Hey all. I thought I'd have this in on Wednesday, but that's how work goes. So, I'm sending it to you this early early Friday morning.
A little international news to start us up:
Osama bin Laden says he wants to offer us a "truce" if we leave Iraq; previous treaties when there was something close to a Caliphate in the Middle East and North Africa were designed to be broken, thus giving Islamic armies time to re-arm and renew the troops. I don't think we want that. The precedent for this treaty system is the Hudibiyya that the Prophet Muhammad used in dealing with the Jews of Quraysh; he offered a 10-year truce and then broke it to go to war with them again two years after agreeing to it. Fortunately, the Bush Administration has flatly said no. We still don't negotiate with terrorists.
Pope Benedict XVI says that we should not show prejudice towards migrants and welcome them into our communities. We do, unless they decide to come in without making their presence known. Illegal immigration such as this is not a good way to prove you're willing to join a larger society. On Relevant Radio's "Drew Marianni Show" last Friday, Drew and his guest (a judge from Vermont whose name escapes me at the moment; the Relevant Radio website doesn't show it.) implied quite a bit that listeners who didn't sign on to letting immigrants walk in without some kind of identification or anouncing a reason to be in the US were racist. Yet even in the Bible does it say that people should follow earthly laws: Matthew 22: 16-22, Mark 12: 12-17, Luke 20: 20-26, and even 1 Peter 2: 13-17 show that earthly laws ought to be respected to maintain civil order. How does Mr. Marianni reconcile this with his belief that all should be welcomed without question? If it's just being good neighbors, then we've got to re-establish that good neighbors do not walk into each other's homes unannounced. What do we do to ensure that these laws are followed? Perhaps we should require immigrants on any guest worker or permanent resident status to attain US Citizenship to gain full economic and political benefits. This is a very extreme measure that I'm throwing out for discussion, but it's out there all the same. This is our land, and our laws must be obeyed to maintain order.
Now for a little national fun:
The Alito hearings continue and it sounds like the Democrats are gearing up for a filibuster. Hopefully the "Gang of 14" will remember their promise and use the "nuclear option" that could end the filibuster process in the Senate. All this posturing on C-Span looks like little more than a chance to excoriate a Senator's political opponent by belittling their nominees to various offices. Excessive use of invective towards a person's supposed character is also very troubling. This first part I can excuse to a point; politics is as much a dogfight as a fencing match. The second part is less excusable. Question their decisions, question their research and methods, but questioning their personality and personal lives is ludicrous. It becomes even more ludicrous when someone like Ted Kennedy is attacking someone for lack of moral fiber. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the 22nd Amendment shouldn't be extended to apply to Senators and Representatives.
And shall I give you a little news on the academic front you might like? SIU is hosting a Conservative Diversity Week. Yes, you heard right. An email sent to me by Professor Jonathan Bean has a rundown of what's going on:
On the "Coming Out," here are the panelists. As moderator, I will ask them three questions and then we will have an open Q&A. Here are the questions:Me, I wish I could make it to SIU for the fun. If anyone's going, send me a report and pictures!
1. Why are you a conservative?
2. What discrimination do you face as a conservative on campus?
3. Do we need more conservative "voices" contributing to "diversity" on campus? (This could open discussion of the silencing or neglect of conservative viewpoints).
PANELISTS (Note, I have removed their emails to protect their privacy)
Jason Arnold -- Ph.d. student, gay conservative.
Johnny Teresi -- USG Vice-President
Warren Bowles -- College Republican officer
Bryan Wise -- African American conservative, recent History graduate, SIU staff.
Bryan Lewis -- Engineering major.
Raul Ayala -- Cuban American businessman, emigre from Castro's Cuba. Formerly on City Council and critic of university's exchanges with Cuba. According to the diversity mantra, SIUC is to reflect the community, which it doesn't do well politically. For that reason, I chose Raul and we are inviting SI columnist, radio show host, and blogger Jim Muir to be the keynote speaker. The SIU College Republicans are also honoring this ex-coal miner-turned-commentator with an award.
Major points (Dr. Bean's):
1. Conservative are a large, unseen and marginalized minority on campus.
2. Conservative students face a "hostile environment" in the classroom, partly due to a complete lack of political diversity among the faculty. To use diversity-speak, conservative students "lack role models," and the few of us here work overtime to be responsive.
3. Conservative students come in every race, color or creed. Minority conservatives report special stigmatization (called "Uncle Toms," etc.). Conservative gays face a similar "double discrimination."
4. The phrase "Coming Out" originated with the gay rights movement. The goal was to make the invisible visible. Conservatives are a large bloc of "invisible men and women."
5. Also inspired by the coming out rhetoric, the slogan of the event might be "we're here, we're Right, get used to it!"
Oh, did I also mention that Ward Connerly is going to be there, the guy who wants race-based preferences to disappear? The guy who just happens to want equal footing when it comes to opportunities? Equality of opportunity, not equality of result and all that? Yes, he's going to be there. That should be quite wild.
As far as sports go, I shall not speak of the loss this Sunday by Indianapolis Colts, nor of how bad things happened the last time they played the Steelers in a playoff game in 1995. Nor shall I speak of how fate once again gave the victory to Pittsburgh. I shall say this, though. In the immortal words of every Chicago Cubs fan out there: WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR. NEXT YEAR FOR SURE. Still, though, 14-3 ain't bad.
So, there you go, folks. Have a great weekend.