Friday, August 29, 2003

What, I asked Lorenzi, caught the pope’s interest?
“Italian politics,” Lorenzi said. “And Formula One racing.”

Read more, on the 25th anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul I, the "forgotten" pope.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

"Progress, education, democracy and human rights were all concepts that Sir Wilfred deplored."

One of the last great explorers of the 20th century has died. If you haven't read Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands, now is a good time to get in one last summer book before Labor Day.

God rest his soul.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Jay Fitzgerald is exactly right about the murder of ex-priest John Geoghan:

"Why was Geoghan booked in a maximum-security prison, from the outset, with all the other physically dangerous prisoners? Was he dumped there because he was psychologically assessed as a potential threat? Was he there because of overcrowding at other facilities? Was he there because there would have been a howl of protest if he had been sent to a ‘country club’ lower-security prison? I suspect the reasons have to do with the latter two queries. ... If we wanted Geoghan to die, we should have had a death penalty on the books and not be hypocrites about it. If we don’t want the death sentence in Massachusetts, then we need a better prison system that honestly and justly fits the crime to the punishment. ...Geoghan was doomed from the moment he entered MCI Shirley. "

Monday, August 18, 2003

Wow. What's Pat Buchanan been drinking lately? Coffee? He actually makes good sense in this piece.

Friday, August 15, 2003

Er, not everyone enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean, it seems....
Victor Davis Hanson on how the U.S. should slowly change its foreign policy:

"In the months since the Iraqi war, the world situation has, in fact, start[ed] to calm down; and with that equilibrium comes the realization that the old Cold War protocols no longer apply, and that the United States is in a far stronger position than ever before. With China and Russia claiming neutrality; with Britain, Australia, Japan, and much of Eastern Europe allied; and with India increasingly receptive to American peace-feelers—we should worry less and less about Old Europe and the tired Arab street, whose collective bark is far worse than their bite. The sad fact is that, for billions of people in an emerging Asia and the Americas, Europe and our enemies in the Middle East are mostly irrelevant, and will become even more so in the months ahead."
Superb piece in the upcoming Weekly Standard about neo-conservatism, by the man who is sometimes called its Godfather, Irving Kristol:

"People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government. Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk. "

Or Pat Buchanan for that matter.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Steven Den Beste, on why the French still have not figured us out yet:

"The people of the United States are many and are powerful. We lend some of that power to our government, but we retain even more. Our government serves us, but does not rule us.

Most of the time we let our government speak for us, but we can speak for ourselves. Each individual voice is very small, but if enough of us commit to something, it is impossible to ignore. We can directly reward friends and directly punish enemies. We don't need our government's permission and our government can't stop us, because though the US government is the most powerful in history and more powerful than any other in the world, we are even more powerful yet and will replace the US government if it tries to do so. That is part of the power we retained, and every two years the government submits itself to us for reapproval."

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

"After 7 years of publishing the Little QuickTime Page, we've decided it's time for a sabbatical." Judy and Robert are taking a break for a while from one of the best pages devoted to the software and its applications. I don't mind saying their QuickStart guides to QuickTime were no small inspiration to me and my own book on the subject.
More good news for Apple: BusinessWeek gives positive marks to Steve Jobs for introducing a slow but steady shift in the game plan of Apple Computer:

From the word go nearly two years ago, sales of Apple Computer's IPod MP3 player have been music to the PC maker's ears. Never has that been more true than on July 16, when Steve Jobs & Co. stunned analysts by announcing they had sold 304,000 players in the company's third quarter, nearly four times most analysts' expectations. The reason: Customer demand soared in May after Apple (AAPL ) launched its third-generation iPod, which stores 7,500 songs in a player that's lighter than two CDs -- and is compatible with Microsoft's (MSFT ) Windows operating system. Apple's flagship retail store in New York City's Soho section stayed open until 11 p.m. the day of the launch just to meet the demand.

"It's a paradigm shift at the company," says Charles Wolf, an analyst at investment firm Needham & Co. and a longtime Apple watcher (who owns shares of Apple stock). "They are redefining what kind of company they are." Indeed, the release of iPod for Windows last August established the demarcation line in an extraordinary strategic change for Apple, a company that over the past two decades has steadfastly refused to loosen its control over the creation, manufacturing, or distribution of its products.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Andrew Sullivan has just about had it with the Catholic Church:

"I feel my own conscience getting closer and closer to making the same decision. It tears me apart to see no prospect of the Catholic Church ending its war on gay people and their dignity in my lifetime. In fact, I think it's getting worse; and the next Pope from the developing world could make the current one seem humane. Leaving the sacraments would be a huge blow to the soul; but the pope just called the love I have for my boyfriend "evil." That's a word he couldn't bring himself to use about Saddam Hussein. How can I recognize what I know to be true with what the Pope has just said? I cannot. It doesn't leave many options but departure."

To be honest, many Catholics, liberal and conservative, have wondered why Sullivan has bothered to stay so long. For all his cultural and political conservatism, his hope that Roman Catholicism would someday approve homosexual love was a delusion born of wishful thinking. And of ignorance of Christian history and doctrine.

But I can't help wondering just how satisfied and content he's going to feel sitting in another church. Look for him to be blogging about this in a year's time, I'd say....