ornament 5 October 2005 ornament

The New Age of Civil Rights

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men should have Wi-Fi.

Sound a little awkward? San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom doesn’t think so. Newsom, the same renegade politician who performed illegal same-sex marriages, has effectively made meaningless the term civil rights:

Wireless access can be seen a basic right that should be available not just to business professionals but also lower-income citizens. “This is a civil rights issue as much as anything else,” Newsom said.

I suppose it is likewise a fundamental right for everyone to have computers with which to use the Wi-Fi. And surely at least 1 GB of RAM has been given us by God.

Once upon a time civil rights meant things like “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” In California, it seems, absurdity has been added to the mix.

UPDATE: Prosthesis also has some good thoughts on the matter.

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ornament 4 October 2005 ornament

Puritans, Playboy, & Repression

Much like the rich politician who tries to present himself as growing up poor, Playboy magazine creator Hugh Hefner makes the news with the revelation of his Puritan roots:

Hefner tells Time magazine he is a direct descendant of William Bradford, a Puritan who came over on the Mayflower.

“There was a great deal of repression in their lives and the way they were raised and, in turn, the way I was raised,” he said.

Libertine celebrities, along with much of the reigning therapeutic regime, often confuse repression with restraint. Repression is typically defined as “The unconscious exclusion of painful impulses, desires, or fears from the conscious mind.” Groups such as the Puritans and the Elizabethans are viewed by the Hefner set as having unconciously supressed their desires, which builds up an unhealthy pressure in people. The only way to be rid of these unhealthy “repressed” desires is to throw off all inhibitions and act upon them.

The problem with this assessment isn’t so much the view that repressed desires are always unhealthy — although that view is indeed suspect. The fact is that Puritans repressed very little. Instead, they exercised restraint — an intentional holding back of one’s faculties. “Just because you can,” the saying goes, “doesn’t mean you should.”

Tragically, Hefner and other libertines view the restraint of their forefathers as more of a burden than a good. Rather than practicing the strength of self-control, they bathe in the fundamental weakness found in their lack of restraint.

Self control is difficult — even for the Puritans, even for present-day Christians. Perhaps it would do us all some good to dwell on Paul’s brief letter to Titus, where restraint is frequently commended.

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ornament 3 October 2005 ornament

And The Nominee Is…

. . . Harriet Miers. Not wanting to play partisan politics, President Bush has selected a nominee that makes both sides uneasy. I hope that she’ll turn out to be as convincing as Justice Roberts appears to be, but I’m surprised that the president didn’t go for someone with a more proven originalist record time. If John Roberts was a stealth candidate, then Harriet Myers is a virtual ghost.

Time will tell . . .

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ornament 2 October 2005 ornament

Quashing the Rebels

Volunteers 27, Rebels 10

The Vols didn’t make the 21.5 point spread against the Ole Miss Rebels, but they did cap a difficult week with another victory. The Vol defense shined once more, adding to their defensive offensive (can I say that?) presence. Mississippi had 50 yards total rushing for the game, and the Vols managed to limit 200 yards of Michael Spurlock passing to only 10 points.

Offensively, Rick Clausen had a decent game with 206 passing yards. Arian Foster’s name came up a lot, and showed that the Tennessee tradition of great running backs is by no means anemic.

While Mississippi may have been a bit of respite, the next two weeks will be the much like the last two weeks — perhaps even more difficult. Despite their #4 Coaches’ Poll ranking, Georgia has gone largely untested in the SEC this season. Neyland Stadium may make all the difference in next Saturday’s game.

And then there’s Alabama, but we’ll save that discussion for next week…

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