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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Devil's in the details...

AP - In 2000, while serving as the Vatican's chief overseer for doctrine, he issued "Dominus Iesus," a document that upset non-Catholics by framing salvation from only a Catholic perspective. But Wednesday — a day after his election as pope — Benedict promised to seek greater ties with all Christians and open "sincere dialogue" with other faiths.

This can only be a good thing. For literally centuries, the Catholic Church has held Protestant churches in low regard, as apostate and heretical. Yet, the core values of most Protestant denominations are identical to those of the Catholic Church. It's really only on the minor details that there's been a conflict, but of course, that's what a lot of people get hung up on.

As in other aspects of life, the world, etc., when the focus is on differences it leads to strife, hatred, misunderstanding...even war. If the focus is on commonalities, then there can be cooperation and unity.

Much like in the political arena; the emphasis is on differences, mostly of opinion, and there's a saying about opinions.

I wish the new Pope, Benedict XVI, all the best of luck. Perhaps with a bit of effort, all around, a new Reformation can be completed. Truly a "win-win" situation...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

"DeLay tactics"...tempest in a teapot?

Democrats have attacked House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, with allegations questioning his ethics; Republicans have come to his defense.

Well. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political committees have paid his wife and daughter more than $500,000 since 2001.

Nepotism? Absolutely. Unethical? You tell me; it happens all the time, and not just in politics, to be sure. The practice is fairly widespread, in point of fact.

While members of Congress are barred from putting relatives on the government payroll, some hire family members to work on their political campaigns and fund-raising committees. It's not the same thing, certainly.

People have a natural tendency to "take care of their own", and family members are generally considered more trustworthy, less likely to be "plants" aligned with the competition...a "win-win" scenario, as it were.

All of this seems to be a detour down a side street, a relative (no pun intended) non-issue. The real issue right now is the whether the President's recommendations for appointments to the judiciary will get a simple "up or down" vote; the Democrats want to use the filibuster to prevent the simple majority that the Republicans currently have from getting their way.

The Republicans are talking about using:
The "Nuclear Option"

I say, go for it...

Monday, April 11, 2005

There's a new Sheriff in town...

...or at least, I'm hoping that there soon will be. The man I'm referring to is John Bolton, he of the walrus/Wilford Brimley mustache.

From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - His Senate approval to be U.N. ambassador still in question, John R. Bolton told skeptical Democrats on Monday that the world body had "gone off track" at times but that he was committed to its mission.

From the U.N.'s website (http://www.un.org/):
The United Nations was established on 24 October 1945 by 51 countries committed to preserving peace through international cooperation and collective security. Today, nearly every nation in the world belongs to the UN: membership totals 191 countries.

A dose of reality is in order; when it was chartered right after WWII, the concept of united nations was a welcome one, to a world weary of war. (Gotta love that alliteration)

However, since it's auspicious beginnings it has become a decadent juggernaut, rocked by corruption and scandal. If it isn't too late to rein in the slavering Beast, then Mr. Bolton might just be the right man at the right time. Although personally I have my doubts, since his will be but one voice among many, perhaps it can make a difference.

Let's hope that our decadent, corrupt and scandalous juggernaut...A.K.A. the United States Congress, does the right thing by confirming this well chosen appointee.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Daylight Saving Time?

What a crock! There are only "x" hours of daylight on any given day; so nobody is saving anything. Where would they keep it, anyhow?! During the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, there are 12 hours of daylight, and the other 363.25 days of the year are either longer or shorter depending on the season.
(An oversimplification, really, it all depends on your Latitude)

Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. is NOT observed in Hawaii, most of the Eastern Time Zone portion of the State of Indiana, or the state of Arizona (except for the Navajo Indian Reservation...which does observe it, due to its large size, and its location in three states). Also, its territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands do not observe it.

The idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin during a trip as an American delegate to Paris in 1784, in an essay, "An Economical Project." It was first advocated seriously by a London builder, William Willett, in the pamphlet "Waste of Daylight". Perhaps in their time of oil lamps it was a sensible solution; nowadays it's something of an anachronism. If having the daylight last later into the P.M. is the desired effect, why not leave it "Sprung Forward?"

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