Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Diocese of San Diego Is Bankrupt -- reports that the San Diego diocese plans to file for bankruptcy, according to Bishop Robert Brom. It will be the fifth diocese to do so, joining Tuscon, Portland (Oregon), Spokane, and Davenport (Iowa). Bishop Brom claims that it is a necessary move for fiscal responsibility, while critics claim that it is intended to delay court cases.
(5:41 AM) 0 comments

Kenneth Eng Hates Blacks --
A columnist at a San Francico weekly has caused a stir aafter writing a column called "I Hate Blacks".

His reasons include:

-- "Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us."

-- "Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years."

-- "Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians."

That's a fairly....interesting opinion about Christianity.
(2:54 AM) 1 comments

Can There Be a Conservative Literary Theory? --
Scott Eric Kaufman of The Valve writes about it on his blog Acephalous
here and here.

Here's his conclusion:
In this respect, I think the multiculturalist have cornered the cultural traditionalists, forcing them into a position either visibly incoherent (the false universalism of Shakespeare) or spectacularly racist (Dead and White, That's What's Right! Dead and White, That's What's Right!). The latter's utterly untenable in this political climate; the former's philosophically incoherent and intellectually dishonest in the extreme. They may have people whose goals seem consonant with theirs, like Harold Bloom, but were they to read Bloom, they'd find him equally objectionable to the critics they'd hoped he'd replace.
(1:46 AM) 0 comments

Sorority-Style Politics --
Over at TPM Cafe, Jessica Valenti wonders if the feminist movement doesn't want too many new members so that the old guard can maintain ownership by accepting only people like themselves.

Similar things have been said about the African-American community. And I suspect that once the unifying cause of the Iraq War and the Bush presidency is no longer there, we'll see the same with respect to the left blogosphere.
(1:30 AM) 0 comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Why Russell Arben Fox Is Not Pro-Life (But Not Pro-Choice Either) --
Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns, and Money points to this Russell Arben Fox post at In Medias Res in which he discusses his ambivalence over abortion.

I don't think that it is at all obvious that abortion should be legal or that abortion should be illegal in the way that slavery and racial discrimination against blacks are wrong. From this viewpoint, I'm a bit more tolerant of people on the other side because they're not evil, mustachioed movie villains willingly choosing to do bad.

I found Fox's excerpt of an email from Crooked Timber blogger Harry Brighouse interesting:

[I should tell you about] my experiences at abortion clinic defences in the late 80's and early 90's. I used to be much more confident than I am now that abortion was permissible, and was in a milieu which participated in the defences--I must have gone to 15 or so in my time. I HATED them for several reasons. The most striking were these--I hated being in a demonstration in which the police were on our side; I hated being in a demonstration in which my side was visibly composed of wealthier more privileged people than the other side; and I hated the fact that I knew that, my socialist contingent excepted, the people on my side were less committed to my ideals of social justice than many of the leaders of the other side; who were often leading lay Catholics and Catholic priests whom I'd seen at meetings and demonstrations in support of our Central America work and helping to organise community support for strikes of low paid workers (this was in Southern California)--you never saw the NOW or NARAL people at such things.
(2:02 AM) 0 comments

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What Kind of People Would Do This? --
The Catholic News Agency reports that someone duct-taped CD players under the pews of a New Mexico church, setting them to play obscene recordings in the middle of an Ash Wednesday Mass.
(7:44 PM) 0 comments

The Anglican Debate --
The LA Times gives the basics of the gay debate within Anglicanism.
(7:06 AM) 0 comments

Jews Are Democrats --
Speaking of Matthew Yglesias, he notes that American Jews are fervently opposed to the Iraq war.

Among Jewish Democrats, a whopping 89 percent say the war was a mistake. The rest are on Joe Lieberman's staff and will probably be switching parties soon.

In the words (well, word) of Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, "Heh."

Over at MyDD, Jonathan Singer also looks at the data.
(6:44 AM) 0 comments

Who Lost Cambodia? --
Matthew Yglesias takes on one of my pet topics, the right-wing canard that liberals lost Cambodia to the Khmer Rouge (a sub-argument of "liberals lost Vietnam"). People tend to ignore that the U.S. bombing campaign helped destabilize Cambodia and smooth Pol Pot's rise to power and they tend to forget that the Vietnamese are the ones who kicked out the Khmer Rouge, leading to a war with China which harmed Vietnam's infrastructure.
(6:31 AM) 0 comments

Friday, February 16, 2007

St. Robert De Niro? --
The Guardian reports that Opus Dei is interested in a biopic of its founder, Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. The producers have already expressed interest in De Niro and Antonio Banderas.
(9:56 PM) 0 comments

Thursday, February 08, 2007

A History Lesson From Joe Trippi --
In the wake of the John Edwards blogger brouhaha, Joe Trippi (remember him) posted this comment to a MYDD diary:

That is not exactly how it went down. What happened was that someone leaked the Kinnock tape on Joe Biden and it took Biden out of the race. The Press then went on a spree looking for the culprits who leaked the tape and did Biden in-- they invariably reported rumors that it was Shrum, Caddell or me -- all from the Gephardt campaign. This thing got so crazy that Gephardt said that no one on his campaign had anything to do with it -- and if he found out that someone on his campaign did have something to do with it he would fire them. Bill Carrick who was Gephardt's campaign manager called all of us into his office handed each of us a quarter and told anyone who did it to go to a payphone and call him so that he could stop Gephardt from looking like he was a liar if it turned out that one of us actually did it. I went to the 7-11 and bought a pack of gum. The problem for Sasso (who I have always looked up to since our days together on the Kennedy campaign) was that Dukakis kept saying the same thing -- that no one on his campaign did it -- and if they did and he found out about it -- he would fire them. Evidently no one on the Dukakis campaign did the Bill Carrick "here's a quarter -- if anyone here knows why Michael should not be saying this -- go to a payphone and call me right now" trick -- Dukakis had been particularly sanctimonious about his campaign being far above that kind of "ugly" campaigning -- it was beneath him and his campaign -- and that he could be counted on to fire anyone who would stupe so low -- and it was a shame that Gephardt did not hold himself and his campaign to the same high standard. Then it turned out it was the Dukakis campaign and Sasso -- and Dukakis really didn't have much of a choice given everything that he had said. This was a much differenct situation than that faced by Edwards.

These are the kinds of really obscure facts that rattle around in your head if you work in enough Presidential campaigns.

That's some pretty interesting stuff there.
(12:49 AM) 1 comments

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My Take on Amanda Marcotte --
In response to this post on Street Prophets:

She is the kind of person that Barack Obama was talking about when he mentioned people uncomfortable with religion, who want faith left at the doorstep to the public square.

This isn't a sentiment that I came up with in reaction to this brouhaha. This is something that I said last year.

In the past, I criticized the shameful way in which Saddam Hussein was executed, saying that a lynching of a guilty man is still a lynching.

However, the other side is true. A guilty person who is being lynched is still a guilty person. Because of where the criticism is coming from and because Amanda Marcotte is a blogger (or "one of us"), the temptation on the left is to circle the wagons and defend her. In cognitive psychology, there is confirmation bias, the tendency to be more accepting of arguments supporting one's own side, and disconfirmation bias, the tendency to be more critical of arguments opposing one's own side.

I'm not 100% convinced that these accusations are totally without merit, but I haven't gone through a comprehensive reading of Pandagon (and I might never, but I am considering it). I am a bit doubtful that anyone on the left has bothered with a thorough reading in the way that they would if there was a controversy concerning a conservative blogger. From my casual reading of the blog, I have come away with a negative impression of her because of her views on religion, and I should have a few comments on the blog that prove that I have read some posts in the past.
(10:11 PM) 0 comments

A Woman Bishop in Cuba --
Via Yahoo! News

The Rev. Nerva Cot Aguilera was named suffragan bishop on Sunday during a service in the Cuban city of Matanzas, said Robert Williams, director of communications for the U.S.-based Episcopal Church.

'Her appointment is a wonderful reminder that in some nations, leadership is primarily about gifts for service and not about gender,' said U.S. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who took office in November as the first woman to lead the church."

Two questions.

What is the proper form of address for a female Episcopalian bishop?

Did Cuba exert any pressure on the choice of bishop in the same way that communist China tries to control Catholic episcopal appointments?
(3:27 PM) 0 comments

Doesn't This Sound Like the Religious Mafia? --
The Christian Science Monitor has the headline New organization aims to unite five Christian 'families'. In all seriousness, it's about a new ecumenical organization, Christian Churches Together in the USA. Here's a snippet about past attempts of ecumenism:

Ecumenism has a lengthy history in the United States. The National Council of Churches was founded in 1950 (a forerunner in 1908), and includes mainline Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican, and African-American denominations. But the Catholics never joined, and Evangelicals opted for their own National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), which made a rule that members could not also be part of the NCC.

The NCC has emphasized social justice issues, and many Evangelicals have criticized them for being too liberal. The Evangelicals focused on bringing people to Christ and on matters of personal morality.
(3:25 PM) 0 comments