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Saturday, February 28, 2009

They Will Always be with Us

Vladimir Lenin:
Capitalists the world over and their governments will, in their desire to win Soviet market, shut their eyes to the above-mentioned activities and thus be turned into blind deaf-mutes. They will furnish credits, which will serve as a means of supporting the Communist parties in their countries, and, by supplying us, will rebuild our war industry, which is essential for our future attacks on our suppliers. In other words, they will be laboring to prepare their own suicide.
Lawrence Kudlow:
Noteworthy up here on Wall Street, a great many Obama supporters — especially hedge-fund types who voted for “change” — are becoming disillusioned with the performances of Obama and Treasury man Geithner.

There is a growing sense of buyer’s remorse.
It's a little late, fellas.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Moving Forward from the Clown Mass

Christopher Johnson, the long-suffering but intrepid chronicler of egregious liturgical and theological horrors committed in the name of Anglicanism, every now and then (in the spirit of ecumenism, no doubt) turns his attention to the Holy Catholic Church where, of course, he can always find a wealth of material with which to work. He's dug up a doozy this time, concerning a Catholic loon in upstate New York who, through some colossal misunderstanding, managed to get himself ordained and placed in charge of the Newman Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Johnson received the following item from a blog called the Corning Curmudgeon, the proprietor of which, I hope, will not object to my wholesale copying and pasting it below. Take it away, sir!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Welcome to The "Mickey Mouse" Mass

My son Anthony attends Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Normally, he avoids the on-campus Neumann (sic) Center Mass and goes to St Stanislaus' down town for the Latin Mass. Well the weather was bad, and so he and his fiancee went to the Newman Center mass. Well, it was an "interesting" mass. Not in good way either. He sent me pictures.

Apparently the priest decided to "sprinkle" water on the congregation at the begining of Mass. Well the ritual deviated from the usual sprinkling rite. First there was the ritual blessing of the super-soaker (!)

Then we had the filling of the super soaker with holy water and then the "sprinkling" of the congregation with the super soaker.

Truely if that wasn't strange enough, apparently Father's liturgical color of the day was "tie-dyed." While colorful, it less than impressed the congregation of 20 or so college students who either were laughing through out or muttering under their breath. Of course all this was proceeded by even more loony-tunes stuff:

As Anthony puts it:
It was actually worse than the pictures make it out to be. He processed into mass behind the cross wearing the Mickey Mouse hat and a gold masquerade mask. Once the singing stopped, the first thing he did was blow a kazoo and say, "Happy Mardi Gras."
Things like this are not helping attract the youth to mass, nor to the Church. Bishop Clark....are you listening?
Ouch (but wonderful understatement in that last sentence). The only possible consolation for Catholics is whereas in the Anglican Church if there were any consequences at all for a priest who committed such a heinous act, they would likely include his being made bishop, in Holy Mother Church there is a chance, just a chance, mind you, someone with authority will crane his neck Rochester way and take some disciplinary action.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday


Image from NYCAGO.org


My first Ash Wednesday as a Catholic: noon mass at Our Saviour, absolutely packed; people jammed into the narthex, spilling out the door. The line for imposing ashes stretching around the corner and halfway down 38th Street. Gratifying, this blessed company of all faithful people.

(But such a long way to go.)
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us

Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.

Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

--T. S. Eliot

Monday, February 23, 2009

Going Down in Flames



But entertaining us all the while!
Northern Michigan Elects ‘Christian-Buddhist’ Bishop

The [Episcopal] Diocese of Northern Michigan elected the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester as bishop Feb. 21 at a special diocesan convention.

Fr. Forrester, the only candidate on the slate, was elected on the first ballot, receiving 88 percent of delegate votes and 91 percent of congregational votes, according to a diocesan news release.

The bishop-elect has served the diocese since 2001 as its ministry development coordinator and more recently as rector of St. Paul’s Church, Marquette, and St. John’s, Negaunee.

The announcement of Fr. Forrester’s nomination sparked controversy last month because he is also a practicing Buddhist and said he had received Buddhist “lay ordination” and was “walking the path of Christianity and Zen Buddhism together.”
By receiving Buddhist "lay ordination," Bishop-to-be Forrester might simply be investing in job insurance. With its membership hemorrhaging the Episcopal Church may well be out of business in a few years, forcing him to find another line of work.

Don't Spend It

Glenn Reynolds, via the TaxProf, informs us the $800,000,000,000 stimulus package recently passed by Congress will result in the government allowing us to keep an extra ten bucks in our weekly pay envelopes. I wish all wage earners in this country would do what I intend to do with it: put it into a savings account--or hide it under the mattress, buy gold--anything but spend it. For we know, when things eventually turn around, as they must, Ms. Pelosi and the other parasites in Washington will be quick to claim their less-than-generous largess with our own money is somehow responsible for it.

I would just as soon deprive them of that pleasure, wouldn't you?

New York's Next Archbishop



From AP:
Monsignor Timothy Dolan is next NY archbishop

NEW YORK (AP) — Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, a defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who led an elite seminary for U.S. priests and became known for his energy, wit and warmth, was named archbishop of New York on Monday.
Dolan was sent to Milwaukee to clean up the mess created by his predecessor, Archibishop Weakland, a post-Vatican II reformer-type (he spent millions vandalizing the venerable Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist), who resigned after confessing to an "inappropriate relationship" with some fella (at least it was a grownup). By most accounts Dolan did a good job and his theology is sound.

I find this encouraging about the new archbishop:
Dolan is an outspoken opponent of abortion, comparing the moral urgency of the issue to ending slavery. The American Life League, an anti-abortion group that has pressured Catholic bishops to speak out more forcefully on the issue, called Dolan "one of our pro-life heroes."
I find this less encouraging:
However, he does not deny Holy Communion to Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights, nor does he single them out publicly. He thinks each parishioner should decide whether he or she should receive the sacrament. Every other year or so, he has invited Catholic city and state officeholders for a daylong session on church teaching and public life.
I imagine many will find this policy of the archbishop's objectionable but I don't:
In 2004, he joined the minority of U.S. bishops who publicly released the names of local diocesan priests who had been credibly accused of molesting children. The archdiocese posts the names on its Web site and updates the list when needed.

"Anything we can do to keep children safe, we must do," Dolan said when he revealed the names. "Anything we can do to help people who have been victimized come forward, we must do."
Amen. Amen. If there is a cancer in the body, you must cut it out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Green Side of Bernie Madoff

From the Business Insider:
The latest news coming out of the Madoff Trustee and Creditors meeting that started at 10 am this morning in the auditorium of the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York is simply staggering.
  • Madoff's operation was enormous, taking in 2,350 clients.
  • For at least 13 years, no securities at all were purchased on behalf of those clients. That means that every single transaction recorded, every cent of gain was simply made up out of thin air.
  • The Trustee has no idea how long it will take to figure out what assets may be recovered for the victims.
Thousands upon thousands of trees are alive today, thanks to the lack of all that paperwork--and it's so much tidier, too!

(Thanks to For What It's Worth.)

Hard Times at Antiwar.com



Facing a sharp drop-off in donations, the website Antiwar.com is planning layoffs and cutbacks. It turns out many of the site's supporters were just too darned particular: they only opposed Republican wars and since the election of Barack Obama have lost all interest in the subject. Even the recent announcement 17,000 more troops will be sent to Afghanistan has failed to stir those fickle peaceniks into opening their wallets, thus Antiwar.com may "go down in the annals of the Internet as a casualty of both the recession and liberal complacency."

The notion of Jus ad bellum, the right to go to war, has been debated by Catholic thinkers going back to Augustine and Aquinas but never satisfactorily resolved. We must, therefore, be grateful to Democratic liberals for bringing, at last, some clarity to the matter: Republican war, oppose; Democratic war, ignore.

(Thanks to Serge's blog.)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jesuitical

From the Catholic News Agency:
Portland, Ore., Feb 18, 2009 / 08:20 pm (CNA).- The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday following additional sexual abuse lawsuits, thus becoming the first religious order to do so.

The bankruptcy petition was filed in Portland Federal Bankruptcy Court as an additional 200 claims of sexual abuse of primarily Alaskan children were pending or threatened against the Jesuit province, the Daily News-Miner reports.
A lawyer for the victims, however, points out filing for bankruptcy is "ultimately an acknowledgment of what we have been saying for years is true, that Alaska was used as a dumping ground for problem priests..."

While filing for Chapter 11 will no doubt speed up the process of settling claims, it will also shut down further discovery in the matter, which means the public, including Catholic laypeople, will never know the full extent of the pernicious rot that infested this province. More's the pity. If Mother Church truly wishes to purge this evil, once and for all, the only way is to dig to the core of the rot and chop it out; not flee to the bankruptcy courts and issue mealy-mouth statements like this one from Fr. Patrick J. Lee, SJ, provincial of the Oregon Province:
Our hope is that by filing Chapter 11, we can begin to bring this sad chapter in our province’s history to an end.

We continue to pray for all those who have been hurt by the actions of a few men, so that they can receive the healing and reconciliation that they deserve.

Chapter 11 will allow the Oregon Province to resolve pending claims, manage its financial situation and continue its various ministries in the Northwest in which it has been engaged since 1831...
Fr. Lee neglects to mention that in addition to the 200-plus victims (he calls them "claimants"), those "few men" (how "few," I wonder) guilty of the hideous acts are also in need of "healing and reconciliation," that their souls are imperiled. By hiding behind legal procedure, it seems to this layman they are compounding their sin.

Justice Brandeis wrote:
Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.
And St. John wrote: "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." The Holy Catholic Church, therefore, need not fear for dragging the murky and sordid outrage of child rape out of the darkness and into the clear bright light of truth.

(Thanks to New Advent.org)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Broadway Bound?



Rod Blagojevich Superstar!, a production of the venerable Second City (responsible for the funniest TV show in history, over thirty years ago). From the Variety review:
Book writer Ed Furman smartly recognizes that people only know, or care about, the broad outline here. Inside info on Illinois politics is mentioned, but mostly the show is a character study in comic self-delusion mixed with mild stupidity: "Since when is breaking a few laws illegal?" Blago asks, with a degree of sincerity that really is funny.

The most consistent source of amusement actually stems not from Blago but from his wife Patti (Lori McClain). She has been compared in the news media to Lady Macbeth, and don't imagine that's not referenced here. As the foul-mouthed first lady, McClain manages to generate a laugh with pretty much every curse word, and there's a plethora of them. "I don't know how to fucking love him," she sings to a familiar melody, "Yet still I love that fucker so."

(Thanks to Pinball People.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Selling Our Birthright for a Mess of Pottage

Lamar Alexander:
This bill will give American workers $8 a week in their paychecks in exchange for passing along a $1 trillion debt to our grandchildren. The entire New Deal in today’s dollars cost only half of what this bill costs.
(Hat tip to the Instapundit.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who Says This Country's Running Out of Brains?

From the latest Rasmussen poll:
Republicans and unaffiliated voters by double digits have more confidence in themselves than Democrats do, but even a majority of the party that controls Congress trust themselves more than the average legislator.

Forty-four percent (44%) voters also think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job addressing the nation’s problems than the current Congress, but 37% disagree. Twenty percent (20%) are undecided.

Whipping Those Ninnies into Line...

With priests like this.



(Thanks to Fr. Rutler.)

Keeping Up with the Anglicans

A recent news item:
Father Peter Kennedy, 71, is the administrator of St. Mary’s Church in South Brisbane (Australia). He has allegedly rejected the divinity of Jesus and has denied the virginity of Mary.

“Can you possibly think any individual can believe that Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary,” the priest said, according to the Courier Mail. He claimed that the article of faith may have been credible in “the medieval times” but is not believable for modern people.
You might be thinking, there they go again, those Anglicans are really headed for the abyss, aren't they? Except those words are from a Catholic priest, not an Anglican, proving one again (as if it were needed), Holy Mother Church is as beset with heretical loons as are the Anglicans. Fr. Kennedy is also quoted as saying "he didn’t have faith in the Pope but wanted to remain an active Catholic priest."(!)

But here's the difference 'twixt Rome and Canterbury (from the same article):
Archbishop of Brisbane John A. Bathersby has urged a disobedient priest not to take members of his parish into schism, saying the separation of Christians is “contrary to all that Christ prayed for.”

[]

In a Friday letter, Archbishop Bathersby responded to Fr. Kennedy’s Jan. 12 letter asking to meet for further discussion.

“I see no reason to do so. I have repeatedly asked for changes but you and the community have not budged an inch,” the archbishop wrote...

The archbishop said there is doubt about the validity of many baptisms performed at the parish and announced that he would name a special day at St. Stephen’s Cathedral to perform and certify baptisms for parents or adult converts who are concerned about the validity of St. Mary’s Church baptisms.

Archbishop Bathersby’s letter notified Fr. Kennedy that he will be removed as parish administrator by Saturday, Feb. 21.
That, dear friends, is why, despite her myriad woes, the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Holy Catholic Church.

Noted with Pleasure



St. Augustine, from the Confessions, in conversation with his mother, St. Monica:
We were saying, then, If to any man the tumult of the flesh were silenced—silenced the phantasies of earth, waters, and air—silenced, too, the poles; yea, the very soul be silenced to herself, and go beyond herself by not thinking of herself—silenced fancies and imaginary revelations, every tongue, and every sign, and whatsoever exists by passing away, since, if any could hearken, all these say, "We created not ourselves, but were created by Him who abides for ever:" If, having uttered this, they now should be silenced, having only quickened our ears to Him who created them, and He alone speak not by them, but by Himself, that we may hear His word, not by fleshly tongue, nor angelic voice, nor sound of thunder, nor the obscurity of a similitude, but might hear Him— Him whom in these we love— without these, like as we two now strained ourselves, and with rapid thought touched on that Eternal Wisdom which remains over all. If this could be sustained, and other visions of a far different kind be withdrawn, and this one ravish, and absorb, and envelope its beholder amid these inward joys, so that his life might be eternally like that one moment of knowledge which we now sighed after, were not this "Enter into the joy of Your Lord"? (Matthew 25:21) And when shall that be? When we shall all rise again; but all shall not be changed.
As pertinent now, in a crass and noisome age like ours, as when written 1600 years ago.

(Thanks to New Advent.org.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oh, the Outrage!

From the Boston College Observer:
BC Professors Protest Crucifixes

Returning to school for the spring semester, some professors were shocked to learn about a new university policy that added crucifixes to every classroom on campus over the winter break. Calling the crucifixes and Catholic icons offensive at a Jesuit universisty (emphasis added), at least one professor is refusing to teach in the classrooms adorned by a crucifix even if he should have to move his class to a different room at his own expense.
I wonder if that professor is a Jesuit.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

After All, Whose Money is It?

John Kerry, on the Senate floor yesterday, explains why he is opposed to further tax cuts in the "stimulus" bill:
I've supported many tax cuts over the years, and there are tax cuts in this proposal. But a tax cut is non-targeted.

If you put a tax cut into the hands of a business or family, there's no guarantee that they're going to invest that or invest it in America.

They're free to go invest anywhere that they want if they choose to invest.
Heaven forfend!

(Thanks to the Instapundit.)

Friday, February 06, 2009

On Off On Off On Off On Again

From the Catholic Herald (UK):
Pope ‘wants personal prelature’ for ex-Anglicans

By Ed West
6 February 2009

Plans to create a personal prelature for former Anglicans in the Catholic Church could lead to a flood of converts, according to a senior figure in the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England.

The cleric, who asked not to be named, was speaking after an Australian magazine announced that the Vatican is progressing with plans to bring the 400,000-strong Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) into the Church.

(snip)

According to the reports the Traditional Anglican Communion would be allowed to form a personal prelature, modelled on that of Opus Dei, to accommodate the clergy and lay members of the group.

According to a Vatican insider, Pope Benedict himself is the driving force behind the plan and has linked it to the Year of St Paul, which ends in June.

(snip)

The senior Anglican cleric told the Herald that such a move would make it far easier for Anglicans to move en masse when, as expected, the first Church of England women bishops are ordained. Currently, many are unwilling to lose their Anglican identity in the Catholic Church or place themselves under the authority of unsympathetic bishops.

An announcement is expected after Easter this year. A Vatican source said: "Supporters of the plan are unhappy that it has taken so long, that people's souls are at stake. The Pope is really behind it. The Pontifical Council for Christian Unity is against it, but if the Holy Father wants this to happen, it will."
Read it all. Yet again, don't hold your breath but this is one rumor that refuses to die, despite repeated denials. Let us hope and let us pray.

(Thanks to William Tighe, of course: always on top of these things.)

To the Victor Go the Spoils

From AP:
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's spokesman is defending the sharper tone Obama is taking to push his economic stimulus plan through Congress.

Obama sharpened his rhetoric while addressing House Democrats in Virginia on Thursday. He appeared to be sending a message to Republicans as he warned against turning back to the policies of the last eight years and insisted that voters chose a new course in November.
Uh, Mr. President? The Democrats enjoy wide majorities in both Houses, your "stimulus" bill should pass handily. So why are you yelling at the Republicans? When this leviathan bill, which provides nearly a trillion bucks for such stimulating measures as "neighborhood stabilization," smoking cessation, anti-obesity programs, rubbers-on-demand for horny teenagers, insurance for beekeepers, the "greening" of Federal office buildings and a brand-new government entity to be known known as the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, just to name a few, passes, why would you, Nancy and Harry want to share even a smidgen of the myriad thanks of a grateful nation with those wretched, mean-spirited Republicans?

I mean, Mr. President, there's no possible reason the Democrats would want to share responsibility for this bill with the Republicans, is there?

UPDATE: Apparently a supermajority, 60 votes, will be required for the stimulation plan to pass in the Senate because (and you're not going to believe this) it will raise the federal deficit. Yikes! Who knew? That means two Republican votes will be needed, which should provide comfort for the Democrats should the thing pass and the economy continues to tank, as it surely will. Democratic legislators will be able to insist to their angry constituents the bloated, gold-plated excrescence was "bi-partisan," thus blame cannot be laid at their feet alone.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Finding Somebody, Anybody, to Blame

The election last November resulted in a Democrat in the White House and solid Democratic majorities in both Houses. So now, with the President's appointments dropping like flies and support for his pork-laden "stimulus" package plummeting, who does Michael Hirsch, the political oracle at Newsweek, a news magazine once widely read, blame for it? Why the Republicans, of course.
Obama's desire to begin a "post-partisan" era may have backfired. In his eagerness to accommodate Republicans and listen to their ideas over the past week, he has allowed the GOP to turn the haggling over the stimulus package into a decidedly stale, Republican-style debate over pork, waste and overspending.
How dare they! Not only that, Hirsch counsels
Obama needs to remind the American people that unless the Republicans get on board, they will bear political responsibility for failing to act in the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
In other words, if this pathetic and laughable stimulus package passes without their signing on, should the country and the world sink into a depression it will still be the fault of those damn Republicans!

It looks as if just three weeks into this administration, panic is setting in among Hirsch and his ilk as it dawns on them their illustrious but untested savior just isn't up to the job.

Better Update That Resume

According to Nancy Pelosi, every single one of us will be out of work by the end of the month.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sating a Ravenous Appetite



With Nancy Killefer and Tom Daschle being the latest casualties of those members of the Obama team afflicted with tax woes, Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, asks: "Do any of these people pay taxes?" The answer is: of course not, not if they can help it; they're no different from the rest of us except they usually get away with it. "These people" also differ from us in that they and their colleagues on the left pretend to believe the lie there are hordes of rich fools out there who will pay taxes, no matter what the rates.

No so. The higher the tax rates, the greater the lengths people go, liberal or conservative, to avoid paying them. Remember that when you hear, as our economy continues to tank, that old familiar chorus and canard, "we're just asking the the rich to pay their fair share." Without asking the obvious question what is that "fair share," be assured, whatever it is, it won't be paid. The rich and well-connected either use loopholes to avoid taxes or, if the loopholes are closed (fat chance), simply ensure they earn less; how stupid do you have to be to make pots of money you can't keep?

The vast increase in government expenditures of the past decade, just gone into overdrive with the present administration, will still have to be paid for and will be, either by borrowing from the Chinese and the Arabs (so long as they still want to hold our notes), requiring future generations pay them off (via higher taxes, of course) or by raising taxes now, to be paid by the middle-class, i.e. those not well connected or not enjoying the luxury of not having to work. Barack Obama knows that, Treasure Secretary Geithner know that; so does Nancy Peolosi, as do those members of Congress no more dimwitted than she.

Monday, February 02, 2009

You Ungrateful Punks!

Mr. Doug TenNapel skewers the establishment stooges (via the Instapundit).
Lefty politics are no longer the fringe and no matter if the voters knew it or not they carved lefty politics into stone. Bill Ayers became the system he once fought against. Sure, they still wear the earring and say “fuck” a lot to maintain street-cred among the academics, but now rock has taken sides — it is for the establishment. Same with journalism, the university and pop-culture. The left has become a cliché. They’re not “Arrested Development” they’re “Golden Girls” with a soul patch. Snore.

[snip]

The arts have failed. They no longer keep mass culture in check with thought-provoking art that challenges the establishment. Now they’re in charge of spreading the mainstream mandate of the Liberal Vatican. There isn’t an original thought among them, just a thousand-mile stare, a blue logo and the drone-like vocabulary of emotive, vaguely inspiring chants.

[snip]

If you want me to unite to your cause, then end abortion, give the people back the money they earned, fight terror, keep your hands off free speech on the radio and enable job creators to make more jobs. Until then, screw your hope and screw your change.
Read it all.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.


(Thanks to Mr. Dylan)