May 3rd, 2010

Catholic

Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Undermining the Catholic Church - latimes.com:
Catholic priests alone are mocked as ecclesiastical Lypsinkas in the media and elsewhere when they dare to wear the traditional garb of their calling. There is a reason for that. The latest round of abuse allegations, only one of which can be said to have occurred on Ratzinger's watch, aren't really about supposed Vatican cover-ups of sexual exploitation of children by clerics. They are yet another effort to discredit the Roman Catholic Church wholesale by people whose beefs with Catholicism rest on entirely different grounds — namely that it forbids abortion and homosexual conduct, it doesn't allow women to be priests, and it requires men who enter the priesthood to remain celibate.


Never expected to see something this fair to the Church in the LA Dog Trainer & Birdcage Liner. RTWT. (NRO Web Briefing)
FGSFDS - Technoviking

Journalists taking sides? No! Say it isn't so!

The dangers of embedded journalism, in war and politics:
But embedding comes at a price. We are observing these wars from just one perspective, not seeing them whole. When you see my byline from Kandahar or Kabul or Basra, you should not think that I am out among ordinary people, asking questions of all sides. I am usually inside an American military bubble. That vantage point has value, but it is hardly a full picture.


Yeah, yeah, cue the Joni Mitchell. What Ignatius doesn't get is that the dispassionate, neutral, above-it-all reporting he exalts is a Platonic ideal that doesn't exist in the real world, has never existed in the real world, and wouldn't be believed by most Americans these days if it did. After seven decades of slanting, agitprop work and outright lying about the facts, nobody who knows a damn thing about the profession of journalism in America believes in the ability (or desire) of the lamestream media to be neutral and not take sides. Perhaps more to the point, in the cases he cites revolving around the ongoing war with the Islamofascisti, damn few Americans feel the need to get a view of the war from the point of view of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, any more than our parents and grandparents really cared what Hitler and Tojo thought about the Second World War.

News reporting is not about presenting the whole picture. It never has been. If Ignatius and his J-school buds want to do that kind of writing, then they need to go back to college and study some goddamn history, because the bulk of them are so ignorant they can't tell a BTR-60 from a tank. All they know how to do is write news stories (poorly) and spin the facts, clumsily. History is about trying to show the whole picture, and even then you need to consult several sources before you have a good idea what happened, much less what it means to you in the present day.
(NRO Web Briefing)
the mark

Shameless Capitalism post for Monday

Amazon recently changed their associate policies to give us front men for the mighty Internet retail empire a taste of the Kindle action. So, if you're considering buying a Kindle, or perhaps buying some NY Times bestsellers for the Kindle you already have, could I ask you to do so through this humble site? You can also pick up Newspapers, magazines, and accessories, if you're so inclined.

If the New York Times bestsellers don't interest you, may I recommend some of the following books reviewed here in the recent past?
The Sword of the Lady
Final Blackout
American Caesar
Carnage and Culture
To Lose a Battle
Quartered Safe Out Here
Curly W

At last, Pudge

Power Line:
When was the last time that a Washington baseball team had a future Hall of Famer who batted and fielded at a Hall of Fame level? [...]Perhaps we must go back to Joe Cronin in the 1930s, before even my time.

But now that has changed. For in April 2010, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, certainly a future Hall of Famer, played catcher for the Washington Nationals at a Hall of Fame level. Pudge didn't just bat .400 for the month; he fought off tough pitches to deliver clutch RBIs. Pudge didn't just throw out lead runners on bunts when ordinary catchers would have taken the easy out; the zip on his throws convinced opposing runners not to even attempt stealing a base (only three runners tried to steal off of him; he gunned down two of them). And Pudge's ability to work with pitchers helped revitalize (at least for now) the career of the "washed-up" Livan Hernandez and successfully launch (at least for now) the career of Pudge's fellow Puerto Rican, Luis Alitano.


Pudge has done quite a bit for the Nats this season. I've seen at least five player interviews on MASN so far this year where various Nationals have attributed their winning ways this year to the veteran superstar catcher, mostly with regard to intangibles such as "drive" and "playing the game the right way". I'm not dumb enough to think that .400 batting average is going to last, but I'm pretty sure Rodriguez' inspirational abilities will last throughout the season. Maybe the Nationals won't keep their record above .500 all season, but they sure as hell aren't going 59-103 again this year. I can't say I expected the awesome April hitting, but I was definitely hoping for this kind of shot in the arm to the team's morale so they could continue building on the end of 2009's season, when Desmond and Maxwell helped the team beat the devil and the living God out of the Braves and the Mets. It's a long season, but I think it's going to be a good one.
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FGSFDS - Technoviking

It's a small town, know what I mean?

Technology Review: The Changing Nature of Privacy on Facebook:

TR: A lot of people wonder why it matters if companies share personal data. How are people affected by privacy violations?

DB: The easiest one to explain is the case of teachers. They have a role to play during the school day and there are times and places where they have lives that are not student-appropriate. Online, it becomes a different story. Facebook has now made it so that you can go and see everybody's friends regardless of how private your profile is. And the teachers are constantly struggling with the fact that, no matter how obsessively they've tried to make their profiles as private as possible, one of their friends can post a photo from when they were 16 and drinking or doing something else stupid, and all of a sudden, kids bring it into school. We want teachers to be able to have a teacher relationship to our kids that is different from what the teacher has to their intimates. Yet the technology puts the teacher constantly at risk.


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