Essay / Culture

Everything that Matters in the News II

I. The Senate goes on talking about not talking as much. “Moderate” (see spineless) Republican and Democrat Senators are now meeting to preserve the right to go to more meetings. I feel thankful for this bit of news. Heaven knows the Republic could not stand it if Senators voted on issues instead of talking about voting. One can only hope that this leads to more Lincoln Chafee speeches. We all eagerly anticipate the collection of his speeches “The Conscience of a Something or Another: Why America Needs More Bloviating and Less Leadership.”II. Torture is wrong. Sadaam is a wicked man, but a Christian polity cannot just act against him in any way.However, it seems to me that the present fuss over a photo of Sadaam in his underpants is more about the speed of cameras and technology. They are now small, mixed into harmless technology, and essentially impossible to regulate.I know that at any talk I give a student blogger is now placing notes, my voice, and soon my image live on his web site.It appears that someone in the prison took unauthorized photos of Sadaam doing what prisoners have to do. That was wrong and it goes against prison policy. The fact that it could happen does not seem shocking given present technology. One hopes the photographer will be caught and punished.But isn’t the Brit paper that ran the story really guilty of hypocrisy? Aren’t they the ones who have really exploited the situation? They could have run a story on the photos. . . but they did not have to publish the worst on the front page. “Just look at what those bad Americans are doing! No, really, really LOOK! Taking pictures LIKE THIS ONE is wrong.”III. MSNBC writes about stem cells here. Ethical opposition is not mentioned until the second page after breathless “dreams” about benefits. Will we do anything to try to live forever? Note as well that the writer is stuck in the “only religion” mantra of the secular press. Religion does not contain knowledge. Victor Davis Hanson (one of my favorite writers) also gets stuck in this fifties stereotype proving that this lie is still believed by a few on the right. Hanson manages to generalize about the Middle Ages, Islam, holy books, and the Enlightenment all in a few paragraphs in a way that is false, but widely believed.Everyone should slowly put down their copy of an Isaac Asimov sci-fi book and read some history of the philosophy of science. Proper religious knowledge advances science. It does not detract from it.IV. I saw Star Wars last night. It is much better than the first two moves of this last trilogy, but that is like saying that Bill Clinton was a better president than Jimmy Carter. It would have been hard to be worse. In my theater the romance scenes (!) actually drew loud laughter from the hard core fans. They are that absurd.The special effects are too busy. Basically the trailer for Narnia got as much applause in the theater as this film. It looked really, really good.Like National Treasure, Star Wars is a good guilty pleasure. It is rotten, but fun. Why be a snob? However, as a fan I had hoped for moreV. Phillip E. Johnson is making rumblings about another book. Thoughtful people everywhere rejoice!VI. Go read the Pepsi Code of Conduct. Who writes these things? Much of it is boiler plate corporate speak that is for what it for and against anything that everyone is against. The rest is leftist pap put out (one assumes) in the hope that Calvin College professors and other left of center folks will not stop protesting the President and turn on them.My favorite page is this one.Here the company hopes all employees will feel “comfortable and respected” regardless of individual. . . talents! Is this how they developed the Presidential Speech calling America the “middle finger?” Did the highly skilled President decide to speak like a nervous junior high lefty in order to make the less talented in the company feel respected? Or what?Is anyone allowed to take a firm stand for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in these things?

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