The catch for using KAT
Today I am going to talk about a subject that I know is unusual for many conservatives to discuss and is a subject where I take a position that may put me at odds with some of my conservative compatriots. For people with disabilities, however, this is an issue they can’t ignore and one that confronts them every day.
Affordable, reliable, accessible, and frequent public transit is something that many people with disabilities need to survive. Many of us do not want to sit at home and collect from the public dole, we’d rather work hard and be productive members of society. In order to accomplish that goal, accessible transit must exist in the cities where we live, especially for those unable to drive.
I’m not saying that Knoxville Area Transit
is a bad transit system. The good news is that there is a bus that comes right up to the building where I live. That bus will take me downtown, and it will take me to transfer points where I can catch other busses that go to various places throughout the city. In this sense, KAT has managed to fulfill their requirements under the Americans With Disabilities Act with room to spare. The flip side is that the first bus that I can catch doesn’t come by here until 7:15. That creates a problem if I happen to have a job that isn’t directly downtown where I might need to be to work by 8AM. If I need to transfer busses, there is a great possibility that I will be late for work through no fault of my own.
KAT and other systems like it could do better, and it wouldn’t take much. In the case of KAT, it would merely take running the busses an hour earlier every day, this would insure that folks who needed to be to work before 9AM could all get there, and no one gets sacked for something they can’t control.
Newspapers in Knoxville (con't)
The back-handed attack on Judge Roberts
Since those on the left are unable to effectively engage in a smear campaign against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts (his record, after all, does not lend itself to smearing), some of them have resorted to perhaps the lowest tactic imaginable: They have attempted to attack Judge Roberts through his wife. Apparently, Judge Roberts’ wife has been very adamant in her pro-life views. She has represented pro-life persons and organizations in pro bono
work, and she has been unashamed to make her views on the question of abortion widely known. Hence, the abortionists, led by NARAL, NOW, etc, are now openly saying that we can view Mrs. Roberts’ views as a reflection of her husband’s.
Obviously, I think it is a safe bet that Judge Roberts is pro-life. However, the femi-Nazi element of the Democratic Party is showing their hypocrisy. For years, these people have claimed to tout the ability of women to think for themselves independent of the men who they have chosen to tie themselves to. Women can think independently, so that is not an extreme principle in the least. It shows a poor regard for Mrs. Roberts’ independence of mind, however, for the pro-abortion left to merely assume that because Mrs. Roberts believes something, Judge Roberts must also believe it, or that Mrs. Roberts is bound to believe as her husband does.
As Rush Limbaugh
pointed out on his program today, the so-called pro-choice movement is a mass contradiction. They say they believe in “choice,” but the only choice they truly believe in is the “choice” to abort the child. If one phrases choice in terms of choosing life, the pro-death side will tell you that this is not truly pro-choice. The Roberts’ pro-life convictions are unacceptable to the abortionists precisely because they are not pro-choice. They do not accept or respect the choice of many people in this country, including Judge and Mrs. Roberts, to choose to protect life and not to destroy it.
The Roberts appointment
Several people have asked me since last night what I think of the President’s choice for the Supreme Court, Judge John Roberts of the D.C. Court of Appeals. One of my closest friends and confidantes, R. Jason Howard, Esq., openly speculated as to whether conservatives have been sold out by Roberts’ appointment. Another friend wanted to know if I believed Roberts was “the genuine article.” Many people are concerned that Roberts is a “stealth candidate,” and we don’t know much about his prior record.
We do know some things about Roberts’ legal record, however. He has argued 39 cases before the United States Supreme Court. Among his achievements as a counsel in the Reagan Administration was to write a brief declaring that Roe v. Wade
was bad law, and was a poorly written and argued legal decision. He wrote a similar brief for the previous President Bush. Not only do NARAL, the National Organization for Women, People for the (un)American Way, and the ACLU all oppose Roberts’ nomination, but Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, and the Senate Democratic Caucus are already beginning to whine, with Teddy-boy threatening a filibuster. Judging by the Democrat reaction, John Roberts must be a solid choice or the liberals would not be throwing a royal conniption.
Conservatives need to simmer down in this case. In no way do I believe the President intended to sell us out here. Had he wanted to do that, he would have appointed Alberto Gonzales. President Bush is not a mind reader, he can’t tell us, nor can we know, how John Roberts will perform on the Supreme Court. Ronald Reagan could not have known how Sandra Day O’Connor would perform (her record was quite mixed as we know), but her past record at the time of her nomination showed she was a stellar candidate. There is the chance that John Roberts won’t live up to his promise, just as his predecessor didn’t, but Roberts has a record that would indicate that he’d be a fine conservative candidate for the Court. He has been the strict constructionist we have waited for all these many years. It would be wrong of the President not to have considered Roberts, and if he turns out to be the good Justice the President expects him to be, we will all cheer this appointment as President Bush’s greatest legacy.
A citizen of Rocky Top
Well, what we knew was coming in theory has now become a reality. As of 2:20pm today, I officially became a citizen of the sovereign State of Tennessee. At first blush, the official procedure for establishing resident-citizenship (which, as in most states, can only occur when one receives an identification card which verifies that the bearer is a Tennessean-for those who drive, the driver’s license suffices for this purpose) does seem much more complicated than some other states. In Ohio, for instance, a Social Security card and the license/ID from the bearer’s previous home-state (so long as the person is a citizen of the United States, and has previously lived in a member state of the Union) is all that is needed for an Ohio identification, thus establishing resident-citizenship very easily. In Tennessee, the procedure is more difficult. It would seem that the authorities in Nashville would rather be safe than sorry in assuring that neither transients nor terrorists (nor certain of the Yankee race) achieve anything resembling the rights of citizenship in this state. Hence, they require that when receiving a form of identification which would verify a person’s Tennessee citizenship, the person applying for such identification must present a birth certificate as well as a Social Security card. Along with these items that verify identity and citizenship in the Union, the State of Tennessee further requires that the applicant present either A.) A lease agreement and one piece of official mail or B.) two pieces of official mail to verify residency within the borders of the state.
As you might imagine, this is quite hard to do for a brand new resident, as neither Nicole or myself have been privy to much mail in just over a week of residing in our current domicile. In addition, I had to dig through our things in the hopes of finding my birth certificate. If I could not have found it, I might have needed to send all the way to Fairfield County, Ohio just to get it. We actually had to wait to get our ID and license just so that we could get enough mail to prove we lived here. Initially it seemed like this was a real hassle, but after the fact I see the wisdom in it. Having to go through such trouble to establish identity and residency deters the enemies of the state and nation from trying to establish residency here. It also deters Yankees of the better-than-thee self-righteous sort from attempting to remake this state into some sort of New England South-since establishing permanency takes some effort.
Those states that have not established these types of measures might seriously consider them. It would be a way to establish real “homeland security” without compromising the liberties of the public.
A (partial) correction
In one of my previous audio posts, I bet the ranch that most of the beastophiles in the Washington State beastiality/animal cruelty investigation were probably Democrats or they at least voted for Kerry. Adam Graham was quick to point out that I was generalizing, as there are several red states that have overlooked the fact that their legislatures have failed to outlaw beastiality. Indeed, this is true...however, I do stand by the notion that those who engage in such behavior probably didn't vote for George W. Bush.
Serving two masters
Let me begin this post by admitting to our loyal readers my utter lack of attention to the affairs of both the world (political and sporting) and the Church in the last couple of weeks. As you can imagine, the days of my life have been consumed with moving and now with a very serious employment search. On a personal level, I trust the Lord completely that he will provide for all of our needs.
One very serious piece of ecclesiastical news came from this week's Catholic Telegraph.
Apparently, Edward Cardinal Egan of New York has decided to implement what is called a "peculiar rule" of canon law, that is one that applies only to his jurisdiction, the Archdiocese of New York. He has decided that Pope John Paul II's 1980 ban on priests seeking public office or being openly involved in political parties will now extend to the deacons of New York as well. As with civil law, canon law (even law that is only local in scope) has a "grandfather clause," the Cardinal is allowing those deacons who are already serving in public office or in party political positions to finish their terms or continue in their party positions until they are replaced. However, in this case only one person, a local conservative Democrat, was grandfathered in. When I first read about Cardinal Egan's localized extension of the politics rule, I was concerned. After all, a lot of the deacons who would be affected by this are good men, committed to realizing the teachings of the Church in public life. What's more, unlike priests, who are expected to devote their entire lives and
their public persons to the Church, deacons are fully expected to carry on a career, care for a family, and maintain a full life over and above their service to the Church. It might even be said that the life of a deacon outside of the Church is part of his ministry to the Church. And, I thought, if deacons are expected to carry on a secular life, what are these men devoted to public service supposed to do?
What astounded me though was the support of many of the deacons for Cardinal Egan's decision. One deacon, a county Republican Party Chairman, immediately resigned his post. He said "I cannot serve two masters. I would not be in a position as a deacon to uphold, without bias or prejudice, the teachings of the Church while I am in a partisan political position." He said he fully supported the Cardinal's decision.
It appears that we could all use a lesson in obedience from the deacons of New York.
Joy and sadness at the same time
In my audio post from this morning, I noted to regular readers that Nicole and I were joining a new parish with our move, and one which we are not entirely unfamiliar. Holy Ghost Parish has impressed both Nicole and myself because of that parish church's unwavering commitment to the undying truths and solid traditions of the Catholic faith. This is the place Nicole and I would worship whenever we had reason to visit Knoxville in the past. Holy Ghost is not a place for the lightweight Catholic. Its pastor, Father Xavier Mankel, OP, seems remarkably unafraid to preach on controversial issues, and today he discussed in detail the reason the Church employs a three-year cycle for reading the scripture, and how this initially had its roots in the catechesis (teaching) of unbaptized people and new Christians. I am fortunate that Father Mankel will also serve as Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Council that it appears I am about to transfer into.
With the promise of a new spiritual adventure awaiting both Nicole and I in a new parish church and a new (for me, anyway) hometown comes a real tinge of sadness. One of the people who initially attracted us to Holy Ghost was Father John O'Neill, the Associate Pastor. From the day we first walked into the door at Holy Ghost as mere visitors and strangers, Father John treated us with warm hospitality and we felt as though we were his long lost friends. The man radiates Christ in his very being in a way that I wish I could imitate. A native of Ireland, he speaks in the soft, distinctive brogue of the Dublin pail, and I have never seen him without a smile on his face. The day we found the place where we would live was the day that we also learned that, on the orders of Bishop Kurtz, Father O' Neill would be leaving Holy Ghost. Today was our first Sunday in our new parish church home, and it was Father John's last. A farewell reception was held in the church basement, and Nicole and I went to say goodbye. I remember the first time we met Father John, he heard our confessions, and with conversation I'd say he spent nearly a half-hour with us. During the course of our talk, he told us that he thought we ought to move to Knoxville, and that God may have a plan for us here. His advice would prove prophetic.
I am told that his replacement is a very fine priest, and I am sure that this is very true. I do regret, however, that I never had the opportunity to know Father John O' Neill much better than I did, or to officially sit under his ministry. I have read many of his notes in the Holy Ghost bulletin, and I can say that he spares no expense in proclaiming the truth. The people of Nashville are very lucky to have such a holy priest coming to serve them. What spoke to me most about Father John was the fact that, even though we weren't there every Sunday,after the fist time he met us, he never again forgot us. Today, he gave us both his priestly blessing, and advised us to give Father Brent Shelton, the new Associate Pastor, the same warm reception and prayerful consideration as parish members that we had given him from so far away, and we assured him of our love in Christ and continued prayers for his ministry. May God give us 10,000 more priests like Father O'Neill
Joining Holy Ghost (con't)