Saturday, April 09, 2005

Weekly Diary

Soccer. Last Saturday was opening day for MLS, and my team the LA Galaxy went down to an ignominious 3-0 defeat at the hands (or I should say, feet and heads) of the Columbus Crew. While the match was played in difficult weather conditions, it was primarily a reminder of just how ugly the beautiful game can become when a team cannot play with any cohesion. I hoping for much more as Chris and I join our friends with the LA Riot Squad as the Galaxy host Real Salt Lake in their home opener.

Unbelievable. This week, Senator John Cornyn of Texas rose in almost empty Senate chamber to discuss "judicial activism" and while he was at it, suggested that frustration over this activism was responsible for the recent killings of judges. I know that Cornyn is a conservative Republican representing a state from the former Confederacy, which seems to entitle one to a great deal of rhetorical latitude, but this is entirely over the line. His argument is exactly the same thing as saying, "Yes I deplore that the young woman was gang raped, but when these girls wear those short skirts, tensions are going to build up." This is absolutely shameful, but even more shameful has been then way that at least up to today, Cornyn has gotten away with it.

Sub-Sixty. My son Chris ran in his fourth track meet Thursday, and ran 59.6 for 400 meters, which is not bad for an 8th grader running his fourth race. We had been kind of hoping that he could run that fast by the end of the year, and so now he has had to expand his goals. His time lowered his previous best by four seconds. The best moment for me was not when he crossed the finish line first, but the look of joyous surprise on his face when they told him his time.

Good Thinking. Over at Obsidian Wings, Sebastian Holsclaw has a very thoughtful post about who best serves to reform a practice or an institution - its opponents or those who support it. He uses another post about gay marriage as a jumping off point to discuss union reform, and even gets in a little G.K. Chesterton. While I don't support his conclusion (I am unwilling to trust that the Administration has anything but narrowly partisan interests in "reforming" unions), I think it is a very worthy discussion, or more importantly, an excellent example of a good discussion.

JP II - Morti. So, the Pope died this week. I have been amazed at the way that the media and Protestants have all suddenly become Catholics. While the immediate aftermath of one's death should lead all of us to act with restraint, the press has been entirely uncritical in their analysis of John Paul II's life and legacy. I've also noticed the way in which Protestants have adopted internal titles for the Pope. I understand why Catholics would use exalted titles for the Pope, but I'm a little surprised the Vice-President of my university called him "His Holiness" while ordering flags flown at half mast, and the President (of my country) has called him the "Holy Father". Americans and Protestants used to have a thing about titles like this. I guess we don't anymore.

More on Wotija. The response to the Pope's death from the evangelical community has been one could say, selective. James Dobson and other Evangelical leaders), predictably, praised the pope for supporting his positions, while ignoring the many ways in which the Pope's explicit teaching and policies ran counter to those of the United States and to the preoccupations of American Evangelicals. (The Pope thought abortion and gay sex were bad, but he also thought unbridled capitalism, invading countries on false pretexts, and torturing people were bad, too) But while we may be giving the Pope's legacy a free ride, read this thoughtful call for the Popes to become heirs of Christ rather than successors to Caesar.

Update. My previously reported pretzel injury no longer hurts and looks as if it will heal without a scar. You may now relax.

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