" concept can bring peace and equanimity to one's life without the complications and headaches that further knowledge can introduce.

Another area of widespread confusion is the issue of the tube of toothpaste. Many people have asked themselves the following question: What is the most logical thing to do with a tube of toothpaste? The answer, clearly, is carefully to roll up the bottom of the tube of toothpaste as you use it, so as to get as much out of this precious commodity as possible. So much for the toothpaste itself. The problems occur when another person is introduced into the equation. Is it more prudent to insist upon the logical course with regard to the toothpaste tube as such, or to defer to the squeeze-happy person who insists on following an illogical course of action in employing the aforementioned? The answer, sadly for folks whose compact and neatly organized brains delight in order, is to let the toothpaste fall where it may. The person is more important than a $2.99 tube of Colgate. Luckily, I myself have not experienced this scenario; I can squeeze my toothpaste tube from the middle with impunity.