A blog about thoughts on religion, politics, the occasional intersection of both, and other stuff.
Sunday, May 18, 2003
--In action movies, the black guy is expendable and ies at some point. Well, he actually survives in that piece of crap movie Event Horizon, but Orlando Jones' character makes fun of this point in the fun little movie Evolution.
Why do I bring this up? Colin Powell is the black guy in Dubya: Cowboy-President Action Hero. I've been having this feeling that Iraq was sort of a stepping stone in the "War Against Terror." Iraq, I don't think, was a major player in state-sponsored terrorism. That being said, I think that following a U.N. weapons inspection routine doggedly would have eventually led to war.
My suspicion, which I have stated on several occasions, is that state-sponsored terrorism emanating from the Middle East is not really coming from Iraq, but there's no smoking gun against any other country that the U.S. can take to the world community as justification for military action. Instead, Iraq is a convenient location for stirring stuff up. The invasion of Iraq stirs up anti-American sentiment, causing the foes of the U.S. to become more active and try stuff. Eventually, or so the U.S. hopes, something will happen (hopefully a foiled plot), that will allow tracking down terrorists and taking out a rogue government. A friendly Iraq happens to be a great military asset. The key to the reconstruction Iraq for the Bush administration is the installation of a government that will allow the country to be used as a staging ground against another Arab nation.
Where does Powell fit in? I think we're going to see a globe-trotting Secretary of State. He's supposedly clashing with neo-con members of the administration on policy. He's less in step, so he's more expendable. Let him be the face of the U.S. abroad. He can travel constantly. Wherever he goes, he's the highest profile individual target for terrorist action. And, well, he's the black guy, so he's the expendable one in this life-as-a-movie.
--Just to see who reads this thing. . . news from my life. Haven't told very many people about this, but it was only settled last week.
Starting next week, I will be gone for four weeks, mostly in the Philippines. You'll likely see something in this space over that time, but obviously, updates will be sparse.
I'm mostly worried about my fantasy baseball team. I'm in first place, but I keep getting hit by injuries. Formerly Antonia Alfonseca, Alan Embree, and Milton Bradley. Currently, Tony Armas, Chad Fox, and, most recently, Ray Durham. I picked up Orlando Hudson, narrowly picking him over Ronnie Belliard, to replace Durham. The rest of my lineup (with two utilty slots) are: Mike Piazza, Raul Ibanez, Eric Hinske, Aaron Boone (who qualifies at ss), Austin Kearns, Endy Chavez, Tim Salmon, Hee Seop Choi, and Milton Bradley, with Terrence Long as my only positional backup.
For my starting pitchers, I went with a high K-rate, youth-oriented foursome, with the aforementioned Armas, Kerry Wood, Javy Vazquez, and Casey Fossum. I picked up Tim Redding off waivers when Armas went down. I've had success with low picks in the bullpen. Right now, my only pure closer is Scott Williamson. Alfonseca lost his closer role to injury and Embree exploded when he had a chance to get decent saves, but I've had success with Damaso Marte, Francisco Cordero, and Jason Grimsley.
I'll just quote one line: "Abortion has hurt women in that it has diverted feminist attention from other issues, particularly those that help mothers, such as affordable child care, comprehensive health care and a living wage."
Sometimes I feel like the Religious Right is trotted out there as a sideshow to deflect attention away from the real work of the Bush/Cheney types.
Or a reasonable equivalent. If I did, I'd take a page out of the current military propaganda and apply it to the upcoming election cycle. I'd have a webpage with a deck of cards featuring Republicans I want to see taken down in the 2004 elections. Each card would feature a humorously modified picture of the individual in question, plus a little factoid concerning something stupid the person has done to annoy me.
Just one question: should George Dubya Bush be the King of Spades or the Joker?
So John Paul II is now the fourth-longest reigning pope. Let's take a look at the top three.
St. Peter is on the list despite not having exact dates for his tenure. It is generally taken to be from 30 or 32 AD or whenever the death of Christ is, until 67 AD, give or take a year, the traditional date for when Peter was beheaded in Rome. Most of the stories of his life are Biblical. Little is written of his time in Rome. Circumstantial evidence suggests he was martyred during the reign of Nero, on an upside-down cross, according to legend, because he considered himself unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus. St. Peter's in Rome was erected on the site where he was believed to be either martyred or buried or both.
Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was pope from 1846 until 1878. He is known for the Syllabus of Errors, which accompanied the encyclical Quanta cura, and for convening the First Vatican Council. He opposed the tide of liberalism that swept through Europe in the 19th century, in part because the unification of Italy ended papal suzerainity. On September 3, 2000, he was beatified alongside John XXIII (perhaps to provide ideological bias), despite charges of anti-Semitism that include the kidnapping and baptism of the Jewish boy Edgardo Levi Mortara and the forcing the Jews, who he once called "dogs of which there are too many present in Rome, howling and disturbing us everywhere," back into the ghettos in 1848, the last time before Hitler that Jews were forced into segregation.
The third pope is Leo XIII, the successor of Pius IX. His main legacy is the 1891 encyclical Rerum novarum, a document so important and influential that John Paul II wrote Laboren exercens on the occasion of its 90th anniversary and Centesimus annus on its centennial, while Pius XI wrote Quadragesimo anno to mark its 40th anniversary and Paul VI celebrated its 80th anniversary with Octagesima adveniens. The encyclical opposed the excesses of both capitalism and communism. A hallmark of social justice, it supported the rights of workers--including the right to human dignity and the right to form labor unions--while denying Marxist confict theory. He is also known as the pope who negotiated an end to the Kulturkampf, for the encyclical Humanum genus, an attack on Freemasonry, and for generally removing the Vatican from conservatism, opening it up to the rest of the world. (1:53 PM)
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