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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gloria in Excelsis Deo



(Annunciation to the Herders – Govert Flink, 1639)

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

- Luke 2: 8-14

Idea and image stolen, with thanks, from Robbo's blog.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plumbing the Shallows

According to this piece, the only "success" to come out of the Copenhagen conference was the continued perpetration of an out-and-out fraud, the market for carbon exchanges. Since those transactions are overseen by the United Nations, allegations of fraud should raise no eyebrows but an allegation our President played a significant part in keeping the market going, and did so in a particularly boorish way, should raise eyebrows.

Mr. Obama has already fairly well established himself as an empty suit but if this account of his behavior in Copenhagen is true, he is an arrogant fool as well.

One of the President's more outlandish campaign promises was that the rise of the ocean levels would begin to slow during his presidency. Apparently they are, even going down, for he is appearing increasingly out of his depth.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mr. President I'm Beginning To Smell A Big Fat Commie Rat



It doesn't come as a great surprise to learn, via Matt Barber at onenewsnow.com, that the impetus behind the secularization of Christmas, e.g. "Happy Holidays" and the banishment of crèches from the public square, is communistic. None other than the late Ronald Reagan provides an earlier example.

...As part of an effort to suppress the Gospel message and the spread of Christianity in Soviet Russia, Communist leaders secularized a favorite Ukrainian Christmas carol, "Nova Radist Stala" (Joyous News Has Come to Us).

One verse originally began: "The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden...."

[snip]

The new version went: "The joyous news has come which never was before, a red star with five tails has brightly lit the world." A second rewrite went further: "The joyous news has come which never was before. Long-awaited star of freedom lit the skies in October [the month of the Revolution]." The rewrite continued: "Where formerly lived the kings and had the roots their nobles, there today with simple folks, Lenin's glory hovers."

Barber, like all Christians, is confident the gates of hell shall not prevail against Christ's Church.

And although, despite the best efforts of Communists abroad and ACLU-types here at home, we're nonetheless assured in Scripture that, "Every knee will bow...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians 2:10-11). I still think that a politically correct greeting of "Happy Holidays" – well-meaning as it may be – nonetheless deserves a hearty "Merry Christmas" in return.

Don't you?

Yep, I do.

Thanks to Augustine.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Not Bowing, Begging

"Give ear, O LORD, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications."



This god, however, does not show mercy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

They Might Try Googling It

Damian Thompson of the Telegraph makes an interesting discovery:

Damian Thompson

Damian Thompson is Blogs Editor of the Telegraph Media Group.

The useful search facility on the Catholic bishops' website

I was bored just now, so I tried a little experiment using the excellent search function on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales:

environment

sin


That the British bishops can be as awful ours is confirmed by a commenter, who reports a search on "paedophilia" returned zero matches.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Bishop of Rome and All His Detestable Enormities

From the Catholic News Agency:

Actor Sam Elliot has blamed the Catholic Church for stopping sequels from being made to the Golden Compass movie based on the first book of Philip Pullman’s atheistic trilogy His Dark Materials. The film, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Eva Green, grossed more than $380 million worldwide after its Christmas 2007 release, but took in only $85 million in the U.S. According to the Internet Movie Database, the film had a budget of $180 million.

“The Catholic Church happened to The Golden Compass, as far as I'm concerned,” Elliot remarked to the Evening Standard.

He said the movie did “incredible” at the box office but the Catholic Church “lambasted” the filmmakers and “scared off” New Line Cinema executives.

I'm so proud I could burst!

Thanks to Mr. Johnson.

The Republicans are Beyond Redemption

Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner:


This morning I asked a well-connected House source why several Republican lawmakers decided to accompany Speaker Nancy Pelosi on her trip to the global warming summit in Copenhagen. After all, most of the GOP lawmakers believe the whole exercise is misguided, right? "Congressional delegations are almost always (if not always) bipartisan, even if the parties violently disagree," I was told. "Our guys went to make sure voices other than just the Speaker's were heard."

[snip]

Sensenbrenner's office says he will "closely follow" several issues at the Copenhagen conference, including "the developing world's demands for wealth transfers, the levels of commitment from developing countries [and] the feasibility of greenhouse gas reduction targets." With him are Republican Reps. Joe Barton, Fred Upton, Shelley Moore Capito, John Sullivan, and Marsha Blackburn. Fourteen Democrats are on the trip, including the Speaker.


The Republican Party platform since 1988: "Reliably less reprehensible than the Democrats." That just doesn't cut it anymore.

O wad some power the giftie gie us To see oursel's as ithers see us

What about about hearing us? Ever wonder what our language sounds like to those those who don't speak it? Wonder no more.




Thanks to John J. O'Sullivan™

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Exactly Earthshaking

From the Washington Examiner:

New study: More Democrats than Republicans believe in ghosts, talking with the dead, fortunetellers

A new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life reveals some startling differences between Republicans and Democrats on issues of spirituality and supernatural phenomenon.

The study, "Many Americans Mix Multiple Faiths," reports that a significant number of Americans practice a mixture of religious beliefs, and "many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects." The report is not specifically about partisan differences, but the results of the study are broken down by party affiliation, among many other categories. And the news on that front is that Democrats are far more likely to believe in supernatural phenomenon than Republicans.
If people will believe Al Gore's infantile babbling on global warming, that we went to war in Iraq only for the oil or in the efficacy of any and all legislation passed or being considered by Congress this session, it hardly requires an additional leap of faith to believe in astrology or reincarnation.

(h/t For What It's Worth.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Kirkus Reviews RIP



Kirkus Reviews is closing
. Founded by Virginia Kirkus in 1933 it served professional book buyers (libraries and independent bookstores, mainly), helping them decide whether or not a title was worth stocking. Kirkus relied on an army of freelance critics, one being your Bloviator years back, who provided short, pithy and often caustic take downs of authors who, apparently, had no shame for the arborcide committed on their behalf. Reviewers had to stick to a rigid format but otherwise were given free rein. Authors would protest and Kirkus dutifully passed on their complaints to reviewers but, like a priest hearing confession, never, ever betrayed their identities; which, of course, only encouraged us to be even nastier.

It wasn't all vitriol. I remember receiving heartfelt thanks from an Australian writer whose history of sugar I had warmly praised. He felt (rightly, I think) his opus had been ignored by the mainstream press and he was grateful to me for the attention. Those thanks were more gratifying to me (believe it or not) than all the fun I had writing mean reviews of the numerous crappy books Kirkus also sent my way.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Lefties Have Too Much Time on Their Hands...

They churn out crap like this.
Children's favourite Thomas the Tank Engine has been attacked by a Canadian academic [Shauna Wilton] for its "conservative political ideology" and failure to adequately represent women.

The show's right-wing politics shows the colourful steam engines punished if they show initiative or oppose change, the researcher found.

She also highlighted the class divide which sees the downtrodden workers in the form of Thomas and his friends at the bottom of the social ladder and the wealthy Fat Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, at the top.
Still have doubts this dame has too much time on her hands? Doubt no more.
She then analysed the plots, characters and other aspects of 23 different episodes to draw her conclusions, which she then presented at a conference of political science in Canada.


Oppressor of women and right-wing conspirator

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Fair and Balanced: We Decide

If (for some reason) you enjoy the sound of loud derisive snorting recite to any lefty the slogan of Fox News: "Fair and balanced: you decide." Today however, holding your head close to your monitor, you just might hear loud snorting emanating from those differently political. Politico reports National Public Radio is leaning heavily on political correspondent Mara Liasson to quit her other job on Fox News because of their horror at that network’s "political bias."

Although they insist it's mere co-incidence, the brass at NPR began putting pressure on Liasson about the same time the White House began its imbecilic and ill-fated "war" against Fox News. Despite Liasson's reliable progressive credentials, NPR apparently worries her just associating with Fox will sully its sterling reputation with the "public," white upper-income liberals, so they're egging her to leave.

Fox responded appropriately: “With the ratings we have, NPR should be paying us to even be mentioned on our air;” but the prize goes to former congressman Joe Scarborough who, on his program on MSNBC (which is even more biased toward the left than NPR but still able, somehow, to accommodate a paleo-conservatives like him) offered this delightfully nuanced take on NPR's ham-fisted attempt at sanitizing its staff.
Well I just want to say, I love NPR and I listen to NPR, but I’ve been listening to reformed, pot-smoking hippies for the past thirty years on NPR with a very substantial left-wing bias – and I don’t care that they eat tree bark like Euell Gibbons, and I don’t care if they are still smoking pot in their sixties. They put on great radio. But for NPR – for NPR, the leadership at NPR to question the bias of Fox News is a joke.
(Thanks to Fr. C.)

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Real Santa



Behold the rather fierce countenance of Santa Claus, aka St. Nicholas of Myra. A facial anthropologist in England, using photographs and x-rays taken of the remains of the saint when they were temporarily exhumed in the '50s from his crypt in Bari, has come up with this recreation of his face. Note the busted nose, more likely the result of torture than brawling according to the official St. Nicholas website. It seems to me however that the heretic Arius, after being knocked upside the head by Nicholas at the Council of Nicaea, might simply have returned the gift from Santa.

(Thanks to GR.)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Delphic Oracle Speaks

The mighty Tina Brown on Barack Obama:
I have come to the conclusion that the real reason this gifted communicator has become so bad at communicating is that he doesn’t really believe a word that he is saying.
Astonishingly, there are those who came to that conclusion before Ms. Brown did.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Keep it up, You're Doing Just Fine!

If our President would like a quick 10-point or so boost to his declining poll numbers all he should do, instead of jetting off to Copenhagen for the climate control conference next week, is go on national television and announce he has decided not to attend the conference because of the recent release of thousands of e-mails casting doubt on the verity of global warming. He might also say he is reserving judgment on any future quotas or restrictions on carbon emissions until those doubts are satisfactorily dealt with.

The President won't do that of course. Since anthropogenic global warming is an article of faith for those on the left, he will go to Copenhagen and read soaring rhetoric off his Teleprompter in support of crippling restrictions on the world economy in the midst of a deep recession. He will receive acclamation from European elites for his stance along with hosannas from pathetic twits like this at the New York Times (note the breathtaking sneering by a soul desperately cognisant his job and "specialty" are in jeopardy) but among most of his and Congress' employers, the approval ratings will continue their inexorable trend downward.

So off you go, Mr. President: have a wonderful trip! And when you get back don't forget to resume thumping for socialized medicine; the Euros and the media will love you all the more for it. Pay no attention at all to what those ignorant rubes who who have to work for a living think. You have have nothing to worry about from them until next November.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New York Vignette

While standing on the corner of 57th Street and Seventh Avenue, waiting for the light to change, an elegant, mink-clad older woman wearing simple but tasteful jewelry approached me. She appeared to be in her late sixties and was quite attractive. She smiled, gave me a friendly greeting and informed me she was looking for extra income; she would be glad to entertain me in her home and further informed me, "I do fellatio."

I politely declined. She bid me a good evening, which I returned, and we went our separate ways.

The Convenience of Politics

Rhode Island Representative Patrick Kennedy is at it again, publicly complaining about Bishop Thomas Tobin's publicly responding to Kennedy's public attacks against Catholic bishops for their opposition to taxpayer funded abortions. Kennedy recently revealed Bishop Tobin, nearly three years ago, asked him (privately) to cease presenting himself for communion, a perfectly reasonable request since by his advocacy of abortion, a mortal sin, Kennedy has already excommunicated himself.

It is likely this brouhaha will lead to another chorus from the left deploring the "politicization" of abortion, notwithstanding those opposed to it do not regard it a political issue at all, rather a moral one. To the Catholic Church, and many others, opposition to the killing of the innocent, whether babes in the womb or adults in the street, can hardly be considered "political;" murder is murder regardless the venue and the Church of course forbids it.

It is people like Congressman Kennedy who politicize abortion and they do so because they have to: any "moral" arguments in abortion's favor are quickly reduced to a defense of homicide, the taking of a life to ameliorate ill effects that life may have on somebody else's. Even in this narcissistic age that appears monstrously selfish so a different ploy must be used. By wrenching abortion into the political sphere not only do Kennedy and company avoid sticky moral issues, they can also insist, by citing separation of church and state, the Catholic Church and other religious "extremists" stay out of a "political" matter.

To a 15-watt bulb like Congressman Kennedy that probably seems clever but to most Catholics, especially Bishop Tobin, it is galling and downright disingenuous. Kennedy would do better to consider the view of this liberal opponent of abortion:
While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized -- the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

I share the confidence of those who feel that America is working to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves. I also share the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society's problems -- an inadequate welfare system, unsatisfactory job training programs, and insufficient financial support for all its citizens.

When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.
The abortion foe who wrote the above, in a letter to a voter (and who later, sadly, apostacized) was the Congressman's father, the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quid Quod Erat Demonstrandum

Behold what passes for logic from an international organization that serves no useful purpose and has much too much money (from Aggie Catholics):
The UN Can't Help It...

The United Nations can't help themselves. Years ago they sold an international peacekeeping identity for a radical political agenda. At the front of the agenda is abortion. Another item on their current agenda is global climate change. So, how do you wed these two together into a compelling story?

1 - Make climate change the cause of a great evil.
2 - Make the solution to the great evil abortion.

The result = climate change leads to prostitution, which would go away if abortion-on-demand was furthered, because it would reduce the number of people that stress the climate.
Read it all.

UPDATE: Thank you Daniel Muller for doing the proofing I should have done; this one really was just a typo, "I" being right next to "O." ("Uh-huh," I hear you say.)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Order Before the Easter Vigil and Get This Matching Thurible Absolutely Free!

This is not from the Onion.



There is much noise on the Internets whether or not this is a joke. It is, I am positive, but will entertain opposing views.

Show Trial

Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled recently over his decision that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the accused mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and four others will be tried in a Federal Courtroom in lower Manhattan rather than by military tribunal.
Senators of both parties also pressed Mr. Holder to say what would happen if Mr. Mohammed or another detainee considered to be a dangerous terrorist was acquitted on a technicality or given a short sentence. Mr. Holder has said he will direct prosecutors to seek a death sentence in the Sept. 11 case.

Other Justice Department officials have said that even if Mr. Mohammed is acquitted, the Obama administration will keep him locked up forever as a “combatant” under the laws of war. But Mr. Holder largely sidestepped such questions, instead simply asserting that he was confident that Mr. Mohammed would be convicted.

“Failure is not an option,” Mr. Holder said.

This is remarkable coming from the Attorney General of the United States (Columbia, Law '76), his assuring us even if Mohammed is found not guilty he will still be locked up forever but not to worry, he will be found guilty, never mind the vagaries of juries. The President (Harvard, Law '91), in fact, has already adjudicated this case before trial. Since the accused earlier offered to plead guilty before a military tribunal (he craves "martyrdom" [sic]), the only purpose in trying Mohammed in court rather than tribunal is is to appease the ACLU and others on the left who refuse to consider an attack by foreigners that killed 2700 Americans an act of war.

So far the President's vast legion of dupes in New York have remained largely silent over this cynical and calculated decision by his Attorney General; the One's messianic status remains intact and they don't want to criticize. However, as lower Manhattan becomes an armed fortress, as Mohammed's trial (as is predicted) drags on for years and as the sense of fear in the pit of the stomachs of those who live in the city, which only disappeared a few years back, returns, the faith of the President's disciples in Manhattan and elsewhere will surely be put to the test unless they are clever enough to find a way to blame even those enormities on George W. Bush.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Waiting for the Outrage

Our President when

asked about those who find it offensive that [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammed will receive all the rights normally accorded to U.S. citizens when they are charged with a crime...

“I don't think it will be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him,” Obama told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Those of a certain age will remember this headline and the ensuing furor from outraged liberals.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Which Side are You On?

The President is drawing the line: a tough choice is coming up for liberal Catholics.

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Top Obama advisor David Axelrod on Sunday confirmed what pro-life advocates already suspected would happen. He said President Barack Obama will work with congressional Democrats to remove the abortion funding ban the House approved in its version of the government-run health care bill.

Axelrod says that, because the Stupak amendment allegedly goes beyond the status quo under the Hyde amendment (which bans abortion funding under Medicaid), Obama will make sure the amendment is yanked during the conference committee.

The Vatican Reconsider Music

From Chiesa:

Great Roman Polyphony Returns to Saint Peter's

Not in a concert, but in a Mass. It will be conducted by Domenico Bartolucci, the most brilliant interpreter of Palestrina's music alive today. He was removed as head of the Sistine Chapel choir twelve years ago, but now, with Pope Benedict, has finally been rehabilitated...

Among the arts to be represented in the Sistine Chapel next Saturday, November 21, at the highly anticipated meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, music is perhaps the one that has suffered the most from the divorce that has taken place between artists and the Church.

The distress in music has been the first to afflict the Church. Because while the masterpieces of Christian painting, sculpture, and architecture still remain accessible to all, even if they are ignored and misunderstood, great music literally disappears from the churches if no one performs it anymore.

The return of real music, properly performed, to Holy Church is as welcome as the return of Latin; majesty with Magisterium.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Kind of Blog...

is this new one called Barchester, which makes the modest claim of being the "most fatuous tenth-rate entertainment ever devised by man." Who can argue with that? Thus far the blog has concerned itself with putative Anglo-Catholics who ♥ Geneva, brain-dead liberals and Fred Mertz's pants; worthy subjects all. Watch out, they take no prisoners.

Takes Two to Tango

Nostra culpa from Nigeria:

Traditional African rulers should apologise for the role they played in the slave trade, a Nigerian rights group has said in a letter to chiefs.

"We cannot continue to blame the white men, as Africans particularly the traditional rulers, are not blameless," said the Civil Rights Congress.

The letter said some collaborated or actively sold off their subjects.

The group said it was time for African leaders to copy the US and the UK who have already said they were sorry.

It urged Nigeria's traditional rulers to apologise on behalf of their forefathers and "put a final seal to the history of slave trade", AFP news agency reports.
The modern trend of apologizing for the sins of our ancestors 400 years ago is a pernicious one but this is nonetheless a worthy gesture by the Nigerians: acknowledging transactions involving slavery were no different from any others in so far as they required two parties. If the story gets any press in this country (and I doubt it will but kudos to the BBC for running it) it will certainly sap the potency of one of the left's preferred ideological weapons: guilt over slavery, selectively and collectively applied to the west alone.

(Thanks to the MCJ)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is Just Sad

The Archbishop of Canterbury, seeing the writing on the wall, is reduced to begging.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has pleaded with the Church of England’s Anglo-Catholics to resist the temptation to convert to Roman Catholicism over women bishops.

Dr Rowan Williams admitted that the future of the Anglican Communion looked “chaotic and uncertain”.

Preaching in london, he said: “God knows what the future holds.” But he insisted that it remained possible to be at once holy, Catholic and Anglican.

You have to feel sorry for the Archbishop as he contemplates the future of his "Catholic" church without Catholics. Give him his due however for at least begging them to stay. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church all but begs them to leave, albeit after they hand over the keys and bank books.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Making of Airborne Amtrak

Cambridge blubberer Barney Frank recently stated he wants to "increase the role of government in the area of regulation" and as if on cue, comes now word the Obama Administration wants to re-regulate the airlines, no doubt at the behest of the unions. Say goodbye to cheap fares.

How ironic that these feckless cynics, who only a few months ago wept at the demise of Ted Kennedy, now seek to reverse one of the few good legislative achievements of the late Senator, one that was signed into law by Jimmy Carter no less. They must think Bush had something to do with it.

A Liberal Democrat Channels "Tricky Dick"


Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is fit to be tied over Catholic bishops opposing taxpayer funded abortions ("a perfectly legal surgical procedure," she calls it charmingly) and is not going to take it lying down: sic the IRS on them, she says.


Madder than a wet hen

(h/t Robbo)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

But My Brother Esau is an Hairy Man,

But I am a smooth man.

"What is church?" Brought to you by the Archbishop of Canterbury.



Thanks to Barchester.

An Offer He Shouldn't Refuse

Rep. Patrick Kennedy (Teddy's kid and by consensus the dumbest Kennedy of them all) recently spoke out against the Stupak Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions in the recently passed health care bill. Kennedy later issued a statement insisting: “the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.” To which the Bishop of Providence, Thomas Tobin, responded in an open letter to him: Oh yes it does.
[B]eing a Catholic (said the bishop) means that you’re part of a faith community that possesses a clearly defined authority and doctrine, obligations and expectations. It means that you believe and accept the teachings of the Church, especially on essential matters of faith and morals; that you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish; that you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly; that you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially.

Congressman, I’m not sure whether or not you fulfill the basic requirements of being a Catholic, so let me ask: Do you accept the teachings of the Church on essential matters of faith and morals, including our stance on abortion? Do you belong to a local Catholic community, a parish? Do you attend Mass on Sundays and receive the sacraments regularly? Do you support the Church, personally, publicly, spiritually and financially?
As already noted, Patrick is a little slow so he may not know all the answers to His Grace's questions but the rest of us probably do. Bishop Tobin then delivers the one-two punch.
Your position is unacceptable to the Church and scandalous to many of our members. It absolutely diminishes your communion with the Church.
His Grace closes his missive offering to assist Patrick Kennedy as he "travel[s] the road of faith." Since it is generally agreed Kennedys need all the help they can get when on the road let us hope he accepts the Bishop's kind offer.

(h/t Creative Minority Report.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

On Display Today at the Church of Our Saviour in New York



A relic of Mary Magdalene.

Nunc dimittis

Today the Vatican published the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, which "introduces a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow [groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world] to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony."

Absolutely extraordinary, I never thought I would live to see the day. Viva il Papa!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Let's Pretend

Ace reporter Chris Matthews says we may never know if religion was a factor at Fort Hood, never mind that
...according to eyewitnesses, colleagues, and friends...[Major Nidal Malik Hasan] considered the war on terror a “war on Islam” and himself a Muslim first and an American second; he thought Muslims had the right to stand up to the “aggressor” in the Middle East and is suspected of posting things online about the selfless heroism of jihadist suicide bombers; he was placed on probation for proselytizing about Islam to patients and colleagues and was sufficiently devout that he refused to have his picture taken with women; he once used a lecture at a medical conference as an opportunity to discuss how the Koran orders decapitation for infidels; and, oh yes, he yelled “Allahu Akbar” before opening fire.
Let's pretend Major Hasan was a pious Catholic who attended mass daily, prayed the Rosary frequently and made a habit of picketing abortion clinics; or better yet, he was a protestant fundamentalist. Do you suppose Matthews (a Catholic himself) and his colleagues would still effect that same scrupulous objectivity over the part religion might have played in the slaughter?

UPDATE: You have wonder what effect this atrocity will have on Army moral, both here and abroad, as word gets out that despite Hasan's increasingly anti-American rhetoric, to the point of loudly defending those killing American troops, the brass simply looked the other way. Why should those in the lower ranks willingly face the enemy when officers to whom their care has been entrusted appear to place higher value on political correctness than the safety of their charges?

Stretching the Imagination

Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the health care bill and Tea Party protests against it:

You hear in this debate, you hear analogies, you hear references to, you see pictures about and depictions of individuals that are truly stunning, and you hear it all the time. People — imagine five years ago somebody comparing health care reform to 9/11. Imagine just a few years ago had somebody walked around with images of Hitler [emphasis added].

Yep, just imagine.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cook County Counting

Breaking news!
Illinois data on stimulus-related jobs saved, created don't add up

More than $4.7 million in federal stimulus aid so far has been funneled to schools in North Chicago, and state and federal officials say that money has saved the jobs of 473 teachers.

Problem is, the district employs only 290 teachers.

"That other number, I don't know where that came from," said Lauri Hakanen, superintendent of North Chicago Community Unit Schools District 187.

Gee whiz, you'd think the Chicago Tribune could solve this mystery, especially since it concerns a former Chicago politician and his cronies: that other number is dead teachers' jobs that were "saved."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Ride 'Em Cowboy!

I've never been a huge fan of Lenny Bruce but this recent item about a man sentenced to three years in the jug for enjoying carnal relations with a horse (no word if they were consensual but he was a repeat offender!) brings to mind one of Bruce's funnier routines, in poetic form: "Psychopathia Sexualis" (ignore the illustrations, they don't add much).


Rage Fueled by Greed

Planned Parenthood, panicking that national health insurance and the public funding of abortions may be going off the rails, is recruiting "pro-choice Catholics" [sic] to "defy the U.S. bishops, who are campaigning against the current versions of health care legislation on Capitol Hill because they fund abortion."
“One thing I know for sure,” [Cecile Richards,] the Planned Parenthood president states, “the bishops don't speak for all Catholics. If you're Catholic and you disagree with the bishops, please let your legislators know when you send your message. Your voice as a pro-choice Catholic needs to be heard NOW.”
One thing I know for sure is Ms. Richards' ignorance of the Catholic Church. Not that she knows any but had she consulted a properly catechized Catholic before releasing this astoundingly idiotic statement she would have learned that

• Catholics who publicly oppose Church teachings on abortion are automatically excommunicated, thus they are no longer members of the Catholic Church. A "pro-choice Catholic" is an impossibility.

• Bishops, when voicing their opposition to government-funded abortions, do speak for all Catholics; those who proclaim the bishops do not speak for them on abortion are not and cannot be Catholics.

Ms. Richards gives her game away here.
“[W]e are so close” to passing the current legislation. “In my lifetime, we've never been closer to expanding access to affordable health care for everyone. I don't think we'll get another chance, and we've got to do everything we can not to let it slip away.”
Several years ago I attended an investment seminar at which the instructor asked the class the following question: "What is the purpose of a profit-making corporation?" The answer came quickly and was, of course: "To make money." The instructor then asked: "What is the purpose of a non-profit corporation." Nobody got that one right but the answer was the same as before: "To make money." Planned Parenthood is a non-profit corporation that makes a substantial portion of its considerable income providing abortions. The organization stands to up its receipts substantially with the enactment of health care "reform" that includes federally funded abortions and its well paid executives fairly salivate at the prospect. Now they see the Catholic Church working actively to thwart the raking in of this ill-begotten booty and they are absolutely furious. Good.

UPDATE: Speaker Pelosi’s Government-Run Health Plan Will Require a Monthly Abortion Premium.

UPDATE 2. Broken link in update above now fixed.

(Thanks to Augustine.)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What Happened in NY 23?

Reader PMG writes:
Bovie, As a resident of the Empire State, I'd be interested in your input as to your US Rep race that just completed. I see the RINO, bailed out and endorsed the Democrat, not the Conservative.Michael Steele, are you listening?
PMG, wish I could oblige you but I cannot explain the results of that race. I do know the New York State Republican organization is a disaster, that its hands are every bit as dirty as its Democratic counterpart; that both parties are nothing more than patronage machines. The Republicans seem less concerned with winning than just having a presence so that they may continue scarfing up taxpayer dollars for doling out to party cronies. The party is increasingly despised, especially upstate.

That does not however explain why voters in NY 23 didn't go for Hoffman, I know for sure they have not suddenly shifted leftward, not by a long shot. Bloggress Ann Althouse suggests the outcome may have had more to do with the personalities and even the physiognomies of the candidates. I dare say she may be right.



Doug Hoffman

Hope and Change at Last



Thanks to John J. O' Sullivan™ for this pic of a billboard he has suffered for over a month while walking to and from the train to work. If the Democrat organization in New Jersey has any sense at all it will be papered over by this evening but my preference would be it to remain up for months as it becomes increasingly faded and tattered.
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Here's hoping, anyway.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Not That He's Telling Us Anything We Don't Already Know...

But it carries so much more authority coming from him: Archbishop Timothy Doyle lays waste to perpetual adolescent and embittered former Catholic, Maureen Dowd.
She digs deep into the nativist handbook to use every anti-Catholic caricature possible, from the Inquisition to the Holocaust, condoms, obsession with sex, pedophile priests, and oppression of women, all the while slashing Pope Benedict XVI for his shoes, his forced conscription -- along with every other German teenage boy -- into the German army, his outreach to former Catholics, and his recent welcome to Anglicans.
His Grace was reacting to MoDo's New York Times column containing a laundry list of feminist complaint directed at the Holy Father and Catholic traditionalists (one of her darts is aimed at those who consider it inappropriate to perform that shrill hoary paean to radical feminism,"The Vagina Monologues," on the campuses of Catholic colleges and Universities).

New York Times readers will not see the Archbishop's response, it was rejected for publication. His Grace should take solace, however, knowing that at least 98 percent of Times readers, when seeing his byline, would have skipped over it anyway.

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Peculiar Ritual

Walking the streets of midtown today I noticed numerous Euro-types bedecked with gold-tone medals attached to orange ribbons (I thought one only wears medals with formal evening clothes). Wondering why, I did a little research and learned every year at this time a vast horde from around the world descends on the city to take a prescribed tour on foot, running as if their lives depended on it, through mostly slum neighborhoods in all five boroughs before ending up in Central Park. Only a small number of them are compensated for their arduous labors, the rest actually spend considerable sums of their own to take part and have nothing but sore muscles, depleted bank accounts and the aforementioned medals to show for it.

For the life of me, I cannot fathom why anyone would engage in such foolishness. Why don't they just just take cabs? It would be so much easier.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Congress Pays Obeisance to Its Owners

Buried in the 2000 pages of Speaker Pelosi & Company's health care bill is this interesting item:
Section 2531, entitled “Medical Liability Alternatives,” establishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation. [But]…… a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state puts a law on the books that limits attorneys’ fees or imposes caps on damages.
So if a state enacts legislation that could conceivably, if you close your eyes and clap your hands, defer the ambulance chasers from their ruinous assaults on doctors and hospitals, they are eligible for "incentive payments" (courtesy the taxpayers, of course). But if states pass legislation that limit or cap the actual take of these bloodsuckers, in other words legislation with teeth, they get nothing at all. A trial lawyer I know, who had a sense of humor at least, named the new yacht he bought after a particularly lucrative settlement, "Pain and Suffering." In the future, the yacht names of choice will be "Pelosi" and "Reid."

I'm beginning to think the best possible outcome for the health care debacle is for this monstrous bill to be passed. Once on the books the public can, at its leisure, have a good hard look at what the Democrats have done to them and take appropriate action the next election.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who Knew?

Helen Keller, eugenicist:
She was a personal friend and strong admirer of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the country;

She was a strong advocate of birth control and sterilization;

She was a supporter of the eugenics movement, once declaring, in an ironic twist, that: “Our puny sentimentalism has caused us to forget that a human life is sacred only when it may be of some use to itself and to the world.”
(Thanks to Augustine.)

Sorry Son, You're Not Gonna be Mary Poppins This Year!


How To Find A Masculine Halloween Costume For Your Effeminate Son

Friday, October 30, 2009

Remember, These People Think They're Smarter than Us

I'd love to be in an American Legion or VFW hall when this starts making the rounds.
'Desecrated flag' video is DNC finalist



One of the 20 finalists in health care video contest run by Barack Obama’s campaign arm features a mural of an America flag splattered with health care graffiti until it’s covered completely by black paint.

[snip]

A contestant whose video didn’t make the final-20 cut complains that a video “defacing the flag” won’t do much to help President Barack Obama or the Democrats sell health care reform.

“They should never pick that,” said the contestant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It makes the Democrats look really, really bad.”
Gee, you think?

And just who were the geniuses who gave the nod to this mind-numbingly stupid excrescence? Why "a panel of 'qualified' Democratic National Committee 'employee judges,' " no less.

My fear of these morons has somewhat abated in the last three months; if only we can survive the next three years.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This'll be Fun to Watch

From the Hill:
OCE, House ethics committee fight over release of document

By Susan Crabtree - 10/27/09 07:34 PM ET
The House ethics committee and a new entity created to help it police lawmakers are engaged in the first major showdown in an ongoing turf war.

Board members and staff of the quasi-independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) laid down the gauntlet this week and challenged the ethics committee to meet a Friday deadline or face the consequences.

Watchdogs also joined the OCE in demanding that the ethics committee on Friday release the OCE’s original report on ethics charges against two members: Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).
They called it a critical test of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) commitment to raising ethical standards in Congress.
Normally we would expect Madam Speaker to dismiss those "watchdogs," tarring them as "right-wing extremists" or similar. That may prove difficult in this case considering they are the following radical-right organizations: U.S. PIRG, Public Citizen, Common Cause, Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and Democracy 21.

What a treat it will be watching our intellectually-challenged Speaker wriggle her way out of this one.

(Thanks to For What it's Worth.)

Meanwhile, Woes Beset Another Religion Too

Damian Thompson reports on the possible exodus:
John Travolta is the most likely celebrity to leave the Church of Scientology, according to the bookmakers Paddy Power, who are taking odds on stars abandoning the troubled religious organisation founded by L Ron Hubbard.
The odds:

9/4 John Travolta
3/1 Katie Holmes
4/1 Lisa Marie Presley
6/1 Jason Lee
8/1 Priscilla Presley
10/1 Chaka Khan
12/1 Nancy Cartwright
14/1 Brandy
18/1 Beck
25/1 Kirstie Alley
50/1 Tom Cruise

Somebody Call an Ambulence

Richard Dawkins, gagameter turned up to 11, on the Vatican's offer to Anglicans to become Catholics:
...[The Anglican Church] does not send its missionaries out to tell deliberate lies to AIDS-weakened Africans, about the alleged ineffectiveness of condoms in protecting against HIV. Whether one agrees with him or not, there is a saintly quality in the Archbishop of Canterbury, a benignity of countenance, a well-meaning sincerity. How does Pope Ratzinger measure up? The comparison is almost embarrassing.

Poaching? Of course it is poaching. What else could you call it? Maybe it will succeed. If estimates are right that 1,000 Anglican clergymen will take the bait (no women, of course: they will swiftly be shown the door), what could be their motive? For some it will be a deep-seated misogyny (although they'll re-label it with a mendacious euphemism of some kind, which they'll call 'an important point of theological principle'). They just can't stomach the idea of women priests. One wonders how their wives can stomach a husband whose contempt for women is so visceral that he considers them incapable even of the humble and unexacting duties of a priest.

[snip]

No wonder that disgusting institution, the Roman Catholic Church, is dragging its flowing skirts in the dirt and touting for business like a common pimp: "Give me your homophobes, misogynists and pederasts. Send me your bigots yearning to be free of the shackles of humanity."
There, there Dickie, the nice men in their clean white coats will be here in just a jiffy (Nurse, prepare injection 100 mg Hydroxyzine Hydrochloride stat!).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Bother?

LifeSiteNews claims the media, not surprisingly, missed the real story last week.
ROME, October 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - By focusing on the issue of married clergy in the Catholic Church, the secular media has got the thin end of the story of last week's offer of reunion from the Vatican to "traditionalist" Anglicans. The more interesting story, says Fr. Philip Powell, a Dominican priest based in Rome and a former Episcopalian, is the "huge cultural shift" in the Anglican Church that it presages.

[snip]

The removal to Rome of those Anglicans in the Communion who had been fighting for a more traditionally Christian ethos "presages a huge cultural shift in the Anglican Church," he said. It will push the mainstream of Anglicanism in the west further out onto their liberal doctrinal limb. And it will likely push the existing Anglican factions further apart and contribute to the final break-up of the Communion between the liberal west and the conservative evangelical Africa and Asia.
Also worth mentioning, liberal Anglicans may find they face a bigger threat from their own rather than the despised conservatives. Since they recognize no sins save for racism, homophobia and insufficient obeisance to Gaia, and since only conservatives can be guilty of those and are leaving in droves, in due time (by definition) there will be no more sinners left in western Anglican churches. As postulated earlier in an overlong posting, the left only thrives when in conflict so things don't bode well for the liberal Anglican church after that "huge cultural shift." With salvation assured for them all and no more conservatives to bash, increasing numbers of liberal churchgoers will ask themselves: "Are there any reasons for continuing to go to church?" and in increasing number they will answer: "None whatsoever."

The Senator and the Old Perfesser

Since baseball's World's Serious (as Ring Lardner would have it) is upon us and Congress is in session, let us examine the testimonies before that august body by representatives of both institutions: a giant, Casey Stengel and a midget, Sen. Rolland Burris (D. Illinois).

First, the Old Perfesser, at a hearing of the Senate Anti-Trust and Monopoly Subcommittee on July 8, 1958, offers his thoughts on Major League Baseball's exemption from anti-trust laws:
Mr. Stengel: Well, I started in professional ball in 1910. I have been in professional ball, I would say, for forty-eight years. I have been employed by numerous ball clubs in the majors and in the minor leagues. I started in the minor leagues with Kansas City. I played as low as class D ball, which was at Shelbyville, Ky., and also class C ball, and class A ball, and I have advanced in baseball as a ballplayer.

I had many years that I was not so successful as a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill. And then I was no doubt discharged by baseball in which I had to go back to the minor leagues as a manager, and after being in the minor leagues as a manager, I became a major league manager in several cities and was discharged, we call it "discharged," because there is no question I had to leave. (Laughter). And I returned to the minor leagues at Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Oakland, Calif., and then returned to the major leagues.

In the last ten years, naturally, in major league baseball with the New York Yankees, the New York Yankees have had tremendous success and while I am not the ballplayer who does the work, I have no doubt worked for a ball club that is very capable in the office. I must have splendid ownership, I must have very capable men who are in radio and television, which is no doubt you know that we have mentioned the three names — you will say they are very great.

We have a wonderful press that follows us. Anybody should in New York City, where you have so many million people. Our ballclub has been successful because we have it, and we have the Spirit of 1776. We put it into the ball field and if you are not capable of becoming a great ballplayer since I have been in as a manager, in ten years, you are notified that if you don't produce on the ball field, the salary that you receive, we will allow you to be traded to play and give your services to other clubs.

The great proof was yesterday. Three of the young men that were stars and picked by the players in the American League to be in the all-star game were Mr. Cerv, who is at Kansas City; Mr. Jensen, who was at Boston, and I might say Mr. Triandos that caught for the Baltimore ball club, all three of those players were my members and to show you I was not such a brillant manager they got away from me and were chosen by the players and I was fortunate enough to have them come back to play where I was successful as a manager.

If I have been in baseball for forty-eight years there must be some good in it. I was capable and strong enough at one time to do any kind of work but I came back to baseball and I have been in baseball ever since. I have been up and down the ladder. I know there are some things in baseball, thirty-five to fifty years ago that are better now than they were in those days. In those days, my goodness, you could not transfer a ball club in the minor leagues, class D, class C ball, class A ball. How could you transfer a ball club when you did not have a highway? How could you transfer a ball club when the railroads then would take you to a town you got off and then you had to wait and sit up five hours to go to another ball club?

How could you run baseball then without night ball? You had to have night ball to improve the proceeds to play larger salaries and I went to work, the first year I received $135 a month. I thought that was amazing. I had to put away enough money to go to dental college. I found out it was not better in dentistry, I stayed in baseball.

Any other questions you would like to ask me? I want to let you know that as to the legislative end of baseball you men will have to consider that what you are here for. I am a bench manager. I will speak about anything from the playing end — in the major or minor leagues — and do anything I can to help you.
Now Senator Burris' testimony at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on czars, October 22, 2009.
[Sen. Burris]: This has — being a constitutional and political science student, I mean, this is Political Science 101 or Political Science, maybe, 1000. The panel’s just been terrific.

And I have so many thoughts just rolling through my head, I don’t even know where to start. I mean, this is — this is the meat that caused us political scientists to even exist, because you’re dealing with these major issues of the separation of powers and the creation of this country and whether or not you want your president to really have the powers that you granted it, and whether or not the Congress, which is on similar or equal footing, can then control or muscle in on those powers of the president.

Based on the fact that — especially the House of Representatives, since they stand for re-election every two years and senators much longer, you — you have this constant power struggle as who is really representing the people and what that representation is going to mean when it gets to the — the policy decision that’s going to impact the public.

And I don’t know whether or not — I don’t think you can come up with a definition dealing with this. Having served in a governor’s cabinet and having dealt with those staffers, it almost depends on how strong the cabinet member is as to just what and how he’s going to deal with those situations and those circumstances.

Because having experienced that on the state level, and knowledgeable to some extent on the federal level — I was very close to the — to the Carter administration and had good insights into the workings of the White House and all of those decisions that were being made and how the gatekeepers really sought to filter the information that got to the president.

Every president’s going to go through it. I don’t even know how we in the Congress can legally — I mean, I heard the distinguished ranking member say that we passed a law. We can pass a law and say there’s going to be a position in there, but I don’t think the Congress can tell the president who to put in that position.

I mean, if we do that, then I think that we’re violating the separation of powers. I mean, this is what we get into. And you can create a position. What happens if — what happens if the president says, “I don’t want to appoint anybody as secretary of state. I’m going to use the undersecretary as an acting secretary”?

Is there a law that would require us or require the president to appoint a secretary of state? Is there? Is there?
Obfuscation of two kinds: intentional, like that from Casey Stengel, a highly intelligent and witty man who preferred to stay out of an area beyond his purview, knowing he could add no insights to the matter (as the no doubt starstruck Senators already knew full well), and unintentional, like that from Senator Burris, a sad little political hack (with delusions of grandeur), spawned from the swamps of the Cook County Democratic machine who, in this desperate display of scrambling, reveals to the nation just how far out of his league he is.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sometimes You Just Want to Throw up Your Hands

HINSDALE, Illinois, October 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Dominican nun has been seen frequenting an abortion facility in Illinois recently - but not, as one might expect, to pray for an end to abortion or to counsel women seeking abortions, but to volunteer as a clinic escort.

Local pro-life activists say that they recognized the escort at the ACU Health Center as Sr. Donna Quinn, a nun outspokenly in favor of legalized abortion, after seeing her photo in a Chicago Tribune article.

"I've called her sister several times, and she never responded," local pro-lifer John Bray told LifeSiteNews.com (LSN).

[snip]

In a 2002 address to the Women's Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, Sr. Quinn described how she came to view the teachings of her Church as "immoral": "I used to say: 'This is my Church, and I will work to change it, because I love it,'" she said. "Then later I said, 'This church is immoral, and if I am to identify with it I'd better work to change it.' More recently, I am saying, 'All organized religions are immoral in their gender discriminations.'"

Uh, Cardinal George, Eminence? Think you could take a couple of minutes out of your busy day and have a look-see at this, maybe make a couple of phone calls at least? This woman really isn't helping matters.

(Thanks to Binky.)

Go On, Sir, Play Another Loop

From USA Today's The Oval:
President Obama has already caught up with predecessor George W. Bush in one area: Rounds of golf.

The Oval's good friend Mark Knoller of CBS News reports that Obama on Sunday played his 24th round of golf since his inauguration Jan. 20 -- matching Bush's presidential total, which he racked up in two years and ten months.
Some of the President's critics will have a field day with this news but I for one am delighted. I'd be happier still, as would many others I think, if the president chose to spend all day, every day, for the rest of his term, on the golf course.

(h/t For What it's Worth.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crazy Catholic Art



A regular reader, writing from a lodge in the wilds of Connecticut where he's staying and owned by "some crazy Catholic" as he puts it, sent me this photo of a painting he came across in the joint; one of "hundreds of lurid examples of Catholic art on display," he reports. Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

I must confess though, I rather like the sentiment expressed: Jesus knocking at the temple to atheism (at least I think that's what it is).

The End of the Campaign

A friend of mine, a lifelong Catholic, expressed his surprise to me that liberal Episcopalians are apoplectic over the Vatican's recent announcement Anglicans, unhappy with the state of affairs in their church, may become Catholics and still retain elements of their beloved form of worship. My friend asked why the Episcopal Church liberals were not thrilled to be rid of the malcontents since they had been making such a stink over the years; why the accusations of "poaching?"

Good questions both and I was unable answer them at the time. Later, however, an explanation suggested itself: the innovators vital need for an enemy and the terrible fear they might not have one. The history of the left is a history of campaigns: against those in charge when out of power and against those not in charge when in power; a never-ending battle. For over thirty years innovators in the Episcopal Church have fought against the old-guard orthodox: first over the ordination of women, then over matters sexual and finally over matters soteriological. In dealing with opponents, their tactics have been straight out of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, particularly rule number 13: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Thus, any theological and scriptural arguments in opposition are ignored and those making them are vilified as "hateful," "reactionary," "noninclusive" "bigoted" and much worse. This tactic has proved most successful. Most of those in the pews are understandably loath to be called those nasty words and are thus cowed into submission.

Now, however, the Pope has provided remaining traditionalist pew-sitters in the Episcopal Church, who surely must be weary of the unending ideological campaigns but so far have been unwilling to jump ship, a most generous and attractive offer: board Peter's barque, become part of the One True Church and continue to worship in much the manner in which you are accustomed. Not all of those in Episcopal pews will take advantage of the offer, perhaps only a few will at first, but in the end what matters is that the invitation stands; to be considered anew should things get worse (and they will).

The cause for outrage among liberals in the Episcopal Church is the realization they may no longer bash with impunity those remaining traditionalist pew-sitters who, in all likelihood, still constitute a majority of worshipers, still write the checks and, most important, serve as cannon fodder for the liberals. Just the possibility they may now easily leave terrifies the liberals; how can they campaign if there is no foe? With the opposition gone not only does the campaign come to an end, so does any remaining public interest in the Episcopal Church. Whatever will they do?

The liberals' predicament brings to mind (believe it or not) the last Batman movie, where the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, says: "I'm like a dog chasing a car: if I caught it, I wouldn't know what to do with it."

Friday, October 23, 2009

There Must be Something in the Water

Her Grace Catharine Roskam, Suffragan Bishop of New York, shows magnanimity Episcopalian style:
We appreciate the welcome the [P]ope extended to those in the Anglican Communion who are disaffected. We for our part continue to welcome our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, both lay and ordained, conservative and liberal, who wish to belong to a church that treasures diversity of thought."
Perhaps it's only my skeptical nature but do I detect just a teensy-weensy bit of insufferable self-righteous didacticism in Her Grace's comment? As for all those "Roman Catholics" she hopes to welcome: that source of fresh Episcopalian souls, which began flowing around the time Humanae Vitae was published, slowed to a trickle during toward the end of the reign of Pope John Paul II and dried up completely with the election of his successor. In fact if Bishop Roskam were to take a survey of the pews in her diocese on Sunday mornings, she might suspect the flow is going in the opposite direction now and may even increase in the days to come.



(Thanks to the MCJ.)

The White Man's Burden:

Teaching minorities to embrace progressivism.
The relative lack of diversity in places like Portland raises some tough questions the perennially PC urban boosters might not want to answer. For example, how can a city define itself as diverse or progressive while lacking in African Americans, the traditional sine qua non of diversity, and often in immigrants as well?

Imagine a large corporation with a workforce whose African American percentage far lagged its industry peers, sans any apparent concern, and without a credible action plan to remediate it. Would such a corporation be viewed as a progressive firm and employer? The answer is obvious. Yet the same situation in major cities yields a different answer. Curious.
Not really, when you think about it. The vast majority of progressives in the this country are college-educated members of the upper classes who, by and large, are white. Despite whatever egalitarian babblings they spout they, like most members of most classes, prefer the company of their own; especially where they live.

(h/t Ann Althouse via Instapundit.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It's Bad Manners to Stay Where You're Not Wanted

A prominent Episcopalian blogger reacts, two days afterward, to the Vatican's invitation to disaffected Anglicans to come home to Holy Church.
So I say go for it. Take His Holiness Father Infallibility up on his kind off[er] to 'come on down' and go join his [sic] church.

And leave mine alone.
To Episcopalians still sitting on the fence: you have a cordial and generous invitation from the Pope to join the Holy Catholic Church and a churlish and mean-spirited invitation from an influential Episcopalian to get out of "her" church. How much more persuading do you need?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If You Cower in the Wings You're Gonna be Upstaged

Archbishop of Canterbury criticises Rome for springing this announcement on him
Well, your Grace, you had six-and-a-half years to do something about this mess and dithered all the while. The Pope, who isn't getting any younger, heard a cry for help and helped. It really should not come as a surprise.

Facing Facts

Reader Tregonsee writes:
We need to see how this works out in practice. The existing Anglican Rite RC parishes are in practice neither fish nor fowl, whatever their theological status. All but the most Catholic leaning protestants are hesitant because of the "popish taint," and the traditional RCs appreciate the liturgy, but always have a non-AR church nearby they can attend. For some such as the Traditional Anglican Communion, this is a perfect match. It will be interesting to see how others, especially those with formal or back door connections to the Anglican Communion, react.
My guess is many protestants, seeing the downward direction their denominations are headed in, will decide that salvation is worth a mass--and a pope.

It's Official

From the Vatican:
NOTE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH ABOUT PERSONAL ORDINARIATES FOR ANGLICANS ENTERING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH , 20.10.2009

NOTE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH ABOUT PERSONAL ORDINARIATES FOR ANGLICANS ENTERING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
With the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.

In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a world-wide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony. In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church...
Other than the desire to hold on to their real estate (hardly a good reason though understandable) is there any compelling reason now for traditionalist Anglo-Catholics still remaining in the Episcopal Church not to embrace the full Catholic faith? And other traditionalist Episcopalians, too?

Monday, October 19, 2009

This Could be Interesting (Even if We've Heard it Before)

Via Damian Thompson, via William Tighe (thank you, Professor) come two announcements, one from the Vatican:
We inform accredited journalists that tomorrow, Tuesday 20 October 2009, at 11am, in the John Paul II Hall of the Press Office of the Holy See, a briefing will be held on a theme pertaining to the relationship with the Anglicans, at which His Eminence Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and His Excellency Mgr Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will take part.
The other from the Archbishop of Canterbury:
You are invited to a press conference with Archbishop Vincent Nichols (Archbishop of Westminster) and Archbishop Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) on Tuesday 20 October at 1000. The press conference will take place at 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX.
Thompson seems to think (as does Fr. Zulhsdorf) that these notices might might well presage the long-awaited announcement from the Vatican the Traditional Anglican Communion, a breakaway Anglo-Catholic organization that two years ago petitioned Rome to be received en masse into the Holy Catholic Church, will at last be granted its wish. 

If the TAC is received into Mother Church, it is presumed the Vatican will make some provision for the them to continue worshiping in in the traditional Anglican form, via the establishment of a prelature or the expansion of the "Anglican Use" provision, established some years ago in the United States but which never really getting off the ground. However the TAC is accommodated though, it will be a complicated business: all their priests will have to be ordained since Anglican orders are not recognized by Rome. Many TAC priests are married, so too their bishops, further complicating matters. If, however, the Holy Father has indeed decided to welcome the TAC into Holy Church, the Vatican will, over time, sort it all out; they are good at that sort of thing.

I should also stress all the above is speculation. Rumors have surfaced countless times in the past about the imminent reception of Anglicans into the Catholic Church only to come to naught. So don't be too surprised if tomorrow's press conferences turn out instead to be announcements of an ecumenical cricket match between Rome and Canterbury.
 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A New Dimension to Social Climbing

The New York Post reports on the latest trend among Manhattan elites in child crafting.
Jeffrey Stern's mother wanted him to have every advantage -- from his schooling at Manhattan's prestigious Dalton School to summer camp in the Berkshires.

So when Jeffrey, at age 11 and 4-foot-1, was a full foot shorter than everyone else in his class, she talked to an endocrinologist, who put him on human growth hormone.

"The doctors said that he was that he was destined to be taller," Margot Stern said.

Jeffrey now stands 5-foot-7, but that's not tall enough for the 16-year-old and his mother.

"They said that the height that's owed to him is around 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-10," she said. "I was going to give him a chance to achieve his growth potential."
This seems a perfectly natural development in a society that worships creation over creator: if the creation doesn't meet your aesthetic standards make necessary corrections until it does. It is only a matter of time however until vicarious narcissistic parents reconsider the merits of the formerly discredited science of eugenics, a vastly more efficient means of assuring satisfactory reproductive outcomes than inelegant post-birth methods like the above.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In the Future Everyone Will be a Nazi for 15 Minutes

A towering figure of the book-larnin' left intones a beloved old trope.
Add Noam Chomsky to the growing list of people using the Nazi analogy lately. Speaking to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he alluded to right-wing media as “substantive content — crazy content, but it does give answers,” and warned that if Americans weren’t properly educated about what was really happening to them, they could be in for a repeat of the Nazi takeover of Germany in the 1930s.
Or, to paraphrase a jingle from a TV commercial familiar to those of us of the post-literate age:
I'm a Nazi,
He's a Nazi,
She's a Nazi, we're a Nazi,
Wouldn't you like to be a Nazi, too?
(Thanks to Augustine.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vatican II and the Present Day

His Grace, R. Walter Nickless, Bishop of Sieux City, doesn't mince his words:
SIOUX CITY, Iowa, October 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Catholics must learn to "exorcise" the so-called "spirit of Vatican II" to end the secularization that has "wreaked havoc" on the Church since the Council, says Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa.

In a pastoral letter issued Thursday to the lay and religious of his diocese, Nickless wrote that he has "no other desire" than to see the reforms of Vatican II implemented properly. However, he said, "It is crucial that we all grasp that the hermeneutic or interpretation of discontinuity or rupture, which many think is the settled and even official position, is not the true meaning of the Council."

The "hermeneutic of discontinuity," under the guise of the "spirit of Vatican II," sees "the Second Vatican Council as a radical break with the past," explained the bishop. However, "There can be no split ... between the Church and her faith before and after the Council."
I think the worst excesses of Vatican II were less the result of reforms coming from the Council itself than the openings they later presented to radicals, who saw them, correctly, as an opportunity to ram through an innovative agenda for which there was little or no demand. The radicals must have also realized their opportunity would be a short one thus the need to move quickly effecting the changes, then hoping they would stick. In that respect their behavior bears a remarkable resemblance to our President and Congress today and the radical programs they work feverishly to enact. We must pray the damage done by them proves not so long lasting as that done by their post Vatican II counterparts.