Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The King's growing command (and demand)

Felix Hernandez is on the verge of being the most dominant right handed pitcher in the American League and he is only 23. He is finally realizing just how good his stuff is after four years of hit and miss{1} on his part and he has been one of the few bright spots on the Seattle Mariners during his tenure there. The Mariners had better not even think of trading King Felix, not now, not any time before 2011, and not after 2011{2} either.

Notes:

{1} Mostly hit but plenty of miss at times too.

{2} He is right now scheduled to become a free agent after the 2011 season.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Points to Ponder:

A fairly large sector of public opinion considers the Catholic Church, despite her former contributions to culture, very narrow-minded in this domain. It thinks she is dominated by attitudes of fear and apologetic reflexes of defense, and that she is on the outskirts of the cultural growth of modern times. The memory of anti-modernistic reactions in the areas of philosophy, history, and the sciences constitutes a wound that has not healed, a source of distrust.

Don't we have a tendency to want to circumscribe the domain of culture too narrowly, and to recogniuze its legitimate autonomy only reluctantly. Don't we practice a kind of dogmatic imperialism that leads us to make quick and empty judgments on all research findings as though faith gave us competence in every field? Don't we identify the theological affirmations of a given age with Christian truth as though theology consisted in lazily and unquestioningly repeating theses established once and for all? Haven't we minimized the pastoral value of human intelligence, that is, the concern for sanctity in intellectual activity?

Don't we still have a morbid fear of rationalism and the critical spirit without recognizing what is good in them?" [Auxiliary Bishop Elchinger of Strasbourg: Floor Intervention at The Second Vatican Council (circa November 5, 1964)]

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Revisiting the Subject of Indefinite Detainment:

Since there are going to be those who are angered at President Barack Obama for backpedaling on the issue of indefinite detainment, it seems appropriate for me to defend this practice much the way I did when it was practiced under President George Bush. So with that in mind and accounting for the principle that what is right or wrong is determined by objective standards and not by subjective whims{1}, I will in a footnote to this posting{2} reiterate my position on this matter despite not liking the particular president under whom this practice will now be carried out.

Notes:

{1} On the Difference Between Objective Manifestation and Subjective Intention (circa February 27, 2007)

{2} On the Indefinite Detainment Complaint (circa April 17. 2007)

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Acquainted with the Night:
(A Poem By Robert Frost)

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain -- and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
A luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

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Congresspeople to Thank and To Shame:

[Prefatory Note: This was written and published in another medium yesterday. -ISM]

First of all, the easy part is to thank your Republican congresspeople with only few exceptions (I will get to the exceptions shortly). So if the Republicans are not listed below, then call and thank them for taking a stand on this proposed "cap and trade" which even if the "global warming hypothesis was valid{1} nonetheless is highly imprudent to propose when the economy is struggling to right itself. It does not take a brain surgeon to realize that with a struggling economy the solution is not to raise taxes and regulations (the latter of which are a hidden tax increase) but instead to leave things alone or perhaps lighten the burden a little. But lest this appear to be a "thank Republicans and shame Democrats" thread, it is not that simple folks.

For there are also 44 Democrats who took a stand against so-called "cap and trade" and whatever their motivations for doing so{2}, you should thank them even if you do not want to.{3} Remember, if something passes the Senate there will be attempts to reconcile the two bills and another vote in both chambers so it is possible to turn some votes between now and then. But if those who took the stand now are not given props for what they did, they could very well be turned on the next vote in the wrong direction and if that happens, it is not a good thing. So I will now list the 44 Democrats to thank:

Bobby Bright (Alabama)
Artur Davis (Alabama)
Parker Griffith (Alabama)
Kirkpatrick (Arizona)
Robert Berry (Arkansas)
Mike Ross (Arkansas)
Jim Costa (California)
Fortney Stark (California)
John Salazar (Colorado)
John Barrow (Georgia)
James Marshall (Georgia)
Walt Minnick, (Idaho)
Bill Foster (Illinois)
Jerry Costello (Illinois)
Joe Donnelly (Indiana)
Brad Ellsworth (Indiana)
Peter Visclosky (Indiana)
Charles Melancon (Louisiana)
Travis Childers (Mississippi)
Gene Taylor (Mississippi)
Michael Arcuri (New York)
Eric Massa (New York)
Larry Kissel (North Carolina)
Mike McIntyre (North Carolina)
Pomoroy (North Dakota)
Boren (Oklahoma)
Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)
Charles Wilson (Ohio)
DeFazio (Oregon)
Jason Altmire (Pennsylvania)
Christopher Carney (Pennsylvania)
Kathy Dahlkemper (Pennsylvania)
Tim Holden (Pennsylvania)
Stephanie Hersteth-Sandlin (South Carolina)
Sandlin (South Dakota)
Lincoln Davis (Tennessee)
John Tanner (Tennessee)
Chet Edwards (Texas)
Solomon Ortiz (Texas)
Ciro Rodriguez (Texas)
Jim Mathison (Utah)
Glen Nye (Virginia)
Alan Mollohan (West Virginia)
Nick Rahall (West Virginia)

Just make sure you preface your thanks on them voting no for every attempted compromise bill that comes along and that you will be watching to see if they change their vote later on. Now for the Hall of Shame folks. In this you can place every Democratic representative not already covered above but also these 8 Republicans:

Mary Bono Mack (California)
Michael Castle (Delaware)
Mark Kirk (Illinois)
Leonard Lance (New Jersey)
Frank LoBiondo (New Jersey)
Christopher Smith (New Jersey)
John McHugh (New York)
Dave Reichert (Washington)

It really bothers me personally that Rep. Dave Reichart -who as sheriff in King County{4} was a long time member of the Green River Task Force and who spent twenty years chasing (and eventually catching) the Green River Killer- would turn around and endorse another killer in the form of this legislation.{5} But the roll call record does not lie so I am forced to have an abiding disrespect for Reichart now that I did not previously have and lament that Jennifer Dunn had to retire and give up her seat for election which Reichart won a few years back.{6}

Oh and for the representatives who did not bother to vote on this bill, we have two Republicans:

Jeff Flake (Arizona)
John Sullivan (Oklahoma)

and a Democrat:

Alcee Hastings (Florida)

I am not sure what to do with them but at the very least they are elected to make tough decisions so it seems to me they should not be allowed to get away with the "I did not vote for Cap and Trade" when they run for re-election since they also did not vote against it.{7} But anyway, these are the people to thank and the people to whose political futures should roll like heads from the guillotine. So kindly do not forget to thank those who deserve it and shame those who deserve it in the House before turning attention to the Senate who if I am reading things right will not be taking up this issue until after the July 4th recess.

Notes:

{1} Lets just say I am more than just a little bit skeptical to put it mildly.

{2} I say this as someone who has to be on the same side of a vote with Dennis Kucinich for the first time possibly ever.

{3} A proper political stand is one on issues and not personalities and that means even those you personally cannot stand if they do the right thing, to retain credibility in criticizing them for what they do wrong, you must commend them for what they do right.

{4} The largest county in Washington State population-wise.

{5} And yes, this proposal if enacted into law will kill the struggling economy.

{6} For those wondering how conservative Jennifer Dunn was, she named her eldest son (who is involved in state political movements himself) "Reagan Dunn."

{7} John Sullivan is legitimately excluded in my mind because I have learned he is in rehab (after a relapse) and could not make it to the vote.

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