Thursday, February 26, 2009

Baseball Trivia

Which baseball player who played for only one team, has the most HRs?

Answer here.

Time for a reminder

The time will come when future generations look back in horror that we ever allowed the aborting of babies in a similar fashion, though with a greater abhorrence, to the way we look back in horror at the time when our nation considered others to be less than human because of the colour of their skin. The difference will be, to my mind, that those who compromise with evil now are guilty of a crime of greater magnitude than those who compromised a century and a half ago. Every political compromise should be taken with the goal in mind of eventual elimination, not of reaching a permanent consensus in the middle-ground.

If it ain't broke...

Yeah, I never found Dr Holsinger's (4th down the page) explanations of why it was better to use BCE and CE very convincing either. And consider that I went to an avowedly Christian school.

Standards?

Why would I bother to defend my standards when I can merely obfuscate via hypocrisy by ridiculing you for having standards at all?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Turn that phrase.

My youngest brother is a pretty smart guy. And, while everything he said in this post was pretty good, the phrase that really caught my attention was "grow some common sense, and see [FDR] for who he was - the economic equivalent of Jim Jones". It's magic!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Men of culture

"The man of culture finds the whole past relevant; the bourgeois and the barbarian find relevant only what has some pressing connection with their appetites.
...
Henry Ford's observation that history is bunk is a perfectly proper observation for a bourgeois industrialist, and it was followed with equal propriety by another: 'Creeds must go.' Technology emancipates not only from memory but also from faith."
~ p. 112
Ideas Have Consequences

And no one wants that.

I ventured back the Reading Room for a bit tonight. (Hope that wasn't a mistake; I can easily lose a lot of time reading posts there.) And one post struck me. I've discussed various things with Beren IV previously, and while I think he's quite intelligent, he seems to fail to grasp some of the things I argue because he doesn't approach from the proper perspective.

Anyway, he wonders about the believability of a story that doesn't have more people die from objective hazards. That is to say, why do people in LOTR not die just from bad luck or the accumulation of chance? I didn't read all the replies, and because I didn't, I'm posting my thoughts here instead of there.

There is a very simple answer, which is that it is necessary for the plot that the heroes not die at the wrong times. Even in true stories, we don't read about the people that die at the beginning of what would be the tale. Because then there isn't any tale. No one wants to read a 20 page book about a hero who falls, unluckily, to a chance arrow just as he sets out. Even in real life we only read the stories of men who lived long enough to accomplish something.

So when we start a book, we begin with an expectation that the hero, or one of the heroes will survive throughout or at least until right to the very end of the book. So much suspension of disbelief is required to even get the story going.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My favourites are the vending machines

An aptly named website with the nastiest as well as the most enticing unhealthy foods you can imagine. And some you probably wouldn't have thought of yourself.

Honorifics

"Honorifics are mere flummery, to be sure, but one must not overlook the truth that they represent an effort to distinguish between men and men of parts. When not abused, they are an explicit recognition of distinction and hierarchy, a recognition that cannot be dispensed with where highly organized effort is required."
~ p. 160
Ideas Have Consequences

Sunday, February 08, 2009

You'd think I'd be happy,

But I'm not.

A-Fraud. A-Roid. Pay-Rod. Whatever you want to call him, it probably fits now. Alex Rodriguez was caught using steroids in 2003. Whether he's been using them since, who knows.

As much as I dislike him, as much as I dislike the teams he's played for since leaving the M's and as unlovely a person as he seems to be, I don't feel at all triumphant or happy about learning he's a cheat. Frankly, I feel sad. I love baseball and to see it overwhelmed by such nonsense is depressing. Say it ain't so.

Say it ain't so.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Timelessness of Ideals

"Only the sheerest relativism insists that passing time renders unattainable one ideal while forcing upon us another."
~ p. 52
Ideas Have Consequences

"I'm a politician."

"Which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies, I'm stealing their lollipops."

A couple points on our new president; he seems to be a little too used to having the press roll over and fawn every time they're in his presence. He also seems to have the traditional political disdain for adhering to campaign promises.

I suppose it's partly because of the change of presidents and because of the change of party that's caused an increase in my political blogging. But also, I think that this particular president wasn't ready for primetime, as it were. In addition to the other people and problems on this list, it's come out today (or maybe yesterday) that Hilda Solis' (Secretary of Labor nominee) husband recently paid off tax liens over 16 years old. How many tax cheats is President Obama going to nominate? And, oddly, the only tax cheat to get confirmed was the one who will overee the IRS.

And, most seriously of all, we're already seeing a detrimental effect on our foreign prestige and ability to deter our most vicious enemies from attacking us.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Evil, evil radio.

"The primary effect of radio is to disorder further our picture of the world by diminishing the opportunity for genuine selection (in its system of programs it has achieved a 'rationalization' which results in the wildly irrational). One skims through a newspaper, practicing a certain art of rejection; the movie he may stay away from, but the radio is insistently present; indeed the victims of this publicity are virtually hunted down. In few public places do we escape it, and our neighbor's loud-speaker may penetrate the very sanctum of our privacy. In our listening, voluntary or not, we are made to grow accustomed to the weirdest of juxtapositions: the serious and the trivial, the comic and the tragic, follow one another in mechanical sequence without real transition. During the recent war [World War II] what person of feeling was not struck by the insanity of hearing advertisements for laxatives between announcements of the destruction of famous cities by aerial bombardment? Is it not a travesty of all sense to hear reports fraught with disaster followed by the comedy-variety with its cheap wit and arranged applause (this applause, of course, tells the listeners when to react and how and so further submerges them in massness)."
~ p. 102
Ideas Have Consequences

Guess who hates you.

One of the things that gets very little play in the media is how intolerant Hinduism is. There is actually a large and growing problem of Hindus massacring their Christian neighbors. I meant to post this several months ago, but didn't; that's why the link is to an article from October.

But, when you pray,...

An interesting and insightful article from First Things about public prayer by Christians for events not strictly Christian. I'm 99.99% in agreement, I think, but the conclusion is one that I have difficulty endorsing wholeheartedly.

When I was much younger, surely no more than 17, I was asked to give an opening prayer at an event of which I was a participant. Without getting into details about the event, when I asked what sort of prayer was expected of me and received the reply that it was to be general and ecumenical, I noted that I would not be willing to alter the way I prayed and would invoke the name of Jesus. After a bit of surprise on the part of the person asking me, he withdrew the offer to have me pray. Frankly, at the time, I felt more relief than anything. Not only was I nervous about how my prayer would have been received had I held to my convictions, but I was very nervous about praying in front of several hundred people.

I'm not sure about this

Theodore Dalrymple is one of the most pessimistic men alive. But that doesn't mean he's not right.

Nothing is perfect

As much as I enjoyed the Super Bowl, I was disappointed that NBC saw fit to include Danica Patrick in the shower, but declined to show an innocuous ad celebrating the potential of human life. Now, let's be clear, NBC is perfectly within their rights to decline to show any ad of which they disapprove. Before anyone who wanders across this post gets their panties in a twist about free speech or somesuch, I'm not saying NBC should be required to show the ad. I'm saying they could and should have shown the ad.

If you haven't clicked the link, do it. It's the best pro-life ad you'll have ever seen.

I, II, III, IV, V, VI

The Steelers won their 6th Super Bowl yesterday, setting a record.

Super-cool.