Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Way to go, Blago!

I am not at all a fan of the foul mouthed former governor of Illinois, but I must confess to feeling a certain amount of empathy for Rod Blagojevich. After all the fanfare and a twenty four count indictment at the conclusion of an investigation that had ended rather abruptly and prematurely, Patrick Fitzgerald managed to get a guilty verdict on one and only one count of “lying to the FBI”.

Perhaps Blago’s attorney said it best: “"This guy Fitzgerald is a master at indicting people for noncriminal activity,"

Monday, August 16, 2010

St. Nicholas and the Cordoba Mosque

One doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama and their ilk appeal to freedom of worship as their rationale for supporting the construction of an imposing 13 story mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan.

Has the left finally seen the light--gotten religion, so to speak--and started to actually defend the right of people to worship as they please, even to the point of bending over backwards to remove bureaucratic hurdles such as zoning laws, environmental impact studies, etc. in order to facilitate the construction of their places of worship?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What will happen to Blago?

It occurred to me today that that the jury has been taking quite a while deliberating the fate of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was indicted in late 2008 by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald for allegedly trying to sell the Senate seat of then President elect Obama. Because I sometimes go for a day or two without catching the news, I figured that surely I must have missed the verdict.

Not so. Today I googled “Blagojevich”, and the most recent news I could find was from August 12, indicating that jurors deliberating on the case have advised the judge that they could only agree on two of the twenty-four counts of the indictment. As far as I know, they are still deliberating.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Apologia Italiana

I mentioned in a recent post that most of my cousins in Italy are generally on the far left of the political spectrum. Many of them also happen to be self proclaimed atheists (No necessary connection, by the way). Unfortunately, it seems to be quite common among Italians of my generation—the forty to fifty-somethings. When I mentioned to a friend back home that most believers in Italy are found among the older and the younger generations, he very adroitly pointed out that atheism has difficulty thriving for more than a generation or two. Life happens, and belief in God mysteriously revives by the next generation.

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to brush up on my rusty Italian and at the same time engage two of my Italian cousins (whom I will call “P” and “M”) on the subject of atheism vs. theism. It all started when cousin P. posted a link on Facebook with a quote from Margherita Hack, an Italian astrophysicist and popular science writer.

We atheists believe we should act according to conscience based on moral principle, and not because we expect some reward in paradise.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Well Deserved Rebuke

Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head. (Psalm 141:5)
I started blogging a couple of years ago, seeing it as a fun and creative outlet to express myself in matters of interest to me, including but not limited to Christian apologetics, conservative political commentary and anything related to Italy. Because my subject matter was going to include the two great taboos of polite conversation—religion and politics--I was well aware that many of my posts would be controversial. But I was determined that my writing would nevertheless be grace-filled and redemptive. Though I occasionally enjoy being provocative and am not above poking fun, the last thing I want to do is offend people.

I try to live by the Scripture verse I have posted on this blog as well as my Facebook profile:

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (I Peter 3:15)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hooray for Henry!

I remember back in the eighties when Henry Hudson was the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. I admired him back then, and found more reason to admire him today.

His decision to allow the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s new healthcare reform law to proceed is just a small initial step by all accounts, including his own. But while taking pains to not pronounce on the merits of the case itself and simply stating that it raises enough legitimate questions to proceed, Mr. Hudson made a key statement which I believe lies at the crux of not only this case, but many others where the federal government has ventured into areas of questionable constitutional authority.

The congressional enactment under review -- the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision -- literally forges new ground and extends (the U.S. Constitution's) Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high watermark.
I will forgive Hudson’s commonly inappropriate use of the word “literally” (I don’t think the healthcare reform law comes anywhere close to forging any kind of ground in the literal sense, unless of course it contains provisions for additional “shovel ready projects”.). But I do appreciate his metaphor referring to the “high watermark” of the Commerce Clause, the historic abuse of which has drowned individual and economic freedom and threatens to send the rest of us downstream if the waters get any higher.

Almost Enough to Turn Me into a Socialist

Fear not, for the title of this post is somewhat misleading. I write this in reaction to a recent unpleasant economic transaction with a private entity, leaving me with the kind of "I've-just-been-taken-to-the-cleaners" feeling that makes liberals want to scream for government control.

I was at the Cincinnati airport on my way home from a business trip, and the flight to Baltimore was delayed due to some nasty thunderstorms. We no sooner boarded the plane an hour after the originally scheduled departure time than the pilot got on the intercom and advised us that we might as well get off the plane because he had just received word that we would be held at least another hour before being cleared for takeoff.

I figured I had best call home to tell my wife I would not be back in time for dinner after all, but unfortunately the battery on my cell phone was dead. Once off the plane and onto the airport concourse, I spotted an increasingly rare sight: public telephones! I have often wondered how soon public phones would become a relic of the past, but thankfully I found one in my time of need.