Entries from October 2005 ↓

Doom – movie review

Movie fact: When entering a building inhabited by monsters, military tactics call for splitting the unit up so that soldiers can be picked off one by one.

Doom exploits this tactic to the fullest. A science station on Mars is being over run by monsters. Marines are sent in to search for and destroy the threat.

This is easily the best video game movie adaption. Of course that doesn’t make it good. The monsters are sufficiently scary. The special effects are good. The best part was how they incorporated an important game element. On second thought, Rosamund Pike might have been the best part.

There are some plot holes. Like why do they keep splitting up after a few of their buddies have died that way? Why do the keep referring to marines as “soldiers”? (OK, so Hollywood doesn’t know the difference.)

Be prepared for a gory, “f” bomb laden, not suitable for children flick.

2 stars (Slightly more fun that a complete game of Monopoly.)

Semi-annual insanity

It is once again time to move your clocks back an hour. Why, because the government thinks we need to somehow save daylight. Except since it is fall, we apparently don’t need to save it anymore. Doesn’t really make any sense, does it?

When will we stop this foolishness and end daylight savings time?

Dishonoring the troops

Michelle Malkin points out how the New York Times misquotes dead soldiers. Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr wrote a letter prior to his death in Iraq. Here is what the Times printed:

“I kind of predicted this,” Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. “A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances.”

Here is what he wrote:

“Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I’m writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I’m pushing my chances. I don’t regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it’s not to me. I’m here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.”

When you see it in whole, it doesn’t sound as much as someone who regretted his duty.

Rough week for the President.

Harriet Miers withdrew her Supreme Court nomination yesterday. Acting according to plan, Democrats immediately mischaracterize it as the “extreme right-wing” (read religious right) controlling the party. Of course it was the so-called extreme right like James Dobson that were actually supporting her.

Now New York Senator Chuck Schumer says he hopes President Bush consults with the President this time. He conveniently forgot that Harry Reid, the Democrat minority leader, suggested Miers’ name prior to her nomination. How much more consulting can the president do?

Then today the vice president’s chief of staff is indicted for obstruction of justice and perjury. Ho hum. There is noticably no charge of revealing the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame, the whole point of the grand jury investigation. It looks like Libby probably did lie to the grand jury. Unfortunate since if he did lie, he lied about something that wasn’t a crime.

What kind of catholic am I?

The results from Quizfarm.com:

  You scored as Neo-Conservative Catholic. You see that the government of the United States was originally founded on recognizably Catholic natural law principles and reason in the tradition of Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the freedom of religion acknowledged in the Constitution has allowed Catholicism to flourish in this largely Protestant country. You recognize that the American system of government, even with its faults, is the most moral social order developed in history. You are committed to being a Catholic active in society. 

Like the Liberal Catholic, your views might be too determined by American culture, and you may uncritically accept many theories that may be harmful to yourself and society; instead you may need rediscover traditional Catholic teaching. You should emphasize the love of your neighbor, especially love for the poor, in your everyday business dealings.

Neo-Conservative Catholic
 
76%
New Catholic
 
67%
Evangelical Catholic
 
64%
Traditional Catholic
 
45%
Radical Catholic
 
43%
Lukewarm Catholic
 
43%
Liberal Catholic
 
26%

What is your style of American Catholicism?
created with QuizFarm.com

Hmmm, seems pretty accurate. I’ve even mentioned in conversations with others how the faith of American Christians in general is shaped by American culture. I don’t see that as all bad as this is the greatest nation on God’s green earth. Yet it is something to be aware of.

I do disagree that I uncritically accept theories that are harmful to myself. I suspect they are talking about thing like “tax cuts for the rich”. In Colorado, we are voting on referrenda C & D in November. The referrenda are state tax hikes. My voting against it (which some would say is against my immediate self-interest) doesn’t mean I did so uncritically.

Check out Angela

I happened across Angela Catherine’s new blog about her journey (which she is still on) to catholocism. Raised evangelical, searching for a deeper faith and a grad student. Where have we seen this theme before?

Been there, done that, have the t-shirt. Good luck Angela.

Remembering Beirut

Twenty two years ago today a muslim terrorist drove a truck full of explosives into the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and 3 soldiers died.

Here is an excerpt from President Reagan’s televised address responding to the bombing:

May I share something with you I think you’d like to know? It’s something that happened to the Commandant of our Marine Corps, General Paul Kelley, while he was visiting our critically injured Marines in an Air Force hospital. It says more than any of us could ever hope to say about the gallantry and heroism of these young men, young men who serve so willingly so that others might have a chance at peace and freedom in their own lives and in the life of their country.

I’ll let General Kelley’s words describe the incident. He spoke of a “young Marine with more tubes going in and out of his body than I have ever seen in one body.”

“He couldn’t see very well. He reached up and grabbed my four stars, just to make sure I was who I said I was. He held my hand with a firm grip. He was making signals, and we realized he wanted to tell me something. We put a pad of paper in his hand – and he wrote ‘Semper Fi.’ ”

Well, if you’ve been a Marine or if, like myself, you’re an admirer of the Marines, you know those words are a battle cry, a greeting, and a legend in the Marine Corps. They’re Marine shorthand for the motto of the Corps – “Semper Fidelis” – “always faithful.”

General Kelley has a reputation for being a very sophisticated general and a very tough Marine. But he cried when he saw those words, and who can blame him? That Marine and all those others like him living and dead, have been faithful to their ideals. They’ve given willingly of them selves so that a nearly defenseless people in a region of great strategic importance to the free world will have a chance someday to live lives free of murder and mayhem and terrorism. I think that young Marine and all of his comrades have given every one of us something to live up to.

They were not afraid to stand up for their country or, no matter how difficult and slow the journey might be, to give to others that last, best hope of a better future. We cannot and will not dishonor them now and the sacrifices they’ve made by failing to remain as faithful to the cause of freedom and the pursuit of peace as they have been.

I will not ask you to pray for the dead, because they’re safe in God’s loving arms and beyond need of our prayers. I would like to ask you all – wherever you may be in this blessed land – to pray for these wounded young men and to pray for the bereaved families of those who gave their lives for our freedom.

God bless you, and God bless America.”

Semper Fi

Broncos Rule!

Julie over at Happy Catholic is excited that her Cowboys beat the Giants yesterday and the Eagles the week before.

That’s all well and good but it is really the Broncos who have emerged as the dominant team in recent weeks. Shoot, yesterday they beat the two-time defending champion Patriots (was there really any doubt they would?).

Of course the Colts are still undefeated. In fact, the Colts are so good they may not even lose a game until they face the Broncos in the AFC Championship!

Why did Columbus sail?

The always controversial Columbus Day Parade in Denver will take place this Saturday. Organizers of the parade like to celebrate Columbus’ discovery of the New World. Protestors claim they are celebrating genocide of American Indians. I’m skeptical of that belief since I’ve not once seen anyone claiming Indians should be wiped out.

Beyond that, I’ve coincidently read a little about Columbus this week. American education teaches children that Columbus sailed to prove the Earth is round. Columbus had to overcome the objections of the Roman Catholic Church which taught that the bible proved the world was flat. He was able to overcome the Church’s ignorant assumption and convince the Queen of Spain to fund his expedition. Even after his voyage the church still taught the world was flat until Magellan circumnavigated the globe in 1512 give science a “crushing blow” against the teachings of the church.

The problem with that story is that it is entirely a lie. Every educated person during the time already knew the world was round. Learned men like the Venerable Bede (ca. 673-735) Bishop Virgilius of Salzburg (ca. 720-784), Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), and Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1224-1274) all taught the world was round hundreds of years before Columbus ever lived. Incidentally all four of those men are Catholic saints.

Learned men (who were catholics) did oppose Columbus voyage. Not because they thought the world was flat. Rather they thought Columbus calculations of the circumfrence of the world was too small and that he would starve before he got to Asia. Turns out they were right. Only (unknown to both Columbus and his critics) a couple of other continents were in the way. This doesn’t take away from Columbus’ bravery as an explorer. It does show that Medieval scholars were a lot brighter than we give them credit for.

So where did this lie that is even taught in today’s schools come from? The most influential person in spreading the myth of oppressive Christianity including the Roman Catholic Church fighting science was Andrew Dickson White, the founder and first president of Cornell University. It seems he didn’t like Christians and wrote his book A History of the Warfare of Science with Tehology in Christendom to get even with Christians who were critics of his plans for Cornell.

Rodney Stark documents how the story of Columbus was corrupted in his book For the Glory of God. Incidentally, Stark is a sociologist who denies being a catholic. His book details how science was only able to develop because of Christianity, not in spite of it.

OU suicide bomber

This past Saturday a student at University of Oklahoma died when a bomb he was carrying on his body blew up about 100 yards away from the crowded OU football stadium.

Michelle Malkin has been following the story. The national media is strangely silent on this. The student carrying the bomb was known to frequent a mosque. He wore a muslim style beard. He had tried to purchase a large amount of ammonium nitrate (the same compound used in the bombing of Okalahoma City federal building). Being unable to purchase that, the bomber used another explosive – but very unstable chemical – TATP that can be created out of household cleaners.

OK. So a muslim decides to commit suicide by detonating a bomb near a crowded stadium but has no terroristic motive? Or is it more likely that a wannabe martyr was waiting for a crowded stadium to begin emptying where he could get access to a crowd of people but his homemade unstable bomb exploded prematurely.

Yes, I’m speculating but the story that a depressed muslim decides to commit suicide by blowing himself up in public where no one else gets hurt is not a convincing story. That may be because of all the other muslims who have blown themselves up in the world, most recently in Bali, where they were seeking out crowded places. Muslim bombers don’t have a history of seeking out isolated public places. They want crowds and a stadium of tens of thousands of people were just a few hundred feet away?

Thank God he didn’t get to buy a ticket to the football game that day.