Tarry for the Nonce

January 26, 2005

Impôts Internationaux

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 2:13 pm

So Jaques Chirac is not content to oppress the citizens of his own country, but now must spread his creepy tendrils abroad:

French President Jacques Chirac called for an “experimental” international tax to help fund the war against AIDS, suggesting it could be raised via a levy on airline tickets, some fuels or financial transactions . . .

He suggested options including: a “contribution” on international financial transactions, a tax on aviation and maritime fuel, a tax on capital movements in or out of countries which practised banking secrecy, or a “small levy” such as a dollar on the three billion airline tickets sold every year.

Oh, dandy. And who would control the distribution of these “contributions,” Mr. Chirac? You? Us? The United Nations? If your intent is to line the coffers of the U.N. with even more money to fuel their rampant corruption, you will surely succeed. If your intent is to discourage international travel and trade, you will surely succeed. If your intent, however, is to bolster the development of third-world countries, you might have more success if you allowed your own citizens the free exercise of religion.

What incredible hokum.


Shall We Sing?

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 10:14 am

Happy Birthday to You!!
Happy Birthday to You!!
Happy Birthday, dear Ma-att!!
Happy Birthday to You!!

. . . and many moooooooooooooore.

January 25, 2005

A Smoking Ban Falls Short

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 1:18 pm

Four employees of a health care company have been fired for refusing to take a test to determine whether they smoke cigarettes.

Weyco Inc., a health benefits administrator based in Okemos, Mich., adopted a policy Jan. 1 that allows employees to be fired if they smoke, even if the smoking happens after business hours or at home.

As a “more-libertarian-than-not” Republican, I support the right of a private company to hire whom they choose, but should they be permitted to regulate what their employees do on their own time? That doesn’t seem right.

January 24, 2005

Mourning the Dead

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 3:00 pm

Would someone please explain to me what the hoopla is over the Catholic Church burying those aborted fetuses?

A Roman Catholic church buried the ashes of hundreds of aborted fetuses Sunday, a day after the 32nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal, drawing criticism that the church was exploiting women’s grief to make a political statement.

A crowd of 250 parishioners prayed as the ashes were buried in the Sacred Heart of Mary Church cemetery, while a handful of protesters gathered nearby holding signs that read, “This church is a grave robber.”

A grave robber? Isn’t a fetus just an overgrowth of unwanted tissue? Would the church have been “grave robbing” if they had buried an excised tumor or a cancerous lung?

Organizers said they wanted to give the fetuses the burial they deserved and provide a place for women who have had abortions to grieve and mourn.

“I think they misunderstand what we’re doing,” service organizer Susan LaVelle said. She said the parish has held unannounced burials twice a year since 2001, but the parish priest agreed to make the burial public this year.

LaVelle said the timing of the service so close to the Saturday anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision was a coincidence.

Well . . . I’m sure that’s not entirely accurate, but why does it matter?

But Kate Horle, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, has said many of Hern’s patients were devastated by the news of a religious service.

They were “devastated by the news of a religious service?” That statement is intriguing in and of itself.

Horle said most of [Dr. Warren] Hern’s patients have fetuses with fatal anomalies. His clinic specializes in “late abortion for fetal disorders,” according to its Web site.

Hern did not immediately return a message seeking comment Sunday, but called the service last week “a cynical exploitation of private grief for political purposes.”

Or, arguably, it was the Catholic Church corporally standing by their moral respect for life. In days of old, it was considered indecent and disrespectful to leave a body unburied. The Catholics consider these little “someones” to be worthy of burial. The common pro-choice understanding of this “biohazard waste” would allow it be disposed of in (approximately) the same manner, sans ceremony. So why do they care?

I am reminded quite forcefully of that scene in the Magnificent Seven when Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen drive the “Old Joe” Indian to the cemetery in a shotgun hearse . . . because the undertaker is unwilling to stand up to the hostility of the town. When asked how long Boot Hill had been an “all-white” cemetery, the undertaker responds: “Since the town got civilized.” I suppose it’s yet another mark of “civilization” that we decide today who is human enough to be buried . . . and who is not.

Going Overboard on Civil Rights

Filed under: Uncategorized — lmwalker @ 2:33 pm

San Francisco may become the first city in the nation to charge shoppers for grocery bags.

The city’s Commission on the Environment is expected to ask the mayor and board of supervisors Tuesday to consider a 17-cent per bag charge on paper and plastic grocery bags. While the goal is reducing plastic bag pollution, paper was added so as not to discriminate.

Heaven forbid that a paper bag should feel discriminated! Personally, I think they should be more worried about those fragile-looking egg shells.

Some Boys Will Never Be Men

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:25 pm

Some Democrats have been accused of taking out their rubber aggressions:

Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann announced this morning that five of the seven men arrested in the election-day slashing of Republican vehicles’ tires – including the sons of two prominent Milwaukee Democratic politicians – have been charged with felonies and will appear in court this afternoon.

So, what else is new? I was about to navigate to the next article and dismiss this as a childish (possibly collegiate) prank . . . and then I noted the ages of these suspects: 32 . . . 25 . . . 28 . . . 35 . . . 20!

And they wonder why there are so many single women my age . . .

Are You S.A.D.?

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 2:20 pm

Did you know that January 24th is the most depressing day of the year?

I don’t suppose I should tell my parents. It’s their anniversary today.

Barbara Boxer, Helpless Victim

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:13 pm

Did anyone else see the Barbara Boxer bawl-fest?

Sen. Barbara Boxer says she is the real victim of last week’s confirmation hearing for Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice, yet continued yesterday to question the national security adviser’s honesty.

“She turned and attacked me,” the California Democrat told CNN’s “Late Edition” in describing the confrontation during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing . . .

The heated exchange between the two women during the two-day hearing began Tuesday during Mrs. Boxer’s question-and-answer period with Miss Rice.

“I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth,” Mrs. Boxer told Miss Rice, who has been President Bush’s national security adviser since 2001.

Miss Rice responded that she “never, ever lost respect for the truth in the service of anything. It is not my nature. It is not my character.”

“And I would hope that we can have this conversation and discuss what happened before and what went on before and what I said without impugning my credibility or my integrity,” Miss Rice said.

Mrs. Boxer yesterday called that response a “good debating technique.”

“When you really don’t know what to say about a specific, you just attack the person who is asking the questions,” Mrs. Boxer told CNN.

Un . . . be . . . lieve . . . able. One does begin to wonder if the woman eever had marbles to lose.

“Be Not Afraid”

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 2:07 pm

Scalia echoes those opening words of the Pope:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Saturday that people of faith should not fear being viewed by “educated circles” as “fools for Christ” . . .

Scalia praised “traditional Catholics” who say the rosary, go on pilgrimages, kneel during the Eucharist and “follow religiously the teaching of the pope,” adding that “intellect and reason need not be laid aside for religion” . . .

“If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

I would argue that such conviction could be extended to all people of all faiths. We should all have the courage of our convictions as we each strive for personal understanding. And we should not be afraid.

A Few Wires Crossed

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 2:00 pm

Forbes reports that the head of Nokia is rather critical of the conservative culture in the United States:

The head of Nokia – the world’s largest mobile phone maker – expressed concern Sunday about disintegrating values in society and an apparent resurgence in conservative attitudes in the United States . . .

“What I’m worried about is that if this disintegration of values continues and develops further, we’ll get a conservative counter-reaction precisely like what has actually happened in the USA,” he said.

“This ultraconservatism, coupled with the elements of the church … which, as we well know, has also supported the current (U.S.) administration, is a powerful counter-reaction to a longtime vacuum of values in society,” Ollila said.

I will admit that his attitude ruffles my feathers in a none-too-attractive way. If the conservative movement is, as he states, a response to a society void of selflessness and basic mores (which he says he abominates,) then what’s the problem?

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