Monday, February 28, 2011

What are they talking about?

I have to say this, and hope to add to it in the days ahead, but I'm very disappointed in the way that certain Church leaders are addressing the current standoff between Governor Scott Walker and the public-sector unions, disappointed but not at all surprised. I have become all too accustomed to subpar analysis when it comes to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and economic matters.

I have posted links to numerous articles (Here's another gem) that spell out what is really at stake in this debate about public-sector unions:

- why the unions are clearly in the wrong

- the long history of public-sector unions

- the difference between public and private-sector unions

- how public-sector unions have become one of many appendages of the Democratic Party

- why such unions are critical to the advancement of that same Party which is, as we speak, pursuing a vicious anti-life and anti-family agenda.

and so on.

What are the bishops reading when it comes to this subject? Are they just restating talking points from another era?

By their statements, certain bishops are demonstrating that they are not really following the intricacies of the discussion, and, more to the point, they really don't understand economics. This results in awkward statements that appear utterly detached from reality, while the Democrats continue to play them like a stradivarius.

England: Beginning of the End

From the Telegraph:
Foster parent ban: 'no place’ in the law for Christianity, High Court rules

There is no place in British law for Christian beliefs, despite this country’s long history of religious observance and the traditions of the established Church, two High Court judges said on Monday.

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson made the remarks when ruling on the case of a Christian couple who were told that they could not be foster carers because of their view that homosexuality is wrong.

The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, the right of homosexuals to equality “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values.

In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”.

Campaigners for homosexual rights welcomed the judgment for placing “21st-century decency above 19th-century prejudice”. Christian campaigners claimed that it undermined the position of the Church of England. ...

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, described the judgment as “absurd”. He pointed out the monarch took a coronation oath promising to uphold the laws of God, while Acts of Parliament are passed with the consent of “the Lords Spiritual”, and the Queen’s Speech finishes with a blessing from Almighty God.

“To say that this is a secular country is certainly wrong,” he said.
“However, what really worries me about this spate of judgments is that they leave no room for the conscience of believers of whatever kind.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blacks and Abortion

From the Telegraph:
The poster advertises a Texas-based group called Life Always, which campaigns against what it calls a "genocidal plot" against unborn babies. It is on display in the SoHo area of Manhattan.

On its website, Life Always states: "Abortions among African-American women are three times that of the rest of the population. Over 25 per cent of the next generation is being wiped out as we speak".

Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, described the advertisement as "grossly offensive to women and minorities". "This billboard simply doesn't belong in New York City," said Mr de Blasio.

"Common decency demands it be taken down." Christine Quinn, the Speaker of New York city council, said: "To refer to a woman's legal right to an abortion as a 'genocidal plot' is not only absurd, but offensive to women and to communities of colour".

You'd think Quinn would be more concerned about the "common decency" of, say, protecting unborn black children from inside-the-womb killing. That the abortion rate among blacks is so stunningly high should strike her as far more "grossly offensive to women and minorities" than a billboard. Sad.

The Truth About Collective Bargaining

We hear it over and over again...collective bargaining. But what does this mean? Bizarrely enough, we can look to F.D.R., of all people, for some enlightenment on this issue. (Could this discussion get any more surreal?) James Sherk wrote a short piece for The New York Times in which he explains why, for so long, the notion of collective bargaining was anathema to politicians.

Public vs. Private Sector Unions

There's a big difference between the two, one that is often sadly overlooked in the debate raging today in Madison and across the country. Jonah Goldberg explains why in this excellent piece appearing in National Review Online.

Where Did the Stimulus Money Go?

Most of it, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, to PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS.
Madison — The first solid - if still incomplete - employment numbers for federal stimulus spending by Wisconsin state government show that retaining government positions was job one.

Three-fourths of 8,284 stimulus-related jobs accounted for so far were public-sector posts protected by the federal infusion into state and local government coffers, Gov. Jim Doyle's office reported.

That included teachers, police officers and other government workers.

Is anyone starting to see a connection here? "Stimulus" money, state public-sector unions, the Democratic Party...

Collision Course: Islam and Europe

...the reverberations of radical Islam have been felt widely with security services thwarting many terrorist plots on the continent since 9/11. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and controversy over Muhammad cartoons have made some Muslims feel the West is at war with Islam.

"We can't deny that today Islam is regarded as the biggest threat to Europe for many Europeans," said Professor Anne Sofie Roald of Malmo University's Department of International Migration and Ethnic Relations. "People are perceiving it as a threat because they feel that the minority is growing."

It's then that the symbols, such as minarets and veils, become important, she said.

"It always comes back to that people are afraid of Muslims taking over their countries."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Rarity in the Church

Wow. I've got to say, this one is pretty unique.

From the AP:
BERLIN – In a rare move that needed the pope's approval, a Lutheran convert was ordained Tuesday as a Catholic priest in Germany and is being allowed to remain married to his wife — who has already become a nun.

Harm Klueting, 61, was ordained by Archbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner in a private ceremony at the city's seminary, the Cologne archdiocese said.

Pope Benedict XVI gave Klueting a special permission to remain married to his wife Edeltraut Klueting, who became a Catholic Carmelite nun in 2004.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican's chief spokesman, said the exception is rare but there have been similar cases.
"It doesn't happen every day," he said.

Read It

George Will. The Washington Post. Excellent.
Walker, by a fiscal seriousness contrasting with Obama's lack thereof, and Obama, by inciting defenders of the indefensible, have made three things clear:

First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government's competence and proper scope, but also because the party's base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama's "move to the center" is fictitious.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Confronting the Hard Truth: Afghanistan

Objectives: Defeat our enemies, yes. Nation-building, no.

Andrew C. McCarthy wrote a brilliant piece for National Review Online about the impossibility of our mission to democratize the Middle East. It's hard not to arrive at his conclusion.
On NRO Friday, Paul Marshall lamented the Obama administration’s fecklessness, in particular the president’s appalling silence in the face of the death sentence Said Musa may suffer for the crime of converting to Christianity. This is in Afghanistan, the nation for which our troops are fighting and dying — not to defeat our enemies, but to prop up the Islamic “democracy” we have spent a decade trying to forge at a cost of billions.

This shameful episode (and the certain recurrence of it) perfectly illustrates the folly of Islamic nation-building. The stubborn fact is that we have asked for just these sorts of atrocious outcomes. Ever since 2003, when the thrust of the War On Terror stopped being the defeat of America’s enemies and decisively shifted to nation-building, we have insisted — against history, law, language, and logic — that Islamic culture is perfectly compatible with and hospitable to Western-style democracy. It is not, it never has been, and it never will be.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Turning Off the Spigot to Planned Parenthood

We'll see where this goes. It's encouraging to read. From ABCNews:
The House voted on Friday in favor of a proposal to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood and to eliminate a program known as Title X, which provides aid for family planning and reproductive health.

The amendment, which was put forth by Indiana Republican Mike Pence, passed with a vote of 240 to 185, with eleven Democrats voting for the amendment and seven Republicans voting against it. One Congress member voted "present." The amendment will now proceed to Senate as a part of the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through September. ...

New York Democrat Louise Slaughter called the proposed cuts to family planning "the opening salvo in an all-out war on women's health."

House Republicans are to be commended in the extreme for this measure. If the appropriately named Rep. Slaughter means, in her understanding of the boundaries of "women's health" the prevention of the massacre of millions unborn children, she's right.

Walker Owns CBS Reporter

"What you've got are union leaders who don't like the fact that they're not going to be able to mandatorily enforce that every one of the workers here in state and local government have got to be a part of the union. That's why they're here. That's why the national money is here. That's why the national union leaders are coming here."

Walker's Advice to Obama

"I think we're focused on balancing our budget. It would be wise for the president and others in Washington to focus on balancing their budget, which they're a long ways from doing."

Read more here.

What Really Worries WI Liberals

The bottom line, folks. From Rich Lowry, writing for National Review Online:
Walker’s reforms, though, go beyond the immediate bottom line. They are aimed at curtailing the power of public-sector unions that feast on the circularity of their relationship with government. The unions work to elect politicians, then sit across a bargaining table from them — and, lo and behold, get what they want.

Hero of the Week

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: Nemesis to Public Union Thugs and Bane to Liberals Everywhere. Finish them off today, Governor.

Dems in Hiding

From Milwaukee's very own JSOnline:
Madison — Amid the third straight day of chaotic but largely peaceful protests at the Capitol, Democratic senators Thursday boycotted a Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's budget-repair plan, forcing Republicans to put off further action in that house until Friday at the earliest.

With Democrats hiding out just over the Illinois border and drawing national media attention, Republicans had too few lawmakers to take a vote Thursday and had to adjourn. With thousands of demonstrators swarming the Capitol Square, GOP lawmakers vowed to come back Friday morning to try to take up the proposal, which would help solve a state budget shortfall by cutting public employee benefits and would also take away most public union bargaining rights.

Democrats holed up in the Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center in Rockford, Ill., while Republicans said they wanted law enforcement to bring them to the Capitol if they were still in Wisconsin. Walker called for Democrats to call off their "stunt" and "show up and do the job they're paid to do."

Here's an idea: One of the Republican senators can switch party affiliation for a couple days so that they can hold the vote. And don't you just love it: "Democrats hiding out..." and "Democrats holed up in the Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center..." Yes, that's "RESORT". I am curious as to who is paying for that. Also, aren't they guilty of dereliction of their constitutional duty? They are on the dole of the WI taxpayer, after all. Criminal offense??

Also, these teachers who are calling in "sick" for another day of protests, resulting in closed schools, should be presented with an ultimatum: Either return to your jobs, or you're fired. Pull a Reagan on them.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Paid to Protest/Call in Sick in Madison

Another great piece appearing in National Review Online, by Jay Nordlinger:
As I look at the union members swarm the Wisconsin capital, I have a familiar thought: A great advantage of the Left is that they are organized and determined — and have a lot of time. Paid time. The taxpayer is funding these “days of protest,” engaged in by the public-school teachers. They are using their “sick” leave, provided by the taxpayer, to go rallying.

And what are the other citizens of Wisconsin — the majority — doing? What they always do. Going about their business, or businesses; providing for their families. As we speak, some are having to stay home with their school-aged children, who have been locked out of their classrooms by their teachers — their “teachers.”

Ordinary Wisconsinites aren’t paid to go rallying in the capital. Besides, they “rallied” at the polls last November. They had their say then. And now, Governor Walker and the rest are trying to conduct the people’s business.


In other words, the adults are getting the job done, and the kiddies are pouting and stomping their feet in the mud.

What's Going "On Wisconsin"?

Larry Kudlow, writing for National Review Online, offers a critical look at the maniacal protesters in Madison, and what they are really after.

Stand firm Scott!
The Democratic/government-union days of rage in Madison, Wis., are a disgrace. Paul Ryan calls it Cairo coming to Madison. But the protesters in Egypt were pro-Democracy. The government-union protesters in Madison are anti-democracy. In fact, Democratic legislators are fleeing the state so as not to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s budget cuts.

The teachers union is going on strike in Milwaukee and elsewhere. They ought to be fired. Think Reagan PATCO in 1981. Think Calvin Coolidge police strike in 1919.

Governor Walker is facing a $3.6 billion budget deficit, and he wants state workers to pay one-half of their pension costs and 12.6 percent of their health benefits. Currently, most state employees pay nothing for their pensions and virtually nothing for their health insurance. That’s an outrage.

Wisconsin Liberals Unhinged

~ Paul Ryan made the following observations on Governor Walker's plans for the state of Wisonsin:

It's not asking a lot. It's still about half of what private sector pensions do and health care packages do, so he's basically saying, "I want you public workers to pay half of what our private sector counterparts are," and he's getting riots. It's like Cairo has moved to Madison these days. People should be able to express their way but we've gotta get this deficit and debt under control in Madison.

A Principled Stance

From CNN:
A high school wrestler in wrestling-crazy Iowa forfeited a tournament match Thursday after refusing to grapple with a female opponent.

"As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner," Joel Northrup said in a written statement, according to the Des Moines Register. ...

wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. ... It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most of the high school sports in Iowa."

I cannot believe that girls are allowed to compete with boys in wrestling, of all things. It's totally ridiculous. Toxic feminism has invaded virtually every institution on the face of the planet, excepting the Catholic/Orthodox priesthood and, for now at least, the NFL. (Although, didn't some players opt to wear pink cleats recently to show their solidarity with the fight against breast cancer?)

I could write more on this, but the story speaks for itself.

When the Left Protests

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is trying, like most conservatives today, to have an "adult conversation" about the fiscal disaster facing the state in the wake of years of reckless Democratic rule. One of his main targets for cuts are the previously untouchable, unassailable teachers unions. These class-ditching students don't like it one bit. Dude.

Paul Ryan on Politico

Here are some suggestions for a 2012 ticket: (Anyone listening?)

Gov. Chris Christie - Rep. Paul Ryan

Rep. Paul Ryan - Sen. Marco Rubio

Any way these names are mixed and matched would spell victory for our party.

Here is Christie discussing the "big things": This guy is amazing, and needs to be convinced to run, or be picked as VP.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Feminist Brain Drain

From Politico:
Under the GOP’s current spending proposal, a program, called Title X, will be slashed completely, drastically reducing the services family-planning clinics can provide, including cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and contraception for low-income women, Democrats say. Last year, the program cost $317 million. Separately, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) plans to file an amendment to the spending bill that would bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds.

He filed a similar stand-alone bill last week. ...

“This is a war on women,” said California Democrat Rep. Barbara Lee. “They’re trying to inject their politics and their religion into local family planning.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the top Democrat on the Appropriations’ Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee, which oversees the spending proposal, compared the move to Republican plans to repeal health care reform.

“Much like the repeal of health care reform, this is a Republican agenda to force women back into traditional roles,” she said.

"to force women back into traditional roles." How boring. Can you imagine having, or trying to have, a civil conversation with these gals? You wouldn't be able to get one word in.

One of the most tedious, tiring things about debating with, or for that matter even having to listen to liberals caterwaul, is that especially with regard to issues of race and gender, they unceasingly resort to worn out, intellectually vapid charges of racism and sexism. They cannot face reality, discuss issues maturely. It's much like a parent dealing with persnickety teenagers.

The Force of Roberts

I read this fascinating article, On History's Stage: Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., in Fortune recently at the airport. I highly recommend it to get a good estimate of Chief Justice John Roberts, Obama's chief nemesis.

Paul Ryan at CPAC

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Truth to Power

If only the bishops in this nation would speak as bluntly to the media about abortion as these teenagers do here at the March for Life. (Some do, of course.)

Done with Diversity

I've had it with "diversity." I insert the quotation marks around the word because, in truth, I am a big fan of genuine diversity, but I am absolutely fed up, "change the channel now!" disgusted with the phony, ram it down your throat and to hell with you if you don't like it brand of diversity that so dominates the contemporary agora. It is this kind of intolerant, condescending diversity that sees the rise of "equality ministers" and "equality laws" cropping up like weeds in the vineyard of European politics and society. Fortunately, we have avoided the worst of this subtle, backdoor route to social re-engineering in the United States, but we are hardly immune to the disease.

It's one thing to observe this stuff unfold in the halls of Congress and at East Room White House cocktail parties, but it's all the more insufferable to watch it take hold in the Catholic Church. While still a student in Virginia and Rome, I used to write opinion and news pieces for The Arlington Catholic Herald. Several years later, I still receive the paper on a regular basis, and I like to page through its contents to keep somewhat abreast of what's going on in the DC-Catholic milieu. The most recent cover story featured a large picture taken from a Mass at Holy Family Church, described "to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their parish's Black History and Heritage Outreach Ministry..." Deep breath.

Now, I know many people won't have a problem with this. But I do. For starters, do Catholics need to be reminded of this during Mass? I am pretty open about symposiums, conferences, get-togethers after Mass, etc. to discuss any range of issues (that are in agreement with Church teaching, of course). But why do we have to have these incursions in the Mass itself. Why is it so controversial to insist that the Catholic Mass be the Catholic Mass. It certainly doesn't need to be laden down with silly, ostentatious overtures to this or that group of people based on race and ethnicity. In my opinion, these pandering gestures only distract people from the focus of what liturgy should be about, i.e., Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which, statistics sadly demonstrate, most Catholics don't believe in anymore. What about our Catholic History and Heritage? Shouldn't a prime opportunity for that kind of education be the liturgy? Why dilute the Mass, the pinnacle expression of Catholic universality and unity, with the sort of political correctness that you would expect to find at a mind-numbing diversity training seminar at work? Thanks, but I don't need a contrived, Hallmark card reminder from a liturgical planning committee, comprised of holdovers from the 1960's and 70's, that I am not a racist or prejudiced, or a friendly reminder that I love people of all colors. Am I alone in thinking that this is a little bit patronizing?

I rarely get personal on this blog, mostly out of a belief that blogs tend towards the narcissistic and petty, but in this case I will make an exception. Culturally, I come from a Puerto Rican background on my mother's side. I have been to Puerto Rico many times to stay with family, I speak the language, cook the food and all that jazz. If I had to go to a Mass that purported to be a celebration of Puerto Rican history and heritage, my first reaction would be, "What for? I get that at home." That is not why I go to Mass. I attend Mass for another far more important reason, that is to say, I go for my Catholic heritage, which predates and trumps ethnic or racial ties. Isn't that kind of the point of the Church's universal mark? I certainly don't need a reminder from a third party, i.e., a lecturing liturgical planning committee, about what it means to be Puerto Rican. Tell me instead about what it means to be a Catholic. Novelty! (Just don't let it come from the Church's version of a diversity training seminar on The Office, because then we're back to square one.)

To be clear, I'm not saying that there is no place at all to discuss issues like outreach to black Catholics in the United States. I read Clarence Thomas's excellent memoir, My Grandfather's Son, and he discusses this subject in-depth and it is fascinating. But leave it for outside the liturgy. If anything, in the wake of the catechetical lacuna of the past 40 years, we need to be educated about and reintroduced to our Catholic heritage, and there's no better place for that than the liturgy properly offered, as in the old form of the Mass.

Further Inroads

I've been away for a few days, but I had to share this one. From the Telegraph:
Coalition move to allow gay 'marriages' in church

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat equalities minister, is expected shortly to outline firm plans to lift the current ban on civil partnerships being conducted in places of worship.

In a political "win" for Nick Clegg and his party, the Coalition will also say that such ceremonies should for the first time be allowed to have a religious element, such as hymn-singing and readings from the Bible.

They could, it is understood, also be carried out in the future out by priests or other religious figures.

The landmark move will please equality campaigners but is likely to prompt a fierce backlash from mainstream Christian leaders, as well as some Right-leaning Tories...

Pope Benedict said same-sex marriage was among the "most insidious and dangerous challenges that today confront the common good."

What a travesty. The day we get anything approaching an "equalities minister" in the United States is the day I move to Malta.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Better Than the Real Thing

This is not a good sign about the trends among youth and the online era. From the UK's Daily Mail:
Children are often happier with their online lives than they are with reality, a survey has revealed.

They say they can be exactly who they want to be – and as soon as something is no longer fun they can simply hit the quit button.

The study also shows that, despite concerns about online safety, one in eight young people is in contact with strangers when on the web and often lies about their appearance, age and background.

Question: Where are the parents? Better question: When will the parents themselves grow up?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Paul Ryan Debates the State of the Economy

Every time Paul Ryan takes on the issues, he hits a home run. Simple as that.

Brothers Off to War

Heartbeat Away

From FoxNews:
An unborn child's heartbeat can be detected as soon as 18 days after conception, and supporters of a bill slated to be unveiled in the Ohio Legislature Wednesday say that women should be prohibited from ending pregnancies beyond that milestone.

State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann is planning to unveil the "Heartbeat Bill" and a legislative aide for the Republican tells Fox News that 42 of the 99 representatives in the Ohio state House have signed on to the bill, which would make an exception to the heartbeat rule only in emergency medical situations.

As the story also points out, given the makeup of the courts, the bill's longterm success is unclear.

Gingrich in 4

A nice interview with Newt, as he briefly discusses Egypt, among other things.

Monday, February 07, 2011

On the merits of stepping aside

Having just read that Bristol Palin is releasing a memoir in the not too distant future, I can no longer bite my tongue on the matter. Sarah, Bristol and the gang: Please exit stage right, and the sooner the better.

Palin served a purpose at a specific point in time. She helped rally the conservative base when morale was at an all time low, and she deserves credit for that. But one also needs to know when his/her time has passed, and hand off the torch to the next runner and then gracefully step aside. Indeed, there is a fine line between serving a purpose and being perceived as an opportunist. Bristol, with her book, television appearances, speaking tours, etc., has certainly crossed that line. She should simply return to Alaska, and try to live a normal life, far away from the cameras.

To be sure, there are many blue-blooded, liberal Republicans who are almost as anti-Palin as Michael Moore and Arianna Huffington, and they certainly come across as snobbish and dismissive in their discussions about Palin. But, as much as I find their East Coast condescension distasteful, I cannot totally disavow some of their reservations about the former governor. It's not easy to arrive at this conclusion. I think Palin is a good person who has been treated horrendously by the media and the far left, but, simply put, she's not doing serious conservatism any favors by Facebooking away about everything under the sun. (Maybe on this count, I'm being a little mossy, but should serious statesmen and policy wonks be running to Facebook to share their latest epiphany? Aren't there other venues that are a little more, well, adult?) That said, I am not the only rock-ribbed conservative I know who just cringes when Palin is being interviewed, or offering her views on X, Y and Z. We've all gotten used to hearing the same hackneyed, and rather clunky, talking points over and over and over... and some of them just really stick in our craw. "Lamestream media..." "Mama grizzly" this and that...It's just irritating. Committed conservatives within the tea party should not be timid in voicing serious reservations about the caliber of Sarah Palin. I truly hope she realizes that a presidential run is not a tenable option for her.

And to learn today that Bristol is putting out a memoir? Seriously? That just ices it for me.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Happy Days

A first for this blog, but any Wisconsin native has reason to celebrate tonight with this NEWS. We commemorated Reagan's 100th today, and the Packers took the Lombardi Trophy.

"Not bad, not bad at all."

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Reagan at 100

A short excerpt from a well-written piece appearing in the Telegraph:
Now that Reagan is celebrated for his geniality, it is important to remember that, at the time, these policies caused him to be detested and feared not only by the Communist powers, but by the Western Left and the media elites. Critics claimed that Star Wars would destroy the balance on which nuclear deterrence depended. The myth that he was a dangerously stupid man was assiduously propagated. He wasn’t stupid – although it is true that eager beavers such as Margaret Thatcher were constantly astonished by his ignorance of detail. He was determined...

He never compromised on his creed, and he always understood what is now called spin – the need to ensure that your public messages constantly reflect what you are trying to do. In this sense, he was ready to fight an ideological war, and he won it. Liberals have to praise him now because he beat them, not because he joined them.

Mystery in the Holy Land

Pretty amazing...

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


From the AP:
HIRBET MADRAS, Israel – Israeli archaeologists presented a newly uncovered 1,500-year-old church in the Judean hills on Wednesday, including an unusually well-preserved mosaic floor with images of lions, foxes, fish and peacocks.

The Byzantine church located southwest of Jerusalem, excavated over the last two months, will be visible only for another week before archaeologists cover it again with soil for its own protection.

The small basilica with an exquisitely decorated floor was active between the fifth and seventh centuries A.D., said the dig's leader, Amir Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority. He said the floor was "one of the most beautiful mosaics to be uncovered in Israel in recent years."

Not sure I understand why they are covering it up, rather than leaving it exposed and protected. I'm sure they have their reasons...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Google Meets Art

This is pretty interesting. From the Telegraph:

I'm not an advocate of visiting museums online, as opposed to visiting in person. Is there anything we won't be able to do from our computers, after all? But perhaps some good can come from this, especially for those who are not able to travel. For those who can however, turn off the computer and pick up some tickets.

What the Ruling States

Those looking to better understand the details of Judge Vinson's ruling on the healthcare law should look no further than this excellent piece by Avik Roy, appearing in National Review Online.