Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mao Ornaments?!

Marriage Centrally Involves Commitment to Self-Sacrifice

That's my understanding of it, and I think it transcends both religion and culture. What do you think? Seems to me if more people believed this about marriage before they got married, there would be a whole lot less divorces in our society.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Test Post From iGoogle

Hey, I might actually start blogging again if I can ever tear myself away from Facebook.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Phantom Evil

Conservative blogger Kathy Shaidle recently described swine flu as the Loch Ness Monster of diseases. I'd similarly say the same thing about enhanced interrogation of terrorists, e.g., waterboarding, with respect to anti-"torture" moralists in the Catholic blogosphere.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Is Torture Always Evil to the Catholic Church?

Here is the sole entry that I can find in the Catechism that expressly says anything about torture:
2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity. Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.
Let's assume for the sake of argument that something like waterboarding is always torture, regardless of how it is administered (we, the U.S., apparently give prior assurrance to the person being waterboarded that he will not be allowed to drown, though he might feel that way).  Even with this presumption, I'm at a complete loss as to how the above from the Catechism is in any way run afoul or violated if the purpose of waterboarding a terrorist is to extract detailed information about an attack that said terrorist has threatened to be imminent, e.g., Khalid Shaikh Muhammed and the L.A. Library Tower.  Because we're talking about a future event that has been promised to occur, the information being sought from the terrorist cannot be logically regarded as a confession. 

Seems to me that Catholic opponents to interrogation by pain infliction are going to have to come up with a better argument than an assertion that the Church has declared torture to be an intrinsic evil, regardless of circumstance.  It just isn't true, as underscored by a plain reading of the above quoted passage from the Catechism. 

Update: Tom McKenna refutes the dubious claim that Pope John Paul II declared "torture" to be intrinsically evil in the encyclical letter Veritatis Splendor.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stop the Bad Faith Argument

It's to be expected of the mindless Liberal Left, but I'm seeing far too many otherwise thoughtful conservatives, particularly those who are Catholic, haphazardly throwing around the word "torture" to describe CIA interrogation techniques, e.g., waterboarding, which entail an infliction of pain to the person being interrogated. Even more annoying is how these opponents to interrogation by pain infliction try to support their position by comparing it to the intrinisic evil of abortion.  

The ridiculousness of comparing an admittedly extreme interrogation technique like waterboarding to abortion is perfectly illustrated in this 2006 Catholic Answers piece by Fr. Brian Harrison. If waterboarding is morally comparable to anything, at least from the standpoint of the Catholic faith, it would be to something like capital punishment or the death penalty. Opponents to interrogation by pain infliction who throw around the "torture" label in a preemptive attempt to cut off debate would be well advised to remember this, lest they want to be regarded as making an unserious, bad faith argument.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm Still Blogging

Just doing it in 140 wordscharacters or less, and in the right hand sidebar.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Incoherent Ravings of a Prop. 8 Opponent (Answer the Question!)

Starting last night and going into part of today, I got into a running "debate" on Twitter with an anti-Proposition 8 advocate who goes by the username @joconor. Suffice it to say, @joconor, like so many leftist ideologues, wasn't much interested in fact or reason as he kept repeating the fallacies that Prop. 8 expressly discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation and actually forces people to do things on penalty of legal sanction or prosecution. Emblematic of @joconor's penchant for mindlessly filtering everything through an ideological prism, or maybe @joconor just can't read, is his repeated non-responsive answers to my partly rhetorical questions of whether he would support enacting laws which protect bald people from discrimination (bald folk, after all, don't choose to be or go bald):
Me: Well, God mad me bald (ed: my somewhat flippant response to @joconor's unsubstantiated assertion that God makes gay people gay). Should I have legal rights given to me, by judicial fiat, on that basis?!

@joconor: You should not not be excluded from civil rights on the basis of being bald.

Me: You didn't answer the question. Should there be a law granting legal protection on the basis of baldness?

@joconor: I would not support a law discriminating on the basis of baldness anymore than i would sexual orientation.
I swear, it was like talking to someone who didn't understand English.

Update: I included a parenthetical to the title of this post in order to more accurately reflect what it's about.

Update 2: A clear dipsh!t who thinks "logic" consists of unsubstantiated assertions and disregard of fact and reason.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Path which Led a Protestant Lawyer to the Catholic Church

I'm sure I must have been told who the first governor of California was when I was in grade school many moons ago, but I only just discovered that Peter Hardeman Burnett was a Catholic convert. He even wrote a book about it, which you can read/download for free here. (h/t)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Notre Dame May Have Finally Decided to Stop Being Catholic

I am a big USC football fan, and so I was a little disappointed to learn yesterday that Manti Te'o, a highly recruited and prized high school football player from Hawaii, decided to play for Notre Dame and not USC. This disappointment, however, is infinitely minor in comparison to my disappointment with Notre Dame, and the seeming primacy of importance it places on football over its Catholic identity and foundation.

Because he is Mormon, Manti Te'o may very well be taking a leave of absence from Notre Dame after his freshman year in order to embark on a religious mission; a mission which entails proselytizing a Mormon faith that the Catholic Church does not deem to be theologically Christian. Should Te'o leave on a mission and be allowed to later return on full scholarship, I just don't see how Notre Dame can escape the charge that it effectively supported the proselytizing of a non-Catholic/Christian religion. Of course, maybe Notre Dame just doesn't want to be Catholic anymore.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

G@ys: The Most Socially Privileged "Victims" in America

On reading the required textbook for the marketing class I'm taking, I came across the following bit of information about self-identified homosexuals in the United States:
Compared to the average U.S. consumer, respondents who classify themselves as gay are over 10 times more likely to be in professional jobs, almost 2 times as likely to own a vacation home, 8 times more likely to own a notebook computer, and 2 times as likely to own individual stocks. (Laura Koss-Feder, "Out and About," Marketing News, May 25, 1998, pp. 1, 20.
So how bad do individuals with homosexual orientations really have it here? Not bad at all, unless you're one of those incredible idiots who not only equates sexual orientation with race, but thinks that not being able to designate an otherwise legally recognized civil union as "marriage" is a denial of a human right.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stay Close to the Soul

That's the slogan for Dewey Weber International, a small Southern California-based company that primarily makes and sells surfboards. The marketing class I'm taking for my MBA program has been "hired" by Dewey Weber to put together and present a plan to help expand its business and clientele. There's a really fascinating story behind Dewey Weber, and the possibilities for marketing its products and name brand are numerous. The fact that this class project involves surfing should make it a fun endeavor.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Obama May Select Kathleen Sullivan to be Solicitor General

As reported by Bloomberg. (h/t) Sullivan, who is apparently a lesbian (natch), is a former dean of Stanford Law School. I'm really only posting this news item because it affords me the opportunity to mention the relatively amusing fact that Sullivan, a graduate of Harvard Law, failed the California Bar, i.e., law licensing, Exam in 2005 (she passed it on her second try in 2006).

In case you're wondering, I passed the California Bar Exam on my first try right after graduating from a no-name law school in 2001. On average, over 60 percent of first time takers pass.