Hanover Stake Out

This is a pretty funny article about an event that took place in Hanover (MA) recently. Apparently the owner of a catering company had been robbed three weekends in a row. After the Hanover police did nothing about it, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He told his employees he was going away for the weekend, but instead hung out in his store at night, accompanied by his 12-guage shot gun. Well, for the fourth weekend in a row, and intruder showed up. After he saw him steal a bunch of meat, the owner shot four rounds- two into the floor and two into the guys car. The crook got away, but was eventually arrested with the evidence in his car. Turned out he was an employee (now ex-employee I would assume).

Of course, the burglar is now being treated like the victim in this case. And the owner of the store is facing charges for firing his weapon. A hardworking small business owner is now potentially in trouble for protecting his private property that had been intruded upon for the last three weeks despite his pleas for help from the Hanover police. All this turns the attention away from the fact that the perpetrator is a thug. I bet there would be a lot less thugs like him if more business- and home-owners used our 2nd Amendment rights like this caterer did and worked to protect their property and livelihood.

More interesting than the article, though, are the 67 (at this point) comments written by readers about the story. It gives me a little hope as a resident of Communist Massachusetts to see that 90+% of them are in support of the caterer and gun rights in general. I don't have enough space to write a lot of what they said, but many of them are very good points.
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Pennsylvania

Before I begin, a word to the wise. Never, ever take logic.

Well I'm back from my brief hiatus after an incredibly busy week. In that time I missed something big: Hillary carried Pennsylvania by 10%. This is a pretty big deal as it shushed all the naysayers who said she was done after last night. She seems to be alive and well, though just as unlikely as ever to win the party's nomination. Financially, she's doing better, too. She raised $3 million overnight last night. So what does all this mean for the good guys? It means that we can look forward to months more of Democrat on Democrat bashing all the way up until the convention in late August. I'm now convinced that the prolonged battle has been good for McCain even given the lack of media attention paid to him. I read an article the other day that reminded me that John McCain has been ignored by the Democratic PACs that say all the things candidates don't want to say publicly about him. Instead of focusing on their eventual opponent, they have been too busy picking sides in the Democratic race and arguing that position, or treading lightly as to not upset either Democratic candidate.

One of the liberals in my government class was trying to make the point that the primary battle hasn't hurt the Democrats, as the GOP would have eventually made the same attacks and accusations as the Dems are now anyways. But, another member of the class wisely brought up the point that any "attack" by a known conservative group these days is automatically ignored or discredited by the media and voters. The fact that Hillary has been making these attacks on Barack herself, or vice versa, gives the accusations a certain legitimacy in the eyes of voters that they may not have had before. I think thats a pretty accurate argument there.

In the meantime I'll continue to root for Hillary to survive as long as possible, and even grab the nomination. I'd love to watch the chaos that follows that event.

Off to government class...
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...

I promise I'll be back with a post later today after my Logic exam this afternoon! A lot to chat about!
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Pope

So after reading the news this afternoon I'm regretting the fact that I didn't make more of an effort to go see the Pope's celebration of mass today at the new National's stadium for two reasons:

1) He is an international symbol of hope, an example for all of us to live up to. In an age where we're all wrapped up in partisan politics and pointing fingers at each other, we forget that there is a higher meaning and Truth to life. His presence is a moment to reflect on that higher meaning and think about issues that often slip to the back burner.

2) In this age where its culturally shameful to "admit" that you're a believer or a Catholic, especially at Georgetown or in any college, I personally cherish the few moments when I'm surrounded by a large group of practicing Catholics unashamed of their faith. I can only imagine the feeling of community in being surrounded by 46,000 mass participants, for once not subconsciously looking to see people's reactions when the words "God" or "Jesus" are mentioned. That's one of the reasons that I like the 8 PM mass, though many of my peers question the legitimacy of the mass for various technical reasons. The power of community I sense there through the music and group Our Father- a sense I've never felt at any other mass- is enough to keep me coming back each week.

Guess I'll have to wait for next time...
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Word of the Week

Word of the week:

Opprobrium- n., the disgrace or the reproach incurred by conduct considered outrageously shameful; infamy; a cause or object of such reproach.

From Friedrich A. Hayek's
The Road to Serfdom
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Oops...did I say that?

On people from small towns in Pennsylvania and the Midwest:

"And its not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

-Barack Obama, Candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States

Additionally, two great Politico articles:

-
"What Clinton Wishes She Could Say"

-"12 Reasons 'Bitter' is Bad for Obama"
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Back for more...

Hah. Well the last article was the first one I stumbled upon in the Boston Globe. However, I've just found two more that are just too good to pass up. More good examples of what happens with a Democratic executive...

What's that voice you hear in your car? No, it's not Howard Stern or talk radio. It's Cadillac Deval finding new ways to dictate how you live your life and raise your children....

New Law Increases Mandatory Booster Seat Age

On a happier note...

Governor Patrick's Popularity Reaches a New Low


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"Victory" for Patrick

Deval Patrick scored a big "victory" today by passing a $392 million tax increase on businesses and consumers. I don't know how anyone who can view this as a victory. The only people who are hurt from tax increases like this are consumers. In these uncertain economic times, the last thing consumers need is to be spending more money on goods and services. Under the new plan, which passed the House today and moves onto the Senate shortly, Massachusetts will raise the taxes on cigarettes to the second highest tax rate in the nation behind New Jersey. It is estimated that a pack will now be 20% more expensive at an average of $6.41. Now, I think smoking is dumb. I've saw my grandmother die of the effects of smoking. It's not pretty. However, I don't believe that taxing these people will do anything to change their habits (they're addicted, remember?). It's just another way to take advantage of a group that not too many people feel bad for. And guess who gets squeezed most by this tax? A lot of poor people, who smoke at a much higher rate than their middle and upper class counterparts. So much for the Democrats being there for the poor.

These politicians will also claim that these taxes only affect "big, bad" corporations who should be seen as evil, profit-mongering entities that exist only to abuse employees, customers, and foreign workers all over the world. What they don't realize is that the companies and banks will deal with the new taxes like they do every time. There are two options: They'll either move out of the state (or not ever enter it), resulting in thousands of lost jobs. Or, they'll just pass the increased expenses onto consumers, who will bear the brunt of the tax increases. Again, so much for looking out for these constituents Democrats claim to support so much.

Congrats on being a typical tax and spend Democrat, Deval. You're just what Taxachusetts needed.
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Speech

Senator Brownback of Kansas is one of my favorite politicians because of the fact that he really isn't a politician- in ordinary terms, anyways. He's a man who leads an incredible life of faith and uses his conscience to sort through his decisions in the political arena. He's also humble. After seeing him speak tonight on the interaction of faith and politics in Copley Formal Lounge, he stayed after for over half an hour to personally meet and answer the questions of everyone who hung around. Luckily, I was last in line and got talk to him for five minutes and then get my picture taken. It's pretty sweet to think that I was able to talk to someone who plays such an important role in our government.

What struck me most about his speech tonight was one simple, yet profound statement that I've been thinking about all night. He stated:

"We need to start thinking of people as people and not of people as problems"

It doesn't sound like much, but when I think it over and take the statement apart, I find a heck of a lot more than those few words. I do see that politicians and citizens, myself included, treat people mainly as problems. Whether this be the problematic prison inmate, the problematic protester, the problematic tax payer, etc. We take away the humanity of these people in thinking of them as problems.

I think a pertinent example of this is the example of panhandlers. So often I pass these people either with eyes downcast or ears shut- uncomfortable by them and the situation. However, my faith calls me to see that person not as a problem of sorts, but simply as a person- a person with worth and dignity.

Senator Brownback is someone to whom I look up to as a challenge to live out my faith in every day life. I certainly fail to do so, and hope that with the continued reminder and challenge set forth by people like him I can motivate myself to rise to the occasion and see the humanness behind the face, regardless of the circumstance.
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Word of the Week

Word of the week:

Nimby- n., not in my back yard; used to express opposition by local citizens to the locating in their neighborhood of a civi project, as a jail, garbage dump, or drug rehabilitation center, that, though needed by the larger community, is considered unsightly, dangerous, or likely to lead to decreased property values. Related form: Nimbyism

So I thought I was going to have a hard time finding this weeks word. Well, that all changed in government class today. While discussing whether or not private property is the last metaphysical right left these days (as claims Richard Weaver), a few classmates spoke all about nimbyism. Not knowing what that was, it earned the spot in the Word of the Week. Congratulations, nimbyism.
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Rafting!

Went whitewater rafting today for the first time! It was a lot of fun. The Credit Union took its yearly excursion this year to Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania for some level 3-4 rapids. The four hour bus trip was actually really scenic, as it was all through mountains and farmland- a reminder of what America is really like outside the bubbles in which most of us live in the suburbs and cities of the U.S. The weather worked out for us as best as we could ask. The air was probably low 50s all day, but the sun was out. The water was pretty cold though and most of us couldn't feel our toes at the end of the 3 hour, 7.5 mile river course. Thankfully I managed to stay onboard the raft, so I wasn't shivering the whole time like a few others who got tossed thanks to a few big rocks or a big rapid.

So, if you ever have the opportunity...I can now recommend that you should definitely check out whitewater rafting.
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Resource Forum

Well I somehow lost the article I had emailed to myself earlier this week with the intention of posting about. However, I found a much more interesting article that includes the quote that I wanted from the old article and even more (!). I'll get the quote from the first article out of the way first:

Barack Obama on teaching his daughters about sex:

"I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby".

The quote speaks for itself, but it just shows how out-of-tune Obama and many members of the Democratic party are on this issue. Since when are children punishments? The Democratic Culture of Death is at work here. It's quotes like this that make us realize how pathetic and disgusting it is.

Next,
this article in the Washington Post discusses how Obama has been attempting to portray himself as a somewhat moderate on the abortion issue throughout the campaign, not wanting to appear an extremist. The article does a good job showing just how untrue this image really is. Obama is an abortion extremist just like he's an extremist on most other issues. He was against the ban on partial-birth abortion, which 70-80% of Americans supported depending on which polls you read (if you feel like feeling sick to your stomach, Google "partial-birth abortion" and become informed of the procedure. The actual court transcripts of the case are the most telling, in my opinion). He didn't support a bill that made it illegal for a doctor to kill a child that survived an attempted abortion. He's favored abortion unapologetically and to the max throughout his career.

On another separate, but semi-related matter, I attended Georgetown's Pregnancy Resource Forum last night. The event included panelists from Georgetown, local pregnancy center directors, and a local student-mother. These people were brought together, not to debate abortion, but to discuss ways to better serve pregnant and parenting students on Georgetown and other college campuses so that abortion doesn't seem like the "only option". Georgetown supplies a townhouse for student parents, diapers and baby supplies, some babysitting, counseling, etc. for student parents. However, the vast majority of students don't know this and don't even think there are any parenting students on campus (there are). So, a lot of the night was spent discussing ways to increase the general knowledge of these important facts and ways to improve them even more. Overall, it was a very enlightening and productive event. It's nice to know that there are so many different people out there who care about students in these situations and do their best to aid them through what can be a traumatic experience.

Thats all for now. I should be back tomorrow with comments on a piece published in the Economist recently that shows that conservatives lead happier lives than their counterparts. No surprise there in my opinion. But, its a good article. So be excited for it.
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That time of year...

It's that time of year again at households and campuses across the country, and perhaps the world. It's that time when no matter where you seem to go, you're followed by the incessant drizzly, congested sound of inhalation. It's sniffle season.

With the opening of the cherry blossoms down in DC comes the invasion of everyone's favorite allergies (not from the cherry blossoms alone) and the sudden realization that you're running on an average of five hours of sleep a night, vulnerable to every little germ. First comes the runny nose, then the congestion, then the reactive sniffle. Again. And again. And again. Sitting here in the library is like sitting through an orchestra of snifflers. An orchestra horribly out of tune.

Sniffling is one of the things (next to eating with ones mouth open and other bad manners) that drives me absolutely crazy. I don't understand what's pleasant about sniffling. Never have, never will (maybe I should try it sometime). I also don't understand why these people will continue to sniffle again and again without getting a stinkin' Kleenex. Instead, they'd rather go on and on disrupting the silence of a library, class room, or dorm room. You'll never catch me without some sort of napkin (usually the Dunkin Donuts or Subway variety) within arms reach to combat that evil little runny nose. For mine and everyone else's sake, let's hope the practice catches on.
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Word of the Week

Word of the Week:

Prig- n., a person who displays or demands of others pointlessly precise conformity, fussiness about trivialities, or exaggerated propriety, especially in a self-righteous or irritating manner.

You can thank Richard Weaver's "Ideas Have Consequences" for that one.
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