Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Odds and Ends Commentary 5-16-2006

Halfway through May already?
Can you believe it?

Bush's speech on immigration
I didn't get to see President Bush's speech when he gave it, but I did read the text of what he said. From the sound of it, it sounds like he's trying to please as many people as he can --which is what politicians do, of course. However, I think that a lot of what he said made sense. Saying it is one thing, of course --but the implementation of the ideas brought forth is "a whole 'nother animal". Also, I only saw what Bush plans to do about the border to Mexico, but the U.S. also borders Canada. If we build a "Maginot Line" at the U.S./Mexico border, wouldn't terrorists and other bad egg types just get around that by coming through Canada instead? But I guess we should stick to solving only one problem at a time, eh?

In the meantime, my opinion on this issue still has not changed after all this. I still welcome those who wish to come here; but they still need to go by the book by going through the process of becoming a citizen as the immigrants of the past have done.

"Agg-Town Fights DVD" reactions
This article shows how Arlington, Texas is reacting to the recent bad news of the taping of teenage fights being sold as DVDs. While the arrests are a good start, I think that this will only prove to be a "Band-Aid" instead of a solution --in other words, they can't just treat the symptoms, they need to find the cause. While they can remove some of the instigators, the environment that caused this whole sorry episode still needs to be dealt with.

That's going to call for some painful societal level soul-searching if the solution is to have any good, permanent effect. Our society still hasn't shaken off the effects of "political correctness", so it may be a while longer before any serious, productive societal-level soul-searching takes place. PC has become to our society what alcohol is to an alcoholic, and just like the alcoholic who wants to quit, this statement must be taken to heart: "In order to fix a problem, you first have to admit there that IS a problem." How the city of Arlington responds to this and what solutions they offer will go a long way in telling us where we are in regards to actually dealing with problems like this.

The Da Vinci Code - book and movie
I've been reserving judgment on The Da Vinci Code until I've either read the book or seen the movie. However, I haven't heard a lot that is positive about it. From the sound of it, there's a lot of basic flaws in the book that undermines the credibility of the story. Granted, it's a work of fiction and even says so at the beginning of the book, but judging on the coverage that it's been given, you would think that it was a scholarly tract rather than a novel. However, one error got my attention right away: the albino Opus Dei monk. Opus Dei doe not HAVE any monks!

Plus, my liberal-minded coworker is offended by the portrayal of the albino character, who also happens to exhibit some un-albino type traits --like driving at night. According to her, the eyesight of albinos are usually poor, so they don't usually drive at all, much less at night. If the book can't get even basic facts right, then it says a lot about the accuracy of the rest of the book. In other words, if it can't get info about albinos right (which should be easily available for anyone who bothers to find out), then how can we trust its accuracy in regards to Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and the Catholic Church?

The only reason that I can see for its popularity is because it "dares" to say bad things about Jesus and Catholicisim. Nowadays, saying bad things about Jesus or Catholicism is as about gutless as it comes, because anyone who does such a thing will know that they will have various anti-religious groups coming to their rescue. While I don't believe in the so-called "liberal media bias", I do believe that many members of the media suffer not so much from a deliberate attempt to slant their coverage in a left-wing way, but rather from being among only those who already believe the way that they do. It's called "groupthink". The more liberal-thinking members of the media has an axe to grind with the Catholic Church, so they'll be all over something like the Da Vinci Code which says things that they want to hear. It's rather pathetic when you think about it; to be so hostile to Catholicism that you'll give credibility even to something as misinformed as this novel.

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