Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Deroy Murdock vs. Republican Overspending at National Review Online

I will sum up my thoughts thusly on this piece: PREACH IT, BROTHER MURDOCK.

We, the Republican Party are supposed to be the party of fiscal responsiblity. We, the Republican Party sent our congressmen to Washington in 1994 to curb excessive spending by the federal government. Where are the congressmen we elected to promote fiscal discipline? What's happened to our party? The highway bill's tacked-on riders are ludicrous. If anyone should lead the way back, let it be Illinois Republicans.

Congressmen LaHood, Hastert, and Kirk, I'm looking at you. Go back and clean house. Illinois has enough hogs, we really don't need any more pork. Spending money on some things is okay, but don't get stuck on stupid when you've got the checkbook. That's my money in there, too.

Friday, September 23, 2005

National Review Online on Banning Gays From the Catholic Clergy

Over at The Corner, NRO's group blog, Kathryn Jean Lopez discusses the effect of Pope Benedict's ban on gay candidates for the priesthood. She also links to a New York Times article that goes in-depth about the ban. Kathryn thinks it's a stop-gap measure to start the seminaries over with fresh slates of candidates, but I disagree. I think there's a serious problem here that the Catholic Church isn't seeing. Banning gays from the priesthood will do two things: further reduce an already-small pool of applicants, and it will also further alienate a group that deserves God's love as much as anyone else.

Like I've discussed with various people before, I see homosexuality like this: it's a test of two groups. The first group is the homosexuals themselves. They're tested by God to see if they can avoid the temptations that such a condition brings. It's also a test of the heterosexual community as well to accept people whose lives are defined by something so inexplicable as who a person chooses to love. It is a test of us to love our neighbors despite the differences we cannot understand. (Mind you, their acceptance also depends on the personality of said people, too. If someone is being obnoxious, then their sexual preference is irrelevant to our correcting their lapse in good taste.) God puts everything on earth for a reason. He would not allow people with differing sexual orientations to be here if there wasn't a reason behind it.

The Catholic Church, my church, is doing wrong here. As parishoners, as members of the laity, we must tell our bishops to reconsider this decision and to discuss it further. Our Church is supposed to be universal. This decision reduces the size of that universe.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"Stuck On Stupid"

Duane at Radioblogger has the transcript of a press conference where Lt. Gen. Russel Honore coined that phrase. This is a thing of beauty. A reporter kept going back to a question which the general had already answered, leading to General Honore uttering the phrase that is quite descriptive of the press corps. Read the entire post, as the general cuts through all of the spin and tells the press exactly what's going on and what he intends to do to keep people from being caught in a second hurricane.

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit for bringing this to everyone's attention.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Anime-zing, The Review

One of my friends and I decided to visit the Anime-zing exhibit at the Lake County Discovery Museum in Wauconda, Illinois last Saturday.

For the parents who don't know what anime is, this is a really good introduction to the genre of Japanese animation. Younger kids will enjoy seeing a lot of the more well-known series that are marketed towards the 10 to 14 crowd, such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Sailor Moon. The older kids might enjoy the exhibits dealing with giant robots (such as Gundam), romance (Sailor Moon and Escaflowne) or magic (Witch Hunter Robin and Hellsing). To be fair, many of the shows I mentioned have two or three of the elements I listed within them. The "voice actor" studio is a cute touch and gives kids a chance to be one of the characters from the series Inu-yasha. That's a lot more fun than it sounds, actually. Sadly, you can't keep a copy of your acting talent.

The only item I saw in the exhibit that might cause some concern for parents is a small display about a series called Gravitation. The gay romance between the main character and his manager might be construed as promoting a gay agenda. As I haven't watched the series, I can't say. Watching a cartoon about a pop band isn't my idea of fun. That part of the exhibit is small and easily avoided, so parents can steer their children away from it. No, there are no pictures of guys kissing or anything like that, so any anime fans who follow the shounen-ai (literally "boys love," as in romantic relationships between young men of the same age) subgenre will be very disappointed. They should be disappointed, too, as they make us regular anime fans look positively normal. There is also no discussion of hentai (literally "abnormal" or "perverted"), the blatantly pornographic side to the genre. I'm quite glad for that, since most of it is NOT for the eyes of anyone with good taste.

The history of the genre is glossed over a little bit, as the exhibit starts with the old tv series Astro Boy (aka Mighty Atom), Speed Racer, and such. As a historical exhibit, the setup is lacking a lot of information. As a general discussion of genre, it's not bad.

Finally, the exhibit ends with a display of things you'll find in every anime convention these days: cosplayers (from "costume play"). Part costume contest, part halftime show, the cosplayers take their fabulous costumes and put on little skits to entertain the crowd. The only jarring discrepancy I saw in this exhibit was that there was NO MENTION WHATSOEVER of Anime Central. Anime Central is Chicago's convention, and there was nothing there about it! That's a bad publicity move on ACen's part. Ohayocon and Otakon, both in the eastern US, get more publicity than our homegrown convention! I don't know if theres a spat between ACen staff and the exhibit designer, or if the designer didn't do anything to contact the group that maintains the convention business, but this is a huge missed opportunity for both groups to cross-promote each other.

In summary, I liked this exhibit. It's a bit shallow in parts, but overall is a good introduction to the genre. It's probably more informative for parents than it is for kids, but your kids will love you for it if you take them. I suggest that anyone who has the chance to go should go and see this exhibit before it closes.

And yes, horror of horrors, I am indeed an anime fan. I have been since I first saw Speed Racer and Battle of the Planets on KPLR-TV out of St. Louis back in the fog-shrouded past of the 1970s. I was 3! What, you think I'd be reading Dostoyevsky at 3? (Of course I was! I was reading the Sanskrit edition at 3, thank you very much.)

Still though, check it out before it's gone.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Just Say No to Fake Native Americans

The repugnant academic wastrel known as Ward Churchill will be speaking at DePaul on October 20. The meeting is at 5:30pm, so I won't be able to make my way to protest. Unlike those who are further to the anarchist and socialist troublemaker end of the politcal spectrum, I have a job and the attendant responsibilities of said job. Those of you who have time off, or vacation, or are retired should go help the College Republicans at DePaul protest this shameful charlatan. It's bad enough that they get rid of Thomas Klocek for challenging students who support Palestinian terrorism, but to bring this guy in?

DePaul has a Master's program I like, but things like this make me glad that their university is off my list of potential schools.

Thanks to Thomas Cieselka for the information.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

MarathonPundit: One Year Since Klocek

John Ruberry has a great post recapping the fight between DePaul professor Thomas Klocek and DePaul administrators over his confrontation with students about the ongoing madness between Israel and the Palestinians. As of right now, Professor Klocek is still trying to settle this issue. Between this and the SIUC History department debacle, Illinois doesn't seem to be a friendly place to conservative-minded professors.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Singapore AF Flies Katrina Relief Missions

After the tsunami at the beginning of the year, the United States was one of the first responders to provide disaster relief to Indonesia. Those countries are now returning the favor. This is what friends do, yes?

Some have provided money, and countries like Singapore have provided aircraft and crews to help us in our time of need. This republic isn't just a good spot for a tropical vacation, it's also a good ally to our own republic. Allow me to give praise where it's due to our neighbors helping us out.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Chicago Tribune news : Rehnquist Dies

Whoa.

One of the premier conservative judicial elders has died. This gives President Bush a chance to cement a conservative court for the time to come if he can find conservatives along the lines of Scalia and Thomas. I hope that he does.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Lake County Discovery Museum Presents Anime-zing!

This is one of those things I never expected to see in a small semi-rural museum. So I am going to advertise it, since the US needs more anime fans. The Lake County Discovery Museum is on Route 176 in Wauconda between Route 12 and Route 60-83. Go and see this exhibit. I know that I will.