Wednesday, January 2

This is crazy. Parishioners were forcibly removed by police from Mass in a Toronto Catholic Church. It's kind of hard to figure out, but I think the dispute concerns the removal of the predominantly Korean parish's first and founding pastor and dissatisfaction with his replacement. I think. Read it and see if you can figure it out.
A while back, I tried to draw your attention to James Lileks. Were you listening? Well, if you weren't, I'll try again. Read him. I don't know how he does it - writes regular columns for a print paper, pulls books together, and pens these "Bleats", full of good humor, witty turns of phrase and a lot of heart several times a week. And does the major child-care for his toddler daughter, fondly known as Gnat. The glitterati pundits are toast next to him. Forget Maureen Dowd, who needs to be retired to the tearoom at Macy's for 2002, and forget even Peggy Noonan, who teeters way to close to the Edge of Pretension for my taste. I want to be James Lileks and Mark Steyn when I grow up. Oh, and Flannery O'Connor, too but that's a whole other subject.
A fun little site: Movie Mistakes. Here you can find record of all kinds of gaffes and inconsistencies in films present and past, including the fact that in one scene in the Lord of the Rings, a car can be seen speeding by on a hillside in the distance.
My New Year's Resolution: To get Joseph to sleep for more than two hours at a time, and do so in his crib. I'm not quite sure how we're going to accomplish this. Oh, I know how I've done it in the past: let the kid scream for an hour until he gives in to The Power. But somehow, this time around, I don't have the heart for it. Last night, he ended up in bed with us, as usual, and I was all resolved to get him back in that crib once he entered deep sleep. Until, in the midst of his light sleep, he opened his eyes, looked straight at me, smiled, scooted over so he was cuddled against me, and closed his eyes again. What monster would abandon that to an hour of lonely tears? Not this one. Not now.
Excellent roundup of the "winners and losers" of this war by Victor Davis Hansen in the National Review. Hint:

The left, both on and off campus, has been reduced to a state of ethical insolvency — followed by silence — in the aftermath of September 11. The roll call of published idiotic remarks by the likes of Mary Beard, Eric Foner, Frederic Jameson, Barbara Kingsolver, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said, Susan Sontag, Alice Walker, and a host of others has revealed that the luminaries of today's Western cultural and intellectual establishment are not merely ignorant of politics, history, and culture, but often downright immature, hysterical, and inarticulate

I knew this was coming. The Democrats apparently have a plan to associate "conservative" Christians with the Taliban in the public's mind.

The theory goes like this. Our enemy in Afghanistan is religious extremism and intolerance. It's therefore more important than ever to honor the ideals of tolerance — religious, sexual, racial, reproductive — at home. The GOP is out of the mainstream, some Democrats will argue [this] year, because it's too dependent upon an intolerant 'religious right,'" Mr. Fineman said.
"This is an incendiary battle plan — essentially comparing the GOP right with the Taliban — designed to draw an outraged response from the president. Then Democrats would have Bush just where they wanted him: in a firefight at home."



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