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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.


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.


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 ( - 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.


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 ( - 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 (LSN).


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:

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 ( - 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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Company You Keep

After a bit of delay, the Episcopal Church has released its attendance figures for 2008 and it is not a pretty sight. In essence, membership continues declining and the decline is accelerating. Average Sunday attendance for parishes nationwide is now a paltry 69. Perhaps the saddest development is even those few remaining "orthodox" parishes that have managed to stave off innovation are seeing their membership dwindle (you can check on individual parishes by clicking here), the external corruption is driving their worshipers away or else they are dying and not being replaced. I am pleased to see St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, New York is at least holding its own but two Anglo-Catholic parishes I know of have taken a hit; another church I know has reported the exact same numbers for years which leads me to believe they aren't counting anymore for its numbers have dropped sharply regardless what is being reported.

Orthodox Anglicans remaining in the Episcopal Church should regard those dismal figures as a warning they cannot continue closing their eyes, holding their ears and pretending not to notice what is happening around them. Even if traditional worship and theology are still observed in their churches, they are but a priest or bishop away from heterodoxy. The time draws nigh.

(Thanks to the MCJ).

Painting the Great Big Bulls-Eye

There was a story making the rounds some years back that so many depressed students at Cornell University were jumping to their deaths the members of a fraternity one year painted a large target at the bottom of the campus's favorite site for earthly disembarkation. The Obama administration now seems intent engaging in a similar act of assisted suicide. From Bloomberg:
Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Pentagon is reviewing the Bush administration’s doctrine of preemptive military strikes with an eye to modifying or possibly ending it.

The international environment is “more complex” than when President George W. Bush announced the policy in 2002, Kathleen Hicks, the Defense Department’s deputy undersecretary for strategy, said in an interview. “We’d really like to update our use-of-force doctrine to start to take account for that.”


James Mann, an author in residence at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said the doctrine “was presented as not just the ‘right’” to strike “before you are about to be attacked, but as an entirely new strategy for dealing with the world.”

“I don’t think the Obama people believe preemption should be defined in this incredibly broad sense -- and I think they feel -- with some reason -- the broad definition really lost American support in the rest of the world,” said Mann, author of “Rise of the Vulcans,” a 2004 history of Bush’s war cabinet.
Isn't that lovely? When our cities are glowing in the dark (regardless the lack of electricity) those who survive will surely bask in the gratitude (in addition to the radiation) Iran, North Korea or whomever gets to us first has for us for being so gosh-darned accommodating; and the rest of the world will love us for it too.

(Thanks to For What it's Worth.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Global Warming Going up in Smoke

From Climate Depot:
Losing Their Religion: 2009 officially declared year the media lost their faith in man-made global warmingfears

It has finally happened. We have reached the “tipping point.”

2009 can now be officially declared the year the media lost their faith in man-made global warming fears.

Significant organs of the mainstream media are now officially abandoning one-sided man-made global warming fear promotion and alleged claims that the "debate is over."

The stunning media reversal has accelerated in recent weeks as top UN scientists have raised the specter of continued global cooling. See: UN Fears (More) Global Cooling Commeth! IPCC Scientist Warns UN: We may be about to enter 'one or even 2 decades during which temps cool' – Sept. 5, 2009

I know it's not nice to say "I told you so" but what the hell: I told you so.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Many People Deserve this Award

With the President having won the Nobel Peace Prize for...? it it is plain we now live in a world where, to hearken that lugubrious lefty blow-hard Garrison Keillor, every one of us is above average. So don't look upon this prize as a triumph for the President, rather as a triumph for you, me and any person you might have mistakenly presumed earlier to be a bumbling incompetent narcissist. Congratulations to us all.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Instapundit Floods the Zone

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has a bug up, bee in his bonnet over the plight of women's ski-jumpers, their so far futile attempts at recognition by the International Olympic Committee and the right to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics. By my count he has posted twelve times on the subject and today he does so yet again: NOT GIVING UP: Women’s ski jumpers still hoping for flight in 2010 Games.

Reynolds' fixation with the women's ski-jumpers seems naggingly familiar to me and with his latest posting I am finally able to nail it: Howell Raines, the former editor of the New York Times, and his tireless, equally futile thumping for the admission of women to the male-only Augusta National Golf Club. Covering that earlier tempest-in-a-teapot seven years ago, Jack Shafer in Slate wrote: "The headline of today's Page One, above-the-fold story —'CBS Staying Silent in Debate on Women Joining Augusta'—is the giveaway that the Times is blowing on embers in hopes that the story will reignite."

Indeed. Keep puffing, Professor!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Art Reflecting Life

From the Corner comes word the Obamas have borrowed 45 works of contemporary art (sic) from Washington museums to brighten up their quarters in the White House. Among them is the cherce item you see below, which was obviously inspired by the President's foreign policy.

How Vain?

George Will on the fiasco in Copenhagen:
In the 41 sentences of her remarks, Michelle Obama used some form of the personal pronouns "I" or "me" 44 times. Her husband was, comparatively, a shrinking violet, using those pronouns only 26 times in 48 sentences. Still, 70 times in 89 sentences conveyed the message that somehow their fascinating selves were what made, or should have made, Chicago's case compelling.
Hats off to the Trousered Ape, who posts rarely but well. Inspired by the above he has penned a redo of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain," dedicated to our Commander in Chief. Here is the first verse.
You walked into the White House,
Leaving your unicorn parked outside.
The razor-sharp crease in your pants set off
The shapely toned arms of your bride.
And every leg was tingling
At the hope and change in your stride;
And everyone dreamed that you’d pay off their mortgage –
Pay off their mortgage, and

You're so vain
You probably think this country’s about you;
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this country’s about you -
Don't you? Don't you?
Go to the Ape's website to read the rest and other very clever stuff too.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Next Great Cause of the Left

Discrimination against the nouveau pauvre.

(Thanks to Fr. Binks.)

Those Nice Young Men in Their Clean White Coats

(Blogrolling here.) Mrs. Peperium at Patum Peperium responds to your Bloviator's posting on the lab-coated doctors the President trotted out before reporters in the Rose Garden, to show solidarity for his mission to socialize American medicine. In a posting of her own she wonders: "Why they didn't they do their job and take him away?"

Why indeed and while we ponder that perfectly reasonable question, here is a classic from my youth to provide some stimulus (if you'll pardon the expression).

Monday, October 05, 2009

How Long Before This One's Yanked?

Apparently Paramount Farms, producer of Wonderful® Pistachios, only wants the Netroots to buy the things. (h/t the MCJ.)

The Sacramental Seal

This recent story in the New York Post gave me pause.
A woman who allegedly lied about being raped in 2005 and sent an innocent man to jail could soon be facing her own trip to prison, The Post has learned.

Prosecutors are now presenting evidence against her to a Manhattan grand jury. A source said perjury charges were "likely."

They plan to call witnesses to testify that Biurny Peguero Gonzalez made up a story of having been raped at knifepoint in upper Manhattan because her pals were furious with her for leaving them.

Among the witnesses is the Rev. Zeljko Guberovic, her priest at St. Anthony's, in Union City, NJ, where Gonzalez, 26, confessed to the fabrication in March, sources said (emphasis added).

Gonzalez had accused William McCaffrey and two of his friends of gang-raping her in Inwood. He was convicted and sentenced to 20 years before being released last month
My concern is not over someone becoming a guest of the state for making a false rape charge, there's been far too much of that lately. Rather that one of the witnesses for the prosecution, if the story is correct, is a priest to whom the defendant confessed. Since when does a priest testify against one who confesses? My understanding is it is never, ever, permitted (in fact there's a corker of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, I confess, based on that very premise).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states
Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents' lives.
I am at a loss here. Is it possible the defendant confessed to the priest outside the box thus he may (or must) testify against her? That still doesn't ring true, I can't believe any priest would do it. Anybody more expert than I have an explanation?

Will this Guy Ever Stop Campaigning?

Nope, it's all he knows how to do.

From Reuters:
Barack Obama gathered doctors from every U.S. state at the White House on Monday to press his case for healthcare reform in a week when the sweeping overhaul could clear a major hurdle in Congress.
Nice touch the crisp white lab coats to add authority: it brings to mind the "over-the-top hucksterism" of an earlier age.

UPDATE: Some of the doctors attending the photo-op didn't bring lab coats despite instructions. Not to worry, the White House provided loaners!

That guy in the back with his head in his hand looks like someone just realizing he's been duped into shilling for a con man.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Fr. Longenecker commenting on a report in the Telegraph of HRH Elizabeth II's deep unhappiness of late with the Church of England as well her increasing admiration of the Holy Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI:
Let's face it, the Church of England is never going to roll over and submit to the Holy Father, but it would be rather nice if a conservative group were to split off, join the Catholics and have Her Majesty come long for the ride. She could repudiate her role as the head of the Church of England, and the Anglicans could elect Elton John to take her place. That way they could have everything they really want: homosexual marriage and an old English queen as the head of their religion.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Good Question

Screenwriter-director Lionel Chetwynd wonders aloud (video, about 7'45" in) : "What if it was Father Polanski who surfaced 32 years later; a Catholic priest who abused a 13-year old, not a film maker? Man, they would all be swooping down on him, they couldn't wait to beat up on the Catholic priest 32 years later."

But don't you see? That follows the narrative.

Thank You Jesus

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympics after winning over Madrid in the final round of voting among on Friday.


In an astonishing start to the voting, Chicago, the odds-on favorite, went out in the first round, despite receiving unprecedented support from United States President Barack Obama and the first lady.
UPDATE: The cost of a "stupid and unnecessary" Presidential trip to Copenhagen? Over $10 million. I can't help thinking this debacle will affect the President (and his claque) more than all the others.

UPDATE 2: CNN: "What do you mean Chicago's out? That doesn't follow the narrative!"

Strawberries Anyone?

Jennifer Rubin writes (h/t Instapundit):
The latest Fox News/Opinion Dymanic poll is chock-full of bad news for the president. But on foreign policy, the results are nothing short of stunning. On who they trust more to decide the next steps in Afghanistan. 66 percent say military commanders, while only 20 percent say the president. Even Democrats have more faith in the military commanders (by a 45 to 37 percent margin). On Iran, 69 percent say Obama has not been tough enough, including 55 percent of Democrats. Sixty-one percent favor a U.S. military action, if needed, to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Fifty-one percent think Obama apologizes for American too much.


In short, Obama has already achieved what it took Jimmy Carter an entire term to attain: the conviction of a large majority of the American people that he is not protecting our interests or performing adequately as commander in chief.
The comparison to Carter is apt but I think Obama may even be worse: a hybrid of Carter's bumbling incertitude and Nixon's Queeg-like paranoia. Most worrisome are the antics the President might engage in as he watches his popularity (and putative "mandate") vanish.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

ACORN: Taking the Protestants Down with Them

From the American:
[T]he Presbyterian Church (USA) apparently has been giving grants to scandal-ridden ACORN for years. And it’s been engaging in some unsavory accounting practices to keep the funds flowing. Parker Williamson reports on the subject in The Presbyterian Layman, a publication of a renewal organization in this mainline Presbyterian denomination...

According to the Institute on Religion and Democracy, the National Council of Churches has also worked with ACORN in the past to, um, “increase voter turnout.”
There is no cause for smugness however among Catholics: Holy Church has also been a sponsor of the thugs at ACORN in a big way. The only difference is there are enough Catholics outraged by such appalling misuse of Church funds chances are reasonably good it will be stopped...eventually.

Not so with most Protestant denominations, which have seen their membership drop precipitously as leadership becomes increasingly dominated by left-wing extremists. Many if not most of those who might be upset by their churches' support of ACORN and similar groups long ago walked away. The remaining conservatives and traditionalists are so disenfranchised there is little they can do about their churches' support of repellent organizations like ACORN other than follow the example of those who have already left; thus the downward spiral will continue.

Roman Polanski Update

From Allahpundit:
Word on the street: Polanski’s next film is so good, Europe’s going to let him bang an eight-year-old. It’s THAT GOOD.
(h/t Patterico.)

Their Flyover is Sacrificed for Us

Michelle Obama explaining why she, her gal-pal Oprah and the President trudged over to Denmark in Air Force One to shill for the Olympics in Chicago:
"As much of a sacrifice as people say this is for me or Oprah or the president to come for these few days," the first lady told a crowd of people involved in the Chicago project, "so many of you in this room have been working for years to bring this bid home."
(Thanks to the MCJ.)