Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Overshadowed by the financial crisis is the sad news the New York Sun is closing down, the last issue was published today. It never turned a profit in its six-and-a half years (in fact it lost a million bucks a month) and the publishers at last decided to pull the plug. I will miss it, having been a reader from the very first issue. It provided a welcome alternative to the New York Times (which, after reading most of my life, I finally gave up on in disgust in 2001) with an editorial policy I could embrace and an arts section that easily outclassed the one in the Times.
The Sun goes out in glory with its vehement opposition to the Wall Street bailout, arguing, as I do, it is far better to let the markets sort out this mess rather than capitulate to the Marxists by turning our banking system over to the government. The Sun's opinion on the bailout ran contrary to all other papers in town, the Times (naturally), the News, the Post, even the Wall Street Journal (the late Robert L. Bartley is surely spinning in his grave) all having endorsed it. Also praiseworthy, the Sun proved to be a major thorn in the side of the city's derelict and sclerotic education industry, provoking many entertainingly angry responses from Chief Educationist Weingartner of the Teachers Cartel.
Alas, whatever will I read now on the A Train?
Monday, September 29, 2008
In the fall of 1907, it took J.P. Morgan just eight weeks to resolve a credit crisis similar to ours. Several years of buoyant growth and too much risk-taking in poorly understood investments led to needs for capital that could not be met. Morgan, then 70, locked the nation's top bankers into the ornate library at his home for late-night confession sessions. He asked them to lay bare their balance sheets, keeping himself alert with endless Havana cigars.No doubt it is not desirable for so much power to be in the hands of one person and, regardless, it would be impossible now to pull off what Morgan did then. Still, comparing Morgan's bold decisiveness with the endless dithering, hand ringing and whiny incriminating by the clowns who pass as leaders today in Washington, you can't help wonder why there are no longer men of integrity anymore on Wall Street (believe it or not, they did exist). They most certainly would have agreed with the following.
The bankers reviewed one another's assets and liabilities. Morgan then decided which financial institutions had to go and which would live, getting commitments from the survivors and from the U.S. Treasury for infusions of capital. This Panic of 1907 had rattled the New York Stock Exchange and the markets for gold and municipal bonds, ruined several banks and trust companies, and nearly bankrupted New York City. Share prices fell by half. But once Morgan was done knocking banking heads together, markets swiftly recovered.
As sophisticated as we are now, with hundreds of categories of debt available on a single trading screen, in some ways more information about assets and liabilities was available in 1907, when the workflow device for traders was a simple pencil and scrap paper. We also seem to have forgotten a basic point well known to Morgan, who would have recalled the panics of 1837, 1857, 1873 and 1897: Until prices are established, credit panics will not end and financial firms will remain frozen. The lesson of previous credit crises is that the sooner new valuations are set for bank assets and liabilities, the sooner recovery begins.That will happen, of course, but only when the markets have reached bottom; when you lance a boil it has to drain until the toxins are gone. Otherwise it comes right back, worse than before.
(Thanks to L. Gordon Crovitz's Information Age on WSJ.com.)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Now, it turns out, the family of the Sgt. Jopek, who support our efforts in Iraq, has asked Obama to stop wearing the bracelet but he has yet to comply. Jopek's mother says when she gave it to him, she "just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself." Poor, naive woman; don't hold your breath waiting to see this reported in the New York Times.
UPDATE: Not so, apparently: the mother of Sgt. Jopek, an Obama supporter, doesn't object to Obama wearing the bracelet. She is also okay with him bringing it up during the debate because McCain broached up the subject.
Friday, September 26, 2008
FOXNEWS.COM HOME > U.S.We can be sure this arrest passed the smell test.
West Virginia Man Charged with Assaulting an Officer
South Charleston Police Department
A man arrested for driving under the influence in West Virginia got himself into a lot more trouble later at the police station.
During fingerprinting, Cruz then allegedly moved closer to one of the officers and passed gas, the station reported. In the complaint, the investigating officer wrote that police noticed a "very strong" odor.
The alleged stunt led Cruz to be charged with another offense — battery on an officer — in addition to DUI and obstruction, WSAZ reported.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Michael Baron of U.S. News and World Report wonders why mainstream media pays scant attention to Barack Obama and his tight relationship with William Ayers, the retired Weatherman and utterly unrepentant Pentagon bomber. The answer might be that reporters are exercising the journalistic equivalent of jury nullification, "the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless of the weight of evidence against him or her" and is "thus a means for the people to express opposition to an unpopular legislative enactment."
Mainstream media being so far to the left and so entrenched in the Obama camp, it matters less to them Ayers planted the bombs than under whom they were planted. Since that was mainly the despised military and "the pigs" the crime, in their eyes, is effectively nullified. For even though Ayers' methods might have been unorthodox, even a tad excessive, deep inside his heart was pure and his cause was good; he was fighting the man. Hence he did no wrong, hence there is no story. Obama gets a pass.
Imagine a different situation: supposing Ayers, rather than bombing, inter alia, the Pentagon, the Capitol and the NYPD headquarters, had instead devoted his incendiary talents to the destruction of abortion clinics. Stretch the mind a little further and also imagine Ayers is chums with John McCain (try, anyway). Could we expect a similarly blasé attitude from our mainstream media or might they then decide setting off bombs really isn't a nice thing to do after all and it reflects badly on a presidential candidate who is pals with someone who does?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP(Thanks to Mark Shea)
I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.
I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.
THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.
PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.
YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON
In any event, Ms. Wolf is back but, sadly, is apparently off her meds. She has joined the ever-growing gaggle of aggrieved, and unstable feminists who loudly honk their displeasure with (can you guess it?) Sarah Palin, to an increasingly unconcerned public. Give the lady credit, though, she does honk with exquisite style. (Note: for maximum effect, while reading what follows imagine a big ol' Wurlitzer theater organ, wheezing away with jiggly vibrato and lots of diminished and augmented seventh chords). Ms Wolf, the floor is yours:
What's the plan? It is this. McCain doesn't matter. Reputable dermatologists are discussing the fact that in simply actuarial terms, John McCain has a virulent and life-threatening form of skin cancer. It is the elephant in the room, but we must discuss the health of the candidates: doctors put survival rates for someone his age at two to four years. I believe the Rove-Cheney cabal is using Sarah Palin as a stalking horse, an Evita figure, to put a popular, populist face on the coming police state and be the talk show hostess for the end of elections as we know them. If McCain-Palin get in, this will be the last true American election. She will be working for Halliburton, KBR, Rove and Cheney into the foreseeable future -- for a decade perhaps -- a puppet "president" for the same people who have plundered our treasure, are now holding the US economy hostage and who murdered four thousand brave young men and women in a way of choice and lies.Do tell!
How, you may ask, can I assert this? How can I argue, as I now do, that there is actually a war being ramped up against US citizens and our democracy and that Sarah Palin is the figurehead and muse for that war?
In McCain-Palin's America, citizens who are protesting are being charged as terrorists. This means that a violent war had been declared on American citizens. A well known reporter leaked to me on background that St Paul police had dressed as protesters and, dressed in Black -- shades of the Blackshirts of 1920 -- infiltrated protest groups. There were also phalanxes of men in black wearing balaclavas, linking arms and behaving menacingly -- alleged "anarchists." Let me tell you, I have been on the left for thirty years and you can't get three lefties to wear the same t-shirt to a rally, let alone link arms and wear identical face masks: these are not our guys. Agent Provocateurs framing protesters and calling protest "terrorism" constitutes step ten of a police state...Yikes!!! What can one do at this point but sing lustily and with good courage the famous Tinfoil Hat Song?
Monday, September 22, 2008
...For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.Read it all. The McCain campaign would be wise to hammer the Democrats relentlessly, every day, hour and minute, on this matter. Barring unforeseen international events, the Fannie/Freddie debacle should prove to be the number one issue for the rest of the campaign and for years to come. And while there are Republicans who bear culpability, never before has there been a disaster of such magnitude that nevertheless could so easily have been prevented (the Wall Street Journal was warning us about it fifteen years ago) were it not for the cynical expediency and greed of Democrats, who thwarted any attempts to rein in the millionaire grifters running Fannie and Freddie.
If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.
But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.
But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.
(Thanks to the Instapundit.)
Christopher Hitchens Does Believe in God!A clergyman I know predicted ((to his face) Hitchens would die a "Catholic or madman." Potemra argues Hitchens is more the puritan (!) but never mind, at least he's moving in the right direction.
Hitchens claimed not to be a reductionist; he said mankind cannot do without the "numinous" and (I think this was his other phrase) the "transcendent." (He located this in, for example, Verdi's "Requiem.") Now the numinous and the transcendent are exactly what we believers mean by God. Hitchens says what he doesn't believe in is the "supernatural" — but that's merely a quibble about words. If you use the word "nature" — as so many people do — as interchangeable with "what is" or "being," then God is not "super-natural" at all, because — as Aquinas, chiefly, reminds us — God is the pure act of Being itself, Ipsum Esse Subsistens.
MADISON, Wis. - Michelle Obama says the outcome of the presidential race can be determined by young people and women.If Ms. Obama is correct, that the "outcome of the presidential race can be determined by young people and women," than the Obama campaign is in serious trouble. The Trib didn't provide a picture with the story but Ann Althouse has one, taken at the time Michelle Obama began her speech. I am certainly no expert at estimating crowds but there is no way in hell there are 1800 souls in that picture below; 200, maybe. Likewise for the "80 women" standing behind Ms. Obama (she spoke from the small stand of bleachers in front of the of the "Change" banner); 25 perhaps? We can only assume a credulous (and sympathetic, needless to say) reporter was fed those numbers by campaign workers and duly copied them into his or her notebook.
Speaking Monday on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Michelle Obama tailored her speech to the many women and college students in the crowd of about 1,800.
About 80 women stood behind Michelle Obama as she spoke in Madison.
If this is all forces the Obama campaign could muster in a leftie stronghold like Madison, things do not look good at all for them.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, Palin drew 60,000 to Biden's 2000 in the Villages, Florida.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Already under fire for his tax troubles, Manhattan Congressman Charles Rangel really put his foot in his mouth on Friday.Nice work, Charlie, your man's polls should heading south again in no time.
In a CBS 2 HD exclusive interview, Rep. Rangel called Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "disabled."
The question was simple: Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity?
The answer was astonishing.
"You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said.
That's right. The chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee called Palin disabled -- even when CBS 2 HD called him on it.
CBS 2 HD: "You got to be kind to the disabled?"
CBS 2 HD: "She's disabled?"
Rangel: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Posted: 1:31 pmFish in a barrel, I'd say.
September 16, 2008
WASHINGTON - The Associated Press has learned that Charles Rangel will not step down as chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee.
People close to the New York Democrat told The AP on Tuesday that giving up the powerful chairmanship was never under consideration. They spoke on condition of anonymity because Rangel has refused to discuss the matter publicly.
Rangel has come under fire for unreported income on a beach vacation home in the Dominican Republic, as well as other issues. He has been meeting privately the past
WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.Lies, lies, lies! Not true at all, says the Obama campaign.
According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.
"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview.
Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops - and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion."
Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."Got that? Boy, I'm glad they cleared that up, for a moment I thought he had broken the law.
In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.
September 16, 2008 --
NOBODY loves the New York Post more than Brigid Berlin, the privileged socialite who became an Andy Warhol "superstar." Berlin, whose father, Richard Berlin, was chairman of the Hearst media empire for 52 years, is an artist, and what she's been making lately are needlepoint pillows of Post front pages. For instance: "Bad Heir Day" showing Phillip Marshall, the disgraced son of Brooke Astor; "I Snorted My Dad" with Keith Richards; and "Good Knot," the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Berlin - who confessed, "I'm addicted to The Post" - will have 11 front pages on display at her show at John McWhinnie@Glenn Horowitz Bookseller on East 64th Street beginning Oct. 21. Berlin - who used to make paintings by smearing canvases with her paint-covered breasts - wants to make a rug out of six Paris Hilton front pages, if she gets a commission, with a border of pink cupcakes and Chihuahuas in the four corners.
Monday, September 15, 2008
The Baptists have a custom, I believe, when the Sunday service has been particularly uplifting, of exclaiming to one another: "We really had church!" I see no reason Catholics can't use that fine expression and so I do, to describe the High Solemn Mass on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Usus Antiquior (Latin), at the Church of Our Saviour in New York yesterday evening.
The celebrant was Fr. Rutler, assisted by Fr. Richard Cipolla, Deacon Stephen Genovese and, by my count, fourteen other servers, including seven seminarians from St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers. It was a feast for the eyes, and the ears as well for also assisting was David Hughes, organist-choir director, who led two expert choirs in chants and a mass setting by Palestrina. Hughes's prelude was Messiaen's, "Jésus Accepte La Souffrance" from "La Nativite du Seigneur" and his postlude was Bach's Passacaglia & Fugue in C Minor, which a surprising number people remained in the pews to hear in its entirety.
Go to the excellent website of the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny to see and learn more about last evening's and other traditional celebrations of the mass. Catholics are blessed to have this glorious heritage, especially now that the Holy Father is working on restoring this heritage to its proper place in worship. The Society reminds us on its website
We should rejoice at these developments, but let us not fool ourselves. It will take years - generations, even - to rebuild the temple of the Western liturgy. Pope Benedict's recent interview on Summorum Pontificum illustrates all too clearly the magnitude of the problems and perils before us.
Mondale, at least, was fawned over through Election Day. Poor old Joe Biden however, eight weeks before the election, already seems to have been tossed down the oubliette. Jack Tapper reports
Since the Delaware senator left Obama's side and ventured out on his own on Labor Day, he has hardly garnered any national media interest at all.Poor Joe, nobody wants to play with him. The only attention he's received recently was when he opined on the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion and those mean ol' bishops wrapped him on the knuckles for that. This election can't be going the way he had hoped.
His plane, a blue chartered 737, now crosses the country with about three-quarters of its seats empty, rows and rows with nary a warm body to be found.
Either way, as Air Joe flew from Wilmington to Charlotte Sunday, the only reporters onboard were off-air reporters from the five television networks and correspondents from NBC and Politico. There was only one camera crew. The back of the plane, reserved for press, sat totally deserted.
The New York Times? Gone. The Washington Post? Not seen since the first days of September. The otherwise ubiquitous Associated Press? Left even before that.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Palin governed from the center,' went after big oilWith the loony left's new-found appreciation for stay-at-home mommies it should only be a matter of time before it expresses same for the big oil companies and lower taxes, right?
...Palin dubbed her plan "Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share." Oil company profits are taxed at a 25% base rate, up from the previous 22.5%. The tax rate rises 0.2% for each dollar the price of oil exceeds $52 per barrel.
Oil executives said the law amounted to a $6 billion tax increase this year and criticized it on the same grounds that McCain and Republicans have opposed efforts by congressional Democrats to repeal federal tax breaks for oil producers. They said it would cost jobs and reduce investment in exploration.
"The tax increase that Gov. Palin has signed into law reduces the attractiveness of future oil developments in Alaska," Kimberly Brasington, a spokeswoman for ExxonMobil, said after the bill passed in December. "We are re-evaluating investment plans."
Forget the polls, although lately they are far more favorable for McCain. Here is news that should throw the Obama campaign into deep panic. From the Wall Street Journal:
Fashion companies have discovered a lucrative new marketing vehicle: Sarah Palin.Women aren't shelling out hard-earned bucks for clothes and accessories they think will be relegated to the closeout section eight weeks from now.
Since John McCain chose her last month as his running mate, Gov. Palin's personal style has sparked a buying frenzy. Many women are snapping up her choices of shoes and eyeglasses and blogging about which brand of lipstick she wears. Hairstylists and wig sellers report sudden demand for her trademark up-dos. Indeed, the brands behind Gov. Palin's fashion taste have gone into overdrive seeking to cash in on the association.
On Wednesday, WigSalon.com issued a news release boasting that it has wigs and hair pieces "that reflect the new looks made popular by Sarah Palin," along with style tips to "instantly" achieve the swept-back style.
In Columbia, Mo., this week, Mr. Biden urged a paraplegic state official to stand up to be recognized. “Chuck, stand up, let the people see you,” Mr. Biden shouted to State Senator Chuck Graham, before realizing, to his horror, that Mr. Graham uses a wheelchair.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Embattled rent control crook Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) defended his failure to pay back taxes on rental income from his Dominican Republic villa today, claiming it was all an innocent mistake due to "cultural and language barriers." From The New York Times:I wonder what the reaction would be to that alibi if Rangel were a white Republican. Regardless, you think the congressman would consider taking Spanish lessons, anyway. If Rangel were to take a gander at his own website, he would learn that Harlem is not just for blacks anymore, 46 percent of its residents are Hispanic, mostly Dominican, and their number is growing; they will soon be a majority. I'm sure his mostly poor, Spanish-speaking constituents will be overflowing with sympathy for a representative who can't even speak their language, especially those from the Dominican Republic; who wouldn't be allowed to set foot anywhere near Rangel's swell digs in their own homeland.
"Every time I thought I was getting somewhere, they'd start speaking Spanish," Mr. Rangel told reporters.
S.C. Dem chair: Palin primary qualification is she hasn't had an abortionBy now there must be cooler heads among Democratic leadership warning their colleagues they are hindering the cause, to put it mildly, with these insane outbursts. Trash talk must be as addictive as crack cocaine.
South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”
Palin is an opponent of abortion rights and gave birth to her fifth child, Trig, earlier this year after finding out during her pregnancy that the baby had Down syndrome.
(Thanks to the Instapundit.)
UPDATE: Check out this charmer, found under a rock by Mark Shea. It gets down to business, nice as you please, from the tippy top.
For the first time ever, the 2008 Republican Convention celebrated unwed teenage motherhood by seating Sarah Palin's reportedly 5-months' pregnant daughter with her teenage lover, proudly in the VIP row. As the swollen, 17-year-old Bristol Palin complacently gripped her swarthy impregnator's hand, Alaska's governor and the prospective mother's mother sternly lectured on family values and accused "the media" of persecuting her family.Thence follows the coup de grâce:
Has the Republican Party gone mad?What's the word for that? Projection?
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
It's no surprise, then, that Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers into Anchorage, the state capital Juneau and Mrs. Palin's hometown of Wasilla to dig into her record and background. My sources report the first wave arrived in Anchorage less than 24 hours after John McCain selected her on August 29.Gee, you don't think they're worried or something, do you?
(Thanks to the Instapundit.)
It's possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman. They're unfamiliar with our true natures. Do they think vaginas call out to each other in the jungle night? I mean, I know men have their secret meetings at which they pledge to do manly things, like being irresponsible with their semen and postponing household repairs with glue and used matches. Guys will be guys, obviously.(Thanks to Small Dead Animals.)
But do they not know that women have been trained to resent other women and that they only learn to suppress this by constantly berating themselves and reading columns like this one? I'm a feminist who understands that women can nurse terrible and delicate woman hatred.
Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn't even female really. She's a type, and she comes in male form too.
John Doyle, the cleverest critic in Canada, comes right out and calls Palin an Alaska hillbilly. Damn his eyes, I wish I'd had the wit to come up with it first. It's safer than "white trash" but I'll pluck safety out of the nettle danger. Or something.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Being a boomer myself, I long ago became inured to and can take or leave hippy-dippy names like those the otherwise admirable Palins gave their children, not to mention those given by the late, great Frank Zappa to his progeny.* Of far greater concern is the alarming movement to dub kids with names that seem just plain stuffy, an attempt, I imagine, by at least some parents to move themselves and their youngins up a rung or two on the ol' social ladder.
Only a couple of months ago while enjoying a fine afternoon in Madison Square Park, in the heart of one of Manhattan's toniest and most expensive new neighborhoods, I witnessed over a very short time buff young mommies haling their precious ones, using bloated first names like Reilly, Hunter, Campbell and Parker. I even know of parents who named their kids Walker and Hudson. Fellow Americans, we have here a serious problem.
The good news is at last the alarm is being sounded. Found on the blogs the Feast of Nemesis and Debbie Schlussel are informative essays describing in detail the explosive growth of absurd appellations foisted upon American youth. I commend them both. The authors have taken the first steps toward conquering this malaise: identifying and educating the citizenry of it and warning of its peril.
*Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.
On a positive note, the market for this sort of crap is mostly 60 years old and older. The problem may solve itself, if we're patient.
I’m a rent-controlled tenant on a great East Village block, paying below $200 a month in rent. Our landlord is replastering, repainting and recarpeting the hallways for the first time in more than 30 years. Can he raise our rents because of this?The answer, of course, is no. Decontrolled rents for East Village (Manhattan) studio apartments begin at $1475 per month. If you asked the questioner if he or she had any shame at all, the answer, of course, would be, "I know my rights!"
Sunday, September 07, 2008
MR. BROKAW: If Senator Obama comes to you and says, "When does life begin? Help me out here, Joe," as a Roman Catholic, what would you say to him?So when asked, "When does life begin?" Senator Biden, after reviewing the teachings of the Catholic Church and other faiths, concludes that Fascism is a bad thing and is confident no one will disagree with him. Casey Stengel was unavailable for comment.
SEN. BIDEN: I'd say, "Look, I know when it begins for me." It's a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I'm prepared to accept the teachings of my church. But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths--Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others--who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They're intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life--I'm prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society. And I know you get the push back, "Well, what about fascism?" Everybody, you know, you going to say fascism's all right? Fascism isn't a matter of faith. No decent religious person thinks fascism is a good idea.
(Thanks to Aufer a Nobis.)
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches
Natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. It hinges upon the desire for God and submission to him, who is the source and judge of all that is good, as well as upon the sense that the other is one's equal. Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue.As Thomas Aquinas states:
The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding placed in us by God; through it we know what we must do and what we must avoid. God has given this light or law at the creation.So what does all this have to do with the Protestant Sarah Palin pissing off liberal elites, especially those in the media? Ms. Palin and her husband recently decided to bring their fifth child, diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, into the world rather than to abort it. Since then the Palins have encouraged their pregnant seventeen-year-old daughter to permit her unexpected child to live and went even further by welcoming the child's father into their family. These decisions of the Palins are at once entirely in accord with the teachings of the Church and wildly disparate from the self-centered secular humanism that so dominates our culture and subscribed to by most members of the media.
The Palin family, for all its "ups and downs," as Sarah Palin described it in her acceptance speech, is vivid witness to God's natural law. The Church teaches us natural law obtains in all persons, that it is, in the words of Pope Leo XIII, "written and engraved in the soul of each and every man, because it is human reason ordaining him to do good and forbidding him to sin." That is the case even for those secular and cynical moral relativists in the media and is, I suspect, what gets them into such high dudgeon over people like Sarah Palin. To them it is not a matter of Palin making the wrong decisions but, rather, the right ones, thus bringing to the surface what natural law already nags them about from deep within: they are the ones in the wrong, not her.
Liberal elites, of course, don't like being reminded they are wrong and will thus do whatever it takes to besmirch the character of public figures, especially attractive and vivacious ones like Sarah Palin, who, through their own good acts, make the elites' wrongness so obvious and painful to behold. Ripping her to shreds may serve as a palliative for the pain, albeit not a long-lasting one, so it must be repeated often. The upcoming election should prove to be uncommonly nasty.
Today, in Politico: 'A spokeswoman for the National Organization for Women, noting Palin’s opposition to abortion rights and support of other parts of the social conservative agenda, told Politico, “She's more a conservative man than she is a woman on women's issues. Very disappointing.'
Ah well, at least they're not shrieking. Yet.
The big losers tonight are obvious: Joe Biden, who will look like hackopathropus erectus next to her, a dinosaur out the Washington everybody hates, and Hillary Rodham Clinton who, I would bet anything, was staring at her television set in horror tonight at the possible first woman president of the United States - and it’s not her!