Archive for February 8th, 2012

The Catholic Church Fights Back

President Obama may have picked the wrong fight when his administration announced they were forcing the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives including the morning after pill to their employees. In his unforced error, the President may have awakened the sleeping giant of the Catholic Church and set the wheels in motion for a permanent political shift. From the Daily Mail:

Prominent Catholic leaders across the U.S. have threatened to turn voters against President Obama over his controversial plans to offer free birth control.

The fight is over a provision of the health reform law announced on January 20 that would require health insurance plans — including those offered by institutions such as Catholic-affiliated hospitals and universities — to offer free birth control including sterilization.

According to estimates, there are some 70 million Catholic voters – and many could be posed to vote against the president in the crucial upcoming election.

Catholic League head Bill Donohue said: ‘Never before, unprecedented in American history, for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church,’ CBS New York reported.

‘This is going to be fought out with lawsuits, with court decisions and, dare I say it, maybe even in the streets.’ Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who was promoted to the status of a Cardinal just weeks ago, spoke out about the issue.

‘It’s not about contraception. It’s about the right of conscience,’ he told reporters. ‘The government doesn’t have the right to butt into the internal governance and teachings of the church,” he said.

‘This is not a Catholic issue, it’s an American issue. We’re strong on this issue of conscience, and that’s what’s at stake here.’

Catholic clergy on Sunday called on the faithful to write Congress to protest new birth control rules from President Barack Obama’s administration, stepping up a campaign that began a week ago with denunciations from the pulpit at Masses across the country.

Catholics are traditionally staunchly pro-life despite their tendency to vote for Democrats. But over the past couple of election cycles, Catholics have slowly begun to wake up to the fact that many prominent Democrats who also profess to be Catholics (think John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi) don’t hold the same values as those that the church endorses.

The Catholic Church is rising to the challenge because they realize this controversy is not just about abortion. It’s also about religious liberty. And they are finally realizing that Democrats that they have worked to elect over the past several decades are not their allies. It’s about time.

Things Heard: e207n3

I think we’re going to be doing evening links posts this week. I’m leaving early in the morning each day to beat traffic to get from South of Chicago to North of Chicago to a job site.


  1. Hard to amend, a bug or a feature. I’m leaning toward feature.
  2. Well, that counters conventional wisdom I think.
  3. Gun ownership and demographic opinion movement noted. So were you once “anti-gun” (or are now) and why did you soften your views (or have youfelt any notion to soften your views)?
  4. Of unions and markets.
  5. Geometry and 19th century land reform.
  6. Another way to “hide the decline”
  7. If you don’t think moral trumps legal, that’s just one more thing you’ve got wrong.
  8. On decency and public standards. Should public standards have scare quotes?
  9. Speaking of scare quotes.
  10. On the return from the depths.
  11. So … do you agree? Will Mr Obama blink?

Rusty Nails (SCO v. 52)

Always be wary of customer reviews at online shopping sites
Especially if customers are being offered bribes for 5 star ratings. From the NY Times,

In the brutal world of online commerce, where a competing product is just a click away, retailers need all the juice they can get to close a sale.

Some exalt themselves by anonymously posting their own laudatory reviews. Now there is an even simpler approach: offering a refund to customers in exchange for a write-up.


They said “refurbished”, not “wiped clean”
From Engadget,

Usually, when passwords and personal information are exposed, it’s because someone hacked a company’s not-so-secure system. Motorola, however, managed to put people’s info at risk without such malfeasance when it failed to wipe the memory of a batch of refurbished Xooms.


Tattoos – What happens when/if you grow up?
Or, like the popular philosopher Jimmy Buffet, tattoos are “a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.”


Christians making bad art


If “truth trumps everything”, then does truth also trump faith?
From Revelation Movement,

In November 2011, I visited two classes at a Christian university in North America. I asked both: “How many of you would still believe Christianity if you found out tomorrow that Christianity was not true. That is: God never became a man; Jesus did not die for our sin; or, that he did not rise from the dead?”

Twelve hands went up in each class of about 25 and 45 students. These sincere and devout students had grown up in Christian homes, gone to church all their lives and studied in Christian schools. Some had been in that Christian university for three years! They respected their elders who taught them that Christianity was all about faith with little concern for truth.