Parliament Of Owls

An eclectic discussion of Life, Science, Politics, Religion, and the occasional Bad Pun.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hypocrites or Infidels?

The ACLU has made its living by, among other things, harassing government entities large and small over the slightest suspicion of church-state intermingling. Just one close-to-home example: they sued (successfully, unfortunately) to keep a crèche off-display in Pittsburgh.

Now comes the story of footwashing basins at the University of Michigan's Dearborn campus, paid for by public funds. They're relatively cheap, some $25,000, but it's public funding nonetheless. According to the Council for American-Islamic Relations, the basins allow Muslims to prepare for prayers.

The ACLU, however, has no quarrel with this, claiming it is a "reasonable accommodation" to a problem.

The basins serve exactly one purpose - part of the Muslim prayer ritual. That's fine, I have no objections to this, nobody gets hurt, everyone's happy. The problem arises in the ACLU's treatment of the use of public funds. Islam-state interaction: good; Christian-state interaction: bad.

So, apparently the ACLU is apparently an organization of hypocrites, claiming to fight for church-state separation... as long as it's the right (or wrong) church, and giving a pass for others.

Or perhaps... just maybe... the ACLU is claiming that Islam is not a religion at all, hence there is no issue with public funds being used for its rituals.

If there is some simple, honest alternative that I've missed, then I'd be interested to hear it. But if I hear any defense at all, I'd wager it'll be some of the most tortured logic I've seen.

Barring alternatives, the ACLU are either hypocrites, or infidels.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Politicians and Problem Solving

I had an epiphany recently.

Slow on the uptake perhaps, but this realization puts some things into a very simple, yet accurate, perspective.

Politicians don't solve problems.

Statesmen solve problems, but politicians do not.

Politicians need problems because as long as there are problems, politicians wield the power to solve them; power that is all too often misused.

Want proof? Shamnesty. Congress has the power to secure our borders, yet misuses said power to grant amnesty for millions of people who in all likelihood will place a major burden on our economic infrastructure.

Want more proof? The tax code. A consumption-based tax would be a great benefit economically (if I recall my basic economics properly), yet Congress keeps this unwieldy beast of a tax code around, tweaking it to their advantage and our detriment.

Politicians also do not solve some problems for fear of repercussions.

Want proof? Social Security reform. This Ponzi scheme is going to eventually bankrupt the country. It cannot continue doling out the level of money that it does to every retiree indefinitely, even if the government taxed us at a 100% rate. Eventually, the money will dry up.
Yet, Congress fears to do any significant change to the program.

We need to find Statesmen, people who are actually committed to solving the problems this country faces, rather than quisling politicians who are more interested in lining their pocketbooks (or freezers).


Monday, June 11, 2007

Paris vs. Sally

I had a few hours to kill last Friday while waiting for my flight out of Memphis. My friend Bill Harris (great fellow, look him up if you're at Medgar Evers College) and I were lamenting the content on the TV at the gate (CNN's non-stop coverage of Paris Hilton).

We came up with an idea for a simple poll:

Who do girls look up to more as a role model?
(a) Paris Hilton
(b) Sally Ride
(c) Sally Who?

I know which answer my money's on.

As I said, there was plenty of time to kill Friday; between computer glitches and weather issues, the plane was five hours late getting to Memphis. As I told Bill, it could've been worse: we could have had the clowns up on Capitol Hill trying to rebook all of us.