Monday, July 30, 2012

The Death-Penalty and the Aurora Shooting.

Jonah Goldberg - a fellow Conservative with whom I usually agree - has issued me a challenge. Well, OK, not me personally, but death-penalty opponents in general.

In a recent column, Goldberg writes,

"Death-penalty opponents are fairly mercenary about when to express their outrage. When questions of guilt can be muddied in the media; when the facts are old and hard to look up; when the witnesses are dead; when statistics can be deployed to buttress the charge of institutional racism: These are just a few of the times when opponents loudly insist the death penalty must go.

But when the murderer is white or racist or his crimes so incomprehensibly ugly, the anti-death-penalty crowd stays silent. It’s the smart play. If your long-term goal is to abolish the death penalty, you want to pick your cases carefully.

He continues,

"But the simple fact is, if the death penalty is always wrong, it’s wrong in the politically inconvenient cases too."

His point being, that we death-penalty opponents will remain silent in the case of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater mass murder. We will remain silent because James Holmes is "a man many Americans are aware of, informed about, and interested in". Goldberg wants to hear "why the inequities of the criminal-justice system require that his life be spared".

My opposition to the death-penalty comes from my belief in the teachings of the Catholic Church, statements made by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

2266 The State's effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. the primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.

2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor.
"If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
"Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'[John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56.]

Jonah Goldberg is not a Catholic and this argument will probably not convince him; I've heard the arguments of the pro death-penalty folks and I find their arguments unconvincing as well. It's doubtful that I could explain to Goldberg why Holmes deserves to live, just as it is equally doubtful that Goldberg can explain to my satisfaction why Holmes should be executed.

I am not suggesting that Holmes go unpunished. Life without parole isn't a "slap on the wrist" by any means. Surely, we can seek justice without vengeance.

One of Holmes victims, Pierce O'Farrill has stated publicly that he forgives the shooter.

"Of course, I forgive him with all my heart". "When I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him--he's just a lost soul right now."

Contrast that with the words of Jordan Ghawi, brother of one the 12 people killed in the massacre, who believed he might try to avenge his sister's murder. Explaining why he did not attend Holmes' first court appearance, Ghawi said,

"I was afraid that I may try to get my hands on that man."

Is it likely that Ghawi will find peace after Holmes execution? I don't think so.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Goose Egg.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Don't Forget........

Don't sure to eat at Chik-fil-A today. Not only will you be supporting the company, but you're making a statement against so called - same sex marriage.

You might also piss- off Dana Milbank in the process. Kinda like a three-fer.

Monday, July 23, 2012

More on Benito Menino.

More on Mayor Benito Menino:

Mayor plays chicken.

We’re trying to imagine a big-city mayor telling the world that he refuses to grant government permits to a restaurant business whose CEO happens to support gay marriage. The condemnation of such an abuse of government power would be swift, overwhelming and appropriate.

But Boston Mayor Tom Menino apparently doesn’t see any problem using the power of his government office to issue threats to a private company whose CEO does not happen to share the mayor’s own personal or political views.

After depriving one Boston neighborhood of a much-needed grocery store because he opposes Walmart’s labor policies, Menino is now turning his attention to Chick-fil-A, proclaiming that it will be a cold day in hell before one of its restaurants will be allowed to open near Faneuil Hall.

“You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population,” Menino huffed, adding, “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies.”

Their “policies,” as far as we can tell, include 1) selling chicken and 2) closing on Sundays because their religious CEO believes his employees should spend time with their families.

What Menino really objects to are CEO Dan Cathy’s personal beliefs as well as his public statements in opposition to same-sex marriage. He may also object to the money that Cathy’s private foundation has donated to Christian and pro-family (anti-gay, to opponents) groups.

None of that amounts to a discriminatory company “policy.”

But in Menino’s city (and yes, if he can withhold permits on a subjective basis, it is indeed “Menino’s city”) the punishment for failing to toe the progressive line is banishment.

Northeastern University students recently talked administrators out of putting Chick-fil-A in a student center based on the same concerns over Cathy’s beliefs. But that was the decision of a private institution. This kind of threat from a powerful government official is not only an embarrassment, if carried out it would likely violate Cathy’s constitutional rights. We wouldn’t blame Chick-fil-A and its prospective landlord if they decided it wasn’t worth the fight; clearly that is what Menino is hoping, too.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wednesday is National Eat at Chick-fil-A Day.

Chick-fil-A has received grief from some for the company's support for traditional marriage. Boston's dictator mayor, Thomas "Benito" Menino has has vowed to keep Chik-fil-A out of his city. Bostonians will not even be given an opportunity to boycott the company.

It's a shame, really. I think Menino would look great dressed in a cow costume.

In response to this and other attacks on the company, Mike Huckabee, along with the National Organization for Marriage has declared this coming Wednesday, July 25, 2012 as National Eat at Chick-fil-A Day .

It looks as if I'll be having lunch at my local Chik-fil-A Wednesday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

No Easy Buttons.

When tragedy strikes, it is tempting for some to seek simple solutions to complex problems. After the horrific massacre in Aurora, Colorado, many of the Left immediately called for tighter gun control laws.

In a recent opinion piece, E.J. Dionne wrote,

"So let’s ask ourselves: Aren’t we all in danger of being complicit in throwing up our hands and allowing the gun lobby to write our gun laws? Awful things happen, we mourn them and then we shrug. And that’s why they keep happening. "

For folks like Dionne, the answer is simple - our nation's gun laws "increase the likelihood of mass killings of this sort" so, we need more laws.

I can't explain why James Holmes "entered the movie auditorium wearing a ballistics helmet, bullet-proof vest, bullet-proof leggings, gas mask and gloves" or why he "detonated multiple smoke bombs, and then began firing at viewers in the sold-out auditorium" killing at least 12 and wounding nearly 60 others. Whatever his motive may turn out to be, he could have killed just as many without the use of firearms. Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people and wounded almost 700 people using ammonium nitrate fertilizer. In 1927, Andrew Kehoe killed 38 elementary school children, two teachers, four other adults in what is now know has the Bath School disaster. According to one report, James Holmes "did such a good job of booby trapping his apartment and arming it against intrusion that police are now saying they may send robots in to diffuse all the weapons. Obviously, had he been unable to obtain firearms, Holmes could have used home-made bombs in his attack on the Aurora, Colorado movie theater.

I don't have an answer. There are no simple solutions and anyone claiming the contrary doesn't know what he's talking about.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In the Nick of Time

Yesterday, I serendipitously went to The Curt Jester and came upon the following post.

"David Athey the author of “Danny Gospel” let me know that his book is free today on Amazon for Kindle/Kindle App users. This is a quite excellent first novel. My original review.
His latest novel is “Christopher”, which I reviewed here."

Needless to say, cheapskate that I am, I went to and downloaded the novel. Good thing. I went back today and the price has gone up to $5.38.

I've read about 20%. I was nearly put off by the first few pages, but hung in there. Now, I'm glad I did. It took Athey a bit to get into the groove, but the novel picks up. I'll write a bit more about the novel when I've finished reading it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another 3 &1/2 Time Outs Tuesday.

Is it already Tuesday?

1) Last April, when I posted a piece about Egypt's "Farewell Intercourse Law", I honestly believed that Islam had finally reached the limits of depravity by legalizing sexual intercourse between a man and his dead wife.

2) Now, I don't know if this particular update is worse, but it is certainly a step closer to Hell.
When the original "underwear bomber" Abdullah Hassan al-Asiri decided to hide explosives in his rectum in an attempt to assassinate Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, he "had fellow jihadis repeatedly sodomize him to widen his anus in order to accommodate the explosives— all in accordance with the fatwas [religious edicts] of Islamic clerics".

3) At least Islamic scholars recognize that following Mohammed makes you weird.

An old joke comes to mind.........
Why are camels known as ships of the desert?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Condi for Veep?

After the rumors began circulating on the Internet that Mitt Romney was considering choosing Condoleezza Rice for his Vice Presidential running mate, most conservatives, with the notable exception of Sarah Palin, felt the choice would not be acceptable.

From,Pro-Lifers: Pro-Abortion Views Disqualify Condi Rice as Romney VP. One blogger wrote, Condi Rice? Absolutely Not! Mark Levin tells Romney to stop playing it safe and to “pick a damn conservative”.

This list of naysayers goes on and on.

I have to admit, I don't like the idea of Condi Rice, her pro-choice views don't sit well with me. In a WAPO opinion piece,Jonathan Bernstein says Romney isn't likely to pick Rice anyway.

But, suppose he were to do the unimaginable....... would Romney's selection of Condi Rice prevent me for voting for him? Unlikely. I'm not going to vote for Obama and not casting a vote for Romney is a vote for Obama.

To paraphrase former Democratic Governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards, the only way Romney could lose my vote would be if he were caught in "bed with either a dead girl or a live boy". Judging by the state of this country, Romney would probably get most Democrats to cross-over vote for him should he be found in such a predicament.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rolling Stones Gather at Site of First Gig.

From Rolling
In honor of their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones returned to the site of their first gig, London's Marquee Club on Oxford Street, for a group photograph on Wednesday.
According to the same article,The band debuted as the Rollin' Stones at the Marquee Club on July 12th, 1962. The lineup was Mick Jagger (vocals), Brian Jones (guitar), Keith Richards (guitar), Ian Stewart (piano), Dick Taylor (bass) and Tony Chapman (drums.)

Only 2 of the original 6 made it.

Those six aren't the originals that we old timers remember. That group consisted of Jagger, Richards, Jones, along with Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman. As their current drummer, Watts made the get together. Bill Wyman left the group years ago. I guess he wasn't invited to the anniversary since he wasn't a Stone until after their first gig.

"The Stones always really considered 1963 to be 50 years, because Charlie [Watts] didn't actually join until January," Keith Richards told Rolling Stone earlier this year. "We look upon 2012 as sort of the year of conception, but the birth is next year."

The following video comes from 1964, performing a Buddy Holly tune.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

3 1/2 T.O.Ts.

It's the 3rd day of the week, so it's time again for 3 1/2 Times Out Tuesday as hosted by LarryD.

Recently, I've posted some thoughts concerning my pessimistic outlook towards our once great nation. Over on the The Distributist Review/ Dr. Thaddeus Kozinski has done a much better job than I ever could in describing liberalism and the god of the American state with a two part article. [The Tradition of Nothing Worship and The Tradition of Nothing Worship II]

A few days ago, I read an article at The American on Tolstoy's Anna Karenina . I was reminded how much I enjoyed reading the book more than 30 years ago and felt like it was due for a re-read.
I started re-reading it last night. I'm certain I'll enjoy reading as much, if not more, this time around.

Before I forget, I want to wish LarryD a belated Happy Birthday. According to his 3 1/2 Time Outs Tuesday post, he received a Trek 7100 Hybrid bicycle; he also said he hoped to ride 300 miles this summer. Go easy on the picaken, Larry.

One of these days, I'm going to go through all the 3 1/2 TOTs I've posted and add a new label......not today, however. Too tired.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Church of America.

I'm not sure how this fits in with all that "separation of church & state" stuff.

Washington Post writer, Robert J. Samuelson wrote recently,

"If you asked my true religion, I would not answer anything practiced in a church, synagogue or mosque. My real religion is America, and I feel privileged that, among the world’s 7 billion people, I am one of the roughly 300 million lucky enough to be an American."

Obviously, he truly means what he says.....he used the word "transcend" twice in his article. A sure sign of religious fervor, if ever I saw any. Odd, though however; he refuses to participate in the religion of America's #1 sacrament - voting.

I haven't been able to find a reference for the exact quote, but I recall, a few years ago, when Pope Benedict XVI visited the Auschwitz concentration camp he was asked by a reporter how viewing the site made him feel as a German. He replied that he was a Catholic first and a German second. That's very much how I feel about being an American - I'm a Catholic first and an American second.

When we get near the 4th of July holiday (or maybe Holy Day for Samuelson) we always come across articles critical of the U.S. as well as articles critical of the criticism and reading some of those criticisms is what prompted me to write this. I'm not exactly pleased with the condition of the country. The downward spiral has been going on for some time. Some would want to place the blame on Obama. He does share his portion of the blame, but he is more symptom than cause. I can hardly believe that the American people were so ignorant and ill informed as to elect Obama in 2008.

Things will only get worse, should he be re-elected this year.

Are the American people so far gone as to re-elect this walking disaster? Unfortunately, they probably are.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday.....the Independence Day Edition.

What would Tuesday be without a 3 1/2 Time Outs Tuesday post?

Following Larry's lead, I'm posting photos of Catholics who have made this country what it is.