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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 05/31/05 08:05:40 AM
A handful of interesting, informative, and insightful articles.
News, editorials, columns, essays, et al.
Mr. Narcissus Goes to Washington: It's springtime, love is in the air, and 14 senators are gazing at the mirror. by Peggy Noonan @ OpinionJournal (ht):
You've heard the mindless braying and fruitless arguments, but I'm here to tell you the facts, no matter what brickbats and catcalls may come my way. Lindsey Graham defied the biases of his constituency to do what was right, not what was easy. Robert Byrd put aside personal gain to save our Republic. David Pryor ignored the counsels of hate to stand firm for our hopes and dreams. Mike DeWine protected our way of life. These men are uniters, not dividers.
How do I know?
Because they told me. Again and again, and at great length, as they announced The Deal. And I believed them, because I am an idiot. Or as they might put it, your basic "folk" from "back home."
Listening to them I thought of some of the great and hallowed phrases of our Republic. "The rooster who thought he brought the dawn." "The only man who can strut sitting down."
I know they're centrists, but there is nothing moderate about their self-regard. And why should there be? I personally was dazzled by their refusal to bow to the counsels of common sense and proportion, and stirred that they had no fear of justified insult ("blowhard," "puffed up popinjay") as they moved forward in the halls of the United States Senate to bravely proclaim their excellence....
Sisters pregnant at 12, 14 and 16. So what does their mother do? She blames the school by Hugh Davies @ The London Telegraph:
Three sisters have each had children while still at school, the youngest at the age of 12.
Jemma, Jade and Natasha Williams, who receive benefits totalling more than £31,000 a year, are raising their babies alone after they became pregnant within three months of each other.
The sisters, aged 12, 14 and 16 when they gave birth, live in Derby with their twice-divorced mother, who holds the education system responsible for their plight....
The New York Marxist by Ralph R. Reiland @ The American Spectator:
It looks like the New York Times thinks we've strayed too far from paying proper respects to the central tenets of Marxism.
The whole ball game, as Karl Marx painted it, was nothing more than a class brawl between the rich and the poor. Or as Frederick Engels and Marx wrote in the "Manifesto of the Communist Party," first published in 1848 in London, "The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles."
In the Marxian view of economics, a rising tide doesn't lift all boats, and entrepreneurs and investors aren't viewed as job-creators. The relationship between Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his multimillionaire programmers is judged to be as intrinsically exploitive as the relationship between a master and his slave, as inherently repressive as the connection between peasants and the nobility....
High Noon at Sunrise Rock: The ACLU sues over a cross honoring fallen soldiers and cashes in. by Christopher Levenick @ OpinionJournal (ht):
.... The Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976 specifies that anyone bringing an even partly successful civil-rights suit may have the defendant pay all legal fees for both parties, a discretionary award that is routinely granted. Such fee-reversals are not permitted to successful defendants. Congress meant for the law to help citizens with little or no money, but since then wealthy and powerful organizations have perverted that intention. They use the specter of massive attorney fees to force their secularist agenda on small school districts, cash-strapped municipalities and, now, veterans' memorials. According to Rees Lloyd, a former ACLU staff lawyer, such litigation is "manifestly in terrorem," intended to terrify defendants into settling out of court.
And what if the defendants don't knuckle under? For advocacy groups that use staff or volunteer lawyers as plaintiffs' counsel, the result is pure gravy. If they lose their cases, they have lost no money. If they win, defendants pay attorney's fees at the private sector's market rate, which the advocacy groups can keep for themselves.
Working to amend the Attorney's Fees Award Act is Rep. John Hostettler, a Republican from Indiana. Yesterday, he reintroduced the Public Expression of Religion Act, under which plaintiffs could still ask the courts to prevent governmental endorsement of religion but could no longer soak the public for the privilege of being sued.
By eliminating the financial incentives for advocacy groups to take on trivial church-state cases, the measure would actually help restore the civil-rights law to its intended purpose. Equally important, it would signal that Congress is exercising its duty to correct the judicial branch when it goes astray of the Constitution....
John Paul II will long be remembered as the greatest pope since the Reformation. His successor, Benedict XVI, may well turn out to be the harbinger of a new reformation. I say this despite the fact that the selection of this particular pope was a surprise to many.
Several years ago, John Allen, the biographer of Joseph Ratzinger, listed four reasons why the controversial cardinal would not be chosen as the new pope: He lacked sufficient pastoral experience; he was another non-Italian European, and two in a row would not be likely; he was too conservative; and he was too old. In fact, he turned 78 on the weekend prior to his election.
The last time a man of comparable age was selected to succeed a long-serving pontiff was in 1958, when Angelo Roncalli succeeded Pius XII as John XXIII. To the surprise of many, the "good pope John" proved to be far more than a mere caretaker. He opened Catholicism to the wind of the Spirit by convening the Second Vatican Council....
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