4 days ago
According to the ACLU "Christmas haters" everything referring to Christ in public has to go. But try as they might, they can't take the spirit out of Christmas, something this group is in dire need of. Boy talk about selfishness!
And not to be outdone, Macy's has joined in the movement to take Christ out of Christmas, in favor of Happy Holidays, and Season's Greetings. Man I get steamed up enough when people dare to put a big X in front of MAS. Abbreviation indeed!
The Constitution can be read front to back, sideways, upside down, and nowhere does it read there needs to be a separation of church and state. Good grief! The framers would have been very dense or dumber than a box of rocks, to put separation of church and state in the most "intentionally" misunderstood document, and then proceeded to have a nation built on God and in every aspect of their lives.
I find it ironic, when laws can be passed making it mandatory for drivers and passengers in a car to wear seatbelts, while women can choose to have their babies killed in the womb. I would much rather see people having a choice whether or not to wear seatbelts in a car, above the choice to "snuff" out the lives of innocent babies who had nothing to do with their conception.
Where are you ACLU when you need to protect unborn children? How many lawsuits have you filed on behalf of 45 million babies who have been slaughtered since Roe V. Wade?
Since I am filled with the Christmas Spirit . . . I am going to wish all ACLU card-carrying members a very Merry CHRIST-mas, and a New Year void of prosperity . . . at least in court cases challenging the rights of Christians to practice their religion freely.
"I don't think getting the New Testament with your newspaper is forcing anything on anyone," said the Rev. Gaylord Hatler, pastor of First Christian Church, a Disciples of Christ church in Colorado Springs. "If we're going to celebrate diversity, then all of us should be able to celebrate everyone's position. But it seems that it's O.K. to be anything these days but Christian."
Me: I hate flying.
Co-Worker: Me too. I won't fly unless I absolutely must. I don't like flying because who knows what sort of record a plane has had. How old is it? Has it had any accidents?
Me; Well, it couldn't have had too bad an accident or else it wouldn't be around anymore.
CW: Yes, but planes get into accidents all the time, but the media doesn't report it because they are so common.
Me: What kind of accidents are you talking about?
CW: Well, not big crashes because that is all that the media covers, but other accidents.
Me: Hmmmm... um, well the only thing that keeps me flying is I tell myself how safe it is to fly.
CW: No, it isn't.
Me: It is safe to fly. There hasn't been a major American airline crash in three years. And 45,000 people die every year in car accidents. (For 2003, it was 43,000.)
CW: Yeah, but that is because so many more people drive every year. So it is skewed.
Me: Even if more people drive, it is 45,000 deaths to zero over the past three years. Whatever way you cut it, it is about 135,000 deaths to nothing over the past three years when you talk large jets. How can you say driving is safer than flying?
CW: I don't care what the numbers are, you can make statistics prove whatever point you want. I don't believe that flying is safer than driving. If anything, I'd rather fly in a small prop plane.
Other Co- Worker: What? Those are so unsafe! Those are the planes that crash.
CW: But those planes that crash are the ones flown by amateurs.
Other CW: That isn't true. You think that that pilot in the Dick Ebersol crash was an amateur? No way.
CW: They're mostly flown by amateurs and that is why they crash.
Me: Those small planes crash all the time and I don't think that most of them are flown by amateurs but I don't know. And the media doesn't make a big deal out of them because only 5 or 6 people die at a time. I see what you're saying though. When I fly, I feel fairly safe as long as the ground is only like 2,000 or so feet away. I feel like if the plane broke up at 2,000 feet, I could land comfortably on a roof and roll off or something. I know it is completely ludicrous but I guess it is my way of making myself feel better even though I know that the most dangerous parts of a flight are takeoff and landing.
CW: No, they're not mind tricks I'm playing on myself. It is the truth. If a big plane has problems, it is so big that it will automatically fall. But one of the small planes can glide all the way to safety.
Me: Come on, you're kidding.
CW: No, really.
When he retires, he said, he wants to work at the school, maybe as a child psychologist, definitely as the baseball coach.
"Teachers should be paid enough so that parents don't feel they need to give gifts to teachers and teachers don't feel they need to accept them."
Now that Spacey's dream has come true, viewers have the chance to see a two-hour film with little film sense, about a phenomenally selfish entertainer who was a prick to pretty much everyone, played by an actor who's 15 years too old for the part and who insists on doing all his own singing and dancing even though he's not very good. To quote Dallas Observer columnist Robert Wilonsky's observation about Vanilla Ice during his ganja-and-dredlocks phase, "The kid's got balls of steel. Too bad they're rolling around in his head."
Darin was a graceful dancer, and his singing boasted spot-on rhythm and an easy mastery of phrasing and pitch; Spacey dances like Pee-Wee Herman on a hot plate, and his off-pitch, rhythm-free singing is so lackluster that if he wasn't playing Darin and singing Darin's hits, you would never be able to guess whom he was imitating.
Shawn Patrick Smith, the lawyer for Green, said Wednesday that his client was being singled out. "I can count 50 or 60 people who are throwing stuff," Smith said. "We're going to fight until blood comes out of our eyes. We're going to stop at nothing."
The players, he added, are "in a very, very difficult situation."
"They're not protected by anybody, they're standing there alone, defenseless and nearly unclothed," Burdick said.
"Bernie Kerik arrived at the World Trade Center minutes after the first plane hit," Mr. Bush said. "He was there when the twin towers collapsed. He knew the faces of the rescuers who rushed toward danger. He attended the funeral of the officers who didn't come back. Bernie Kerik understands the duties that came to America on September the 11th."
Bonds told the grand jurors that he had given Anderson a $20,000 bonus and bought him a ring after the 73-home run season. He also bought the trainer a ring to commemorate the Giants' 2002 World Series appearance. When a juror asked why the wealthy ballplayer hadn't bought "a mansion" for his trainer to live in, Bonds answered:
"One, I'm black, and I'm keeping my money. And there's not too many rich black people in this world. There's more wealthy Asian people and Caucasian and white. And I ain't giving my money up."
But abortion is a non-issue here - perhaps the best example of the more civil tone of the debate over religion and state. Here, it seems less an argument than a very long conversation.
"I don't think the situation is so bad," said Rocco Buttiglione, an Italian governmental minister, a rigorous Catholic and a friend of the pope who has become something of a lightning rod on the issue of religion in Europe. "I think we can talk."
Conservative politicians like him and the Vatican lament the decline of values and religion, some wondering whether Italy and Europe have lost touch with their Christian roots at a time when, as some see it, the West is facing a deep challenge from Islam.
Mr. Buttiglione was rejected last month for a top post in the European Union for his opinions - private, he says, and thus distinct from any public duties - that homosexuality is a sin and that women would be better off married and at home.
But many of his general views, to American ears, can sound almost liberal. In an interview, he spoke of the complexities of the abortion debate, how even unwavering anti-abortionists like himself need to understand the difficulties of asserting the rights of a fetus against those of its mother.
"I have one rule, the rule of liberal society, which is the rule of freedom," he said. "I respect your freedom and you respect mine. Within this, we can talk."
"Everybody thinks that the pope is the only moral figure in my country as far as war and social justice go," said Emma Bonino, a leader of the Radical Party, who spearheaded the campaign to legalize abortion in the 1970's. "But on personal behavior, meaning sex, meaning divorce, meaning motherhood and pregnancy, people frankly do not care."
Mr. Hougland of Other Music explained: "The writer for Spin makes more money, but the Pitchfork dude has way more power. If you look at the media and the blogs, it’s the music version of that."
Nothing illustrates the point better than two recent records: Funeral, by the new Canadian band the Arcade Fire, and Travistan, by indie darling Travis Morrison. About two months ago, Pitchfork reviewed Funeral and gave it a rave. Writer David Moore emoted, with the personal intensity and creative hyperbole that’s a hallmark of PF scribes: "Their search for salvation in the midst of real chaos is ours; their eventual catharsis is part of our continual enlightenment." Funeral earned the high mark of 9.7 on the site’s numerical rating system, where 10.0 is the top and 0.0 the bottom. Almost immediately, it became impossible to find Funeral in a New York City record store.
"Without Pitchfork, I can’t imagine that all the hype around the Arcade Fire would have happened," says Mr. Hougland. "It’s totally Pitchfork; it’s not even worth speculating about. It’s possible that they would have gotten that popular, but it would have taken a lot longer." Merge Records, the North Carolina–based indie label that put out Funeral, sold out their initial printing of the record and now have pressed an additional 60,000 to fill demand. Tickets for the band’s November show at the Bowery Ballroom sold out weeks before the event, a rare occurrence for a group with one hard-to-find record on its first headlining tour.
On the flip side is the dreaded 0.0, most recently awarded to Travis Morrison’s Travistan. Mr. Morrison had formerly found favor with Pitchfork as frontman of the D.C. art-rock quartet the Dismemberment Plan; in 1999, the D-Plan’s Emergency and I was voted Pitchfork’s No. 1 record of the year. The review of Travistan was so spiteful, it was almost as if Mr. Morrison had been trashed simply for going solo. Chris Dahlen wrote: "I’ve never heard a record more angry, frustrated, and even defensive about its own weaknesses, or more determined to slug those flaws right down your throat." In the wake of the piece, a skepticism about Travistan took hold, with some college-radio programmers—who normally would have been pushing a much-anticipated solo record from someone like Mr. Morrison—making excuses for why it wasn’t in heavy rotation. At least one record-store owner initially declined to stock the record (he later changed his mind). Other critics followed Pitchfork’s suit; a number of pieces about the record discussed the 0.0 before even engaging with it.