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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let's Not Try to Injure Them

While our President is resigned to Iran's going nuclear, he is not taking it lying down, rather, according to the New York Post, intends sending Iran the equivalent of a sharply-worded memo in protest.
President Obama's team is busy dropping hints he will not use military force, even as a last resort. As Iran went on a provocative missile-firing binge last weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates downplayed the effectiveness of an American attack, saying at best, it would buy time.

Then there's Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In what initially seemed a gaffe, but now looks like our policy, she said in July the United States would extend its defense umbrella to neutralize Iran "once they have a nuclear weapon."

Coming from two of the most hawkish members of the Obama White House, those remarks mean the United States is relying on UN sanctions. That's a bad bet. Without a credible military threat from Washington, most Iranian leaders, even the so-called moderates, will see no reason to halt the atomic project.
Well then. Since our trepid leader is Harvard Law '91 and (as my late pa liked to say), "You can always tell a Harvard man but you can't tell him much," what else can we do but lustily sing Tom Lehrer's Harvard Fight Song?



Fight fiercely, Harvard,
Fight, fight, fight!
Demonstrate to them our skill.
Albeit they possess the might,
Nonetheless we have the will.
How we shall celebrate our victory,
We shall invite the whole team up for tea.
(How jolly!)
Hurl that spheroid down the field, and
Fight, fight, fight!

Fight fiercely, Harvard,
Fight, fight, fight!
Impress them with our prowess, do!
Oh, fellows, do not let the Crimson down,
Be of stout heart and true.
Come on, chaps, fight for Harvard's glorious name,
Won't it be peachy if we win the game?
(Oh, goody!)
Let's try not to injure them, but
Fight, fight, fight!
Let's not be rough, though.
Fight, fight, fight!
And do fight fiercely!
Fight, fight, fight!

Hollywood Keeps Digging

From the NY Post.
Hollywood's heaviest hitters have launched a full-throttled campaign for the freedom of former fugitive director Roman Polanski after he was abruptly nabbed in Switzerland over the weekend after more than 30, very public years on the lam.
Not surprisingly, Woody Allen is one of those clamoring for his release; as well he might, he's putting his money where his...well, never mind.

Let Hollywood go all out for Polanski, it might make manifest at last to the nation these parvenu royals' belief they are subject to an entirely different legal system from the rest of us, even when it comes to drugging and raping a thirteen-year old girl. The pampered hypocrites will never change their beliefs but if a substantial portion of the populous could only be persuaded to stop paying to see their movies and buying their records, they might at least shut up; what blissful silence that would be.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Third Act in Iran


Eliot Cohen in the Wall Street Journal lays out the only two choices remaining for the United States in its dealings with Iran: either learning to live with a nuclear Iran, which
will embolden the Iranian regime to make much more lethal mischief than it has even now. In a region that respects strength, it will enhance, not diminish, Iranian prestige. And it may yield the first nuclear attack since 1945 some time down the road...
Or overthrowing the Iranian government:
It is, therefore, in the American interest to break with past policy and actively seek the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. Not by invasion, which this administration would not contemplate and could not execute, but through every instrument of U.S. power, soft more than hard. And if, as is most likely, President Obama presides over the emergence of a nuclear Iran, he had best prepare for storms that will make the squawks of protest against his health-care plans look like the merest showers on a sunny day.
What an ironic quirk of fate this terrifying drama, much responsibility for which can be laid at the feet of President Jimmy Carter and his craven inactions of 30 years ago, reaches its denouement during the administration of Carter redux, President Pantytwaist, who appears every bit as feckless and lilly-livered as his predecessor.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

William Safire, RIP

There will be plenty of obituaries for William Safire detailing his considerable accomplishments but simply for the coining of "romantic Self-Serve Island" he will always have a place in my heart.

Those Loveable Kooky Leftists

I like Howard Kurtz, the Washington Post's media critic. While assuredly of a liberal bent, he at least attempts to be even-handed. But not always; sometimes his liberal bias breaks through.

Consider his recent posting on the recent ACORN sting operation conducted by a couple of college kids. Kurtz, commenting on charges from Pecksniffian mainstream media that the operation did not constitute real "journalism," writes the following.
The labeling debate is pointless. It was ideologically driven reporting. It was two activists using deception to try to make an organization look bad -- all the more reason for skepticism.

But the pair hit paydirt. The ACORNers' behavior was nutty (emphasis added). Who offers advice about pimping out 13-year-old girls? What planet were these people living on?
Nutty? As in goofy or quirky? Kooky or offbeat? Suppose the netroots had sent "guerrilla journalists" posing as a pimp and prostitute into the offices of a conservative organization, extracting tax advice from its employees for a teenage call-girl ring. Would Kurtz have used the word "nutty" to describe those giving the advice? Or would he have used what seem to me far more appropriate adjectives when describing those assisting lowlifes "pimping out 13-year-old girls" like "outrageous," "horrifying," "loathesome," "sleazy" or "disgusting," just to name a few?

Socialists on the Run

Germany Swings to the Center-Right

German Chancellor Angela Merkel cruised to victory in federal elections on Sunday with enough votes to form a new center-right government with her preferred partner, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP).

[Snip]

With a combined total of around 49 percent, the CDU/CSU and the FDP won a stable majority in Germany’s multiparty system. This will give Merkel the green light to ditch the awkward four-year-old “grand coalition” between the CDU/CSU and her party’s main rival, the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), and replace it with a center-right CDU/CSU-FDP coalition.
All well and good but when it comes to left-right differences in Europe, it's a matter of perspective: when labor-left proposes a top tax bracket of 101 percent, "conservatives" counter with 96 percent and the two parties settle at 99 percent. Still, it's a step in the right direction and, I hope, a harbinger of things to come in the States.

Felicem Diem Natalem


Et ad multos annos!

Happy birthday to the Church of Our Saviour in New York City, one of the last beautiful Catholic churches built in America and blessed 50 years ago today by Cardinal Spellman (it was consecrated only a few years ago when the mortgage was finally paid off). As Fr. Rutler said at the close of his homily, however, all churches are beautiful when they are filled with people.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Search for Nude Pictures of Hannah Giles

Instapundit points to Dana Loesch's posting on Breibart's BigGovernment website bringing word that trolls on the left are searching high and low for lewd pictures of the young woman who posed as a prostitute and helped bring down ACORN, Hannah Giles; topless preferably or even better, completely nude. Even if they were to unearth them (which I doubt), what of it? How does it alter in the slightest what ACORN was caught doing: providing assistance to a pimp and his ho--however fictional--wanting to smuggle into this country underage girls to make sexual slaves of them?

Loesch suggests the "reasoning of these ACORN supporters is that the message is only as valid as the messenger is pure." Possibly, but that implies a certain sophistication on the part of the drooling left, that they are in actual possession of a rational faculty. I'm more inclined to think the left's motive is more visceral: revenge, pure and simple.

*****

By the way, a warm welcome to lefty trolls whose Googling "nude pictures of Hannah Giles," or the like, brought them to this blog!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oops!

Not Bad fer a Gal Who Ain't Got Book Larnin'

The New York Times on Sarah Palin's recent speech to investors in Hong Kong:
A number of people who heard the speech in a packed hotel ballroom, which was closed to the media, said Mrs. Palin spoke from notes for 90 minutes and that she was articulate, well-prepared and even compelling.
The part about her being "very clean" seems to have been edited out.

A Travel Tip



With apologies to Justin Martyr (and anyone from Detroit).

That's What You Pay Us For

Baucus claims it's too difficult to put health care bill online

"Besides," said the Senator, "this bill's got so many big ol' ten-dollar words in it, all spelled out everything, you couldn't begin to understand it. Better just to leave it to your betters, don't you think?"

And How 'Bout Those Red Sox!

I recently expressed benign skepticism (I'll call it) concerning the rumors of imminent reunification of the Western and Eastern Church and Fr. Alvin Kimel seems to share that skepticism. He recently posted on the website TitusOneNine an imagined transcript of the discussion on reunification that took place between the Pope and Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's summer palace, on September 18th.
Hilarion: “I love Beethoven.”
Pope: “So do I. He’s my favorite composer.”
Hilarion: “Mine, too. Karl Barth definitely got it wrong. Beethoven is better than Mozart.”
Pope: “I cannot agree more.”
Hilarion: “I’d much rather talk about music than the Filioque.”
Pope: “I cannot agree more. I feel like there is a growing understanding between us.”
Hilarion: “Patriarch Kirill loves Beethoven, too, though not as much as he loves Tschaikovsky.”
Pope: “Those darn Russians ... but Beethoven is a good start. Let’s all get together soon. But not in Moscow. It’s just too cold there. How about Paris? I’ve always loved Paris.”
Hilarion: “What a wonderful suggestion. I’m sure Kirill will be delighted to join us. You bring the cognac. I’ll bring the vodka.”
Pope: “Sounds great. But please ... no arguments on the Filioque, ok? I haven’t read Augustine’s De Trinitate in years.”
Hilarion: “Augustine who?”

Pope in England?

It is appearing more likely the Pope will visit England in 2010. Edward Pentin writes in the National Catholic Reporter
Although neither the Holy See nor the British government have yet officially confirmed a visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Britain in 2010, a statement issued today by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, head of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, is being interpreted by many as confirmation of the trip

[snip]

The visit will most likely take place next September and also coincide with the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

“Here you have the first-ever state visit by a pontiff, coming as a guest of the queen, and probably also to beatify Cardinal Newman,” said a source. “It’s the ultimate rapprochement between Rome and London.”

Sources predict the most poignant part of the trip will be when Benedict becomes the first pope to address both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, the site where St. Thomas More was tried and convicted.
There is no mention in the article what part the Archbishop of Canterbury would play in the upcoming Papal visit but we have to assume he won't be ignored. It's a pity the Church of England is roiled in such controversy these days and it is beyond this blogger's ken just what, if any, salutary (or ill) effect the Pope's visit will have on it. Nevertheless, the idea of the Pope addressing Parliament in Westminster Hall and perhaps meeting with the Queen fairly staggers the mine and is marvelous to behold. That, along with the recent buzz of rapprochement and possible reunification with the Eastern Church, suggests these are interesting times indeed for Holy Mother Church.

(Thanks to Fr. R)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Someone Should Ask Him What Religion He Is

From the American Papist:
Let's look at what [Cardinal] Mahoney said when asked if he agreed with Cardinal Rigali that abortion funding is in the health care reform proposal being drafted in the House of Representatives [and should be amended]:
“This is way beyond my field. My field is immigration. I really haven’t kept up on that, and I spend all my time on this other. You have to get somebody who spends time on that.”
When is this guy going to retire?

Have You No Shame? Have You No Decency?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Good Start, More Please

ARCHBISHOP BURKE REPEATS: NO COMMUNION, NO CATHOLIC FUNERAL FOR PRO-ABORTION POLITICIANS

Archbishop Raymond Burke, speaking at the Inside Catholic partnership dinner, said that Catholic politicians who support legal abortion should not be allowed to receive Communion or to have Catholic funerals. The American archbishop, who now heads the Apostolic Signatura, explained that this disciplinary approach is not a matter of judging the individual's soul, but "a recognition of the scandal" caused by public support for abortion. He added that in order to remove that scandal, since the individual has taken a public stand in opposition to Church teaching, "his repentance must also be public."

Archbishop Burke, who now chairs the Vatican's top canonical court, said that the Church's policy is clearly indicated by the Code of Canon Law. He rejected the argument that disciplinary action against pro-abortion Catholics would cause division in the Church; on the contrary, he said, it would help "to repair a breach in the life of the Church" caused by the scandal of public dissent. The archbishop said that Church leaders "must speak the truth in charity" for the welfare of their people.
I should love to know who would argue with a straight face that "disciplinary action against pro-abortion Catholics would cause division in the Church." Who is causing "division in the Church" to begin with? Pro-abortion liberal Catholic loudmouths in Washington are finally going have to make the difficult choice (for them) between Church teachings and expediency. I suspect it will be agonizing.

(Thanks to reader Augustine.)

The First Didact

Victor Davis Hanson on Campus America and its thin-skinned dean:
Many of the former Professor Obama’s problems so far hinge on his administration’s inability to judge public opinion, its own self-righteous sense of self, its non-stop sermonizing, and its suspicion of sincere dissent. In other words, the United States is now a campus, we are the students, and Obama is our university president.
(Thanks to Professor Tighe.)

The West Goes East



The Bishop of Tusla, the Most Rev. Edward Slattery, will henceforth celebrate the mass ad orientem, facing east, returning to the way it was celebrated from Holy Church's beginnings until the Vatican II reforms. He explains why:
First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage.
I have long suspected the motive of many of the Vatican II reformers was to make the Catholic Church more protestant. Since most mainstream protestant denominations are now headed for the dustbin of history, is it any wonder more and more Catholics are having second thoughts about those putative reforms?

(h/t Wannabe Anglican.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If I Had a Hammer...

Your Bloviator's good friend Banished Child of Eve (who seems keen on testing the limits of our friendship) sent me a link to a website called Keep the Fire Burning, which contains podcasts of music used in Catholic folk masses in the 60s and 70s, taken from scratchy ol' records to add authenticity. The stated aim of the site, which would surely make the bravest soul shudder, is "making the Folk Mass music come alive once again."

Catholics, of course, don't believe in reincarnation so we have little to fear on that account but keeping in mind Santayana's famous dictum, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," we should all sample some of the wares on the site; re-familiarizing ourselves with that commie guitar-fiddle-banjo crap just in case somebody tries to foist it on us one more time when we're not paying attention.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Training Them Not to Get Caught

From the NY Post:
ALBANY -- Threatened with a national freeze on the taxpayer dollars that fund it, the embattled activist group ACORN announced yesterday it was turning over a new leaf.

National ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis abruptly suspended housing programs exposed in a series of undercover video stings in recent days and ordered emergency training sessions for all frontline workers.
Ms. Lewis of course hasn't ordered training sessions, ACORN employees are already superbly trained--note in those videos their facility with tax rules and forms and how to cheat on them. Rather, she has likely ordered retraining sessions, possibly along these lines: "Never offer aid to thugs unless you are sure they are real thugs; at the very least run a criminal background check."

Like all radical left organizations, ACORN believes the ends justify the means and Friedrich A. Hayek had the take on that long before ACORN even existed (from The Road to Serfdom):
Advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends largely on a willingness to do immoral things. The principle that the end justifies the means, which in individualist ethics is regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves "the good of the whole," because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.
Let us also not forget what former New York Mayor Koch said of so-called "first offenders:" "A first offender is in reality usually a multiple offender who is being caught for the first time." ACORN will be in the news again soon enough (but not, of course, in the New York Times).

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Those Terrible Irreverent Thoughts...

This one today while returning to my pew after communion, the host stuck to the roof of my mouth: "Jesus, you get down from there right now!"

Miserere mei, Deus.

Breaking News: There are Adults in England

But only among the children: the grown-ups are as childish as ever.

LONDON (Reuters) - A group of schoolchildren who reared a lamb from birth and named it Marcus has overridden objections by parents and rights activists and voted to send the animal to slaughter.

Marcus the six-month-old lamb has now been culled, the head teacher of the primary school in Kent confirmed on Monday, after the school's council -- a 14-member group of children aged 6 to 11 -- voted 13-1 to have him killed.

The decision has provoked fury among animal-loving celebrities, animal and human rights campaigners and the parents of some of the children, and led to threats against Lydd primary school and its teachers, according to a member of staff.
[Snip]
[O]pponents branded it heartless and cruel, with animal rights campaigners asking why Marcus could not have been used to teach the children about wool, and human rights campaigners worried about the emotional impact of Marcus's death on the children.
The human (sic) rights campaigners should worry more about the emotional impact on themselves.
"When we started the farm in spring 2009, the aim was to educate the children in all aspects of farming life and everything that implies," the school said in a statement.

"The children have had a range of opportunities to discuss this issue, both in terms of the food cycle and the ethical aspect...
In other words, they acted like adults. The kids should have named the critter "Cheney" or "Thatcher." The human rights campaigners and celebrities would be scrambling to cut its throat.

(h/t New Advent.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

This is Kind of Exciting

From the NCRegister:
The Catholic Archbishop of Moscow has given a remarkably upbeat assessment of relations with the Orthodox Church, saying unity between Catholics and Orthodox could be achieved “within a few months.”

In an interview today in Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi said the miracle of reunification “is possible, indeed it has never been so close.” The archbishop added that Catholic-Orthodox reunification, the end of the historic schism that has divided them for a millennium, and spiritual communion between the two churches “could happen soon, within a few months.”
As I wrote above, this is kind of exciting. If I seem a tad reserved over this potentially spectacular news, it's only because I have heard or read reports in the past of a similar nature, only to be disappointed later when they came to naught; indeed I detect a big fly in the ointment in this report of east-west reunification:
[O]n matters of doctrine, the two churches are essentially in agreement. “There remains the question of papal primacy,” Archbishop Pezzi acknowledged, “and this will be a concern at the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission. But to me, it doesn’t seem impossible to reach an agreement.”
I admire Archbishop Pezzi's optimism but realistically, papal primacy is a pretty big bugaboo for eastern Christians so I am not so sanguine it can be resolved that easily. Still, anything is possible with God's help so let us all pray for those taking part in the next meeting of the Catholic-Orthodox Commission. Truly their task is a godly one and if they are sucessful it could be the dawning of a new (dare I say exciting?) age for Holy Church.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Department of Things I Wish I had Said

Kyle Smith, in the New York Post, on the Van Jones farrago and the New York Times:
The Times was aware of the story, knew it was bigger than most of the stuff it puts in the paper every day, and had plenty of resources to cover it.

But The Times purposely ignored it because it was hoping that the story would go away, because it likes people like Comrade Jones and was hoping he wouldn’t be forced out. The Times doesn’t like people like Glenn Beck and didn’t want him to be able to claim Jones’s scalp. The Times’ prejudice blinded it to the fact that Jones’ fall became obvious on Friday, when a White House spokesman refused to defend him.

Newspaper of record? The Times isn’t so much a newspaper as a clique of high school girls sending IMs to like-minded friends about their feuds and faves and raves and rants. OMFG you guys! It’s no more objective than Beck is.
Nope, and a lot less entertaining. When a newspaper culls its stories with such keen regard for editor and reader sensibilities it can no longer be considered a serious news source. Meanwhile, the Times' circulation continues to "plummet."

Old Habits are Hard to Break

Gateway Pundit has posted pics that contrast the condition yesterday's Tea Party demonstraters left Washington in with that of the celebrators of the President's inauguration.

Here, post Tea Party:



Here, post-Obama inauguration:



Quite a contrast and here in the same vein another pic: from Life Magazine 40 years ago taken after the Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York when the celebrators of "3 Days of Peace & Music" thankfully went home.


It's the Woodstock Generation tradition that continues to this day: leaving a mess for someone else to clean up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Catholic, Schmatholic

The homily given by the priest this morning at...well, let's call it Old Ivy Catholic Church in upper Manhattan...was on the Gospel reading from Mark 8:27-35 (links are to the King James Version--still my favorite). The priest pointed out the similarity of this passage to that in Matthew 16:13-25 save for the lack of the well known words of Peter's investiture: "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." He then offered some explanations by New Testament scholars why this is not found in Mark's Gospel, none of them being the least bit persuasive.

I wasn't bothered by that, I long ago came to expect idiocies from New Testament scholars; so many of whom not beliveing in God and whose sole aim is proving Jesus didn't (and doesn't) exist. What was bothersome however was the priest instructing us while the Catholic Church continually uses that passage from Matthew to proclaim her dominion over all other branches of Christianity, it is wrong to interpret it that way; that our Lord was more concerned with Christianity than the Catholic Church. Well then, if that is the case I guess the two years of prayers, agonized arguments with myself, consultations with friends and priests, the eight months of catechism and the eventual conclusion reached that Holy Church is indeed the one true Church and the way to salvation was an utter waste of time; I might as well have stayed with the Episcopalians.

I was tempted after mass to ask the priest if he really meant what he said, did that mean people like me who converted to Catholicism did so only for the magnificent post-Vatican II liturgy and music? Happily, I restrained myself. He's a nice enough fellow otherwise, getting on in years and will retire soon enough I suppose, although it is tempting also to suppose not soon enough.

They're Not Who They'll Say They Are

As the Tea Party/Don't Tread on Me revolt grows we can count on the media churning out dismissive accounts of the drooling wackos and conspiracists (as they disdainfully regard them) who participate. Matt Welch of Reason was at the D.C. march yesterday and provides a different account from that you will surely read and see in the The New York Times and on network TV news.
Of the people I ended up talking to, the general vibe was that they were conservative, and then either Republican, formerly Republican, or independent. Every single one had unkind words to say about George W. Bush's spending and governing record, though none had protested him. None expressed trust in Republicans, and most preferred a "throw-all-the-bums-out" strategy. All but one did not care about Obama's birth certificate controversy, and those I asked thought it was foolish to bring guns to political gatherings.
UPDATE: It's also worth noting most of those who marched are employed and paid their own way to get to this shindig. It should be dawning by now on D.C. and state capital apparatchiks they have a serious problem on their hands: a revolt by the middle class, the largest class by far in this country and big government's meal ticket.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Fruits of Their Labor

It must be the belief on the left that heaping abuse on opponents will somehow win them over. Today we see the results of that peculiar strategy:

Up to two million people marched to the U.S. Capitol today, carrying signs with slogans such as "Obamacare makes me sick" as they protested the president's health care plan and what they say is out-of-control spending.

The line of protesters spread across Pennsylvania Avenue for blocks, all the way to the capitol, according to the Washington Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

People were chanting "enough, enough" and "We the People." Others yelled "You lie, you lie!" and "Pelosi has to go," referring to California congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Demonstrators waved U.S. flags and held signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress" and "I'm Not Your ATM." Men wore colonial costumes as they listened to speakers who warned of "judgment day" - Election Day 2010.

The article notes that one (1) person carried a poster of the President with a mustache added to make him look like Hitler. Deplorable to be sure but by now old hat. A fresher and more effective approach would be to alter pictures of the President to make him look like Fidel or Hugo Chavez; the left would be hard-pressed explaining why that is insulting. The image below should also give them conniptions.


Thanks to Capitalist Coffee for images.)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Fear Be Gone!

Gray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.
Take off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
It's not your style;
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
Ya' decide to smile!


The New York Times has a piece today on the fears that gripped New Yorkers in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack; fears that
New York would become a fortress city, choked by apprehension and resignation, forever patrolled by soldiers and submarines. Another attack was coming. And soon.
Miracle of miracles, it didn't happen and the Times reporter gives us heartwarming vignettes of feisty New Yorkers who overcame those fears. Nowhere, however, in this feel-good Hallmark card is there an explanation just why none of those fears came to pass, nor of any actions taken that may have obviated them. Nope, in this story the gut-wrenching dread we all shared just one day went poof! and disappeared thanks to the grit and optimism of us plucky New Yorkers. If, by any chance, you suspect our armed forces just might have had at least something to do with those vanished fears, look no further than the quote you read above for any reference to them. That's all there is.

In defense of the Times, it should be remembered who the commander-in-chief was that terrible day eight years ago. The Times could hardly be expected to mar a solemn day of remembrance by bringing up that name nor any of those in his charge; much better and safer to take all the credit for ourselves.

(h/t Instapundit.)

In Atonement for the Previous Posting

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just How Bad Can Contemporary Catholic Worship Be?

This bad. (Scenes from a mass at an assisted living facility for aging post-conciliarists.)



(Thanks, I think, to Banished Child of Eve.)

Warm Thoughts

Instapundit links to an interesting piece by Alan Boyle, a worthy science reporter, on the blight responsible the Irish potato famine 140 years ago. Apparently the parasite that caused it (Phytophtora infestans) is with us to this day and still wreaking havoc. The article also states the problem "may be exacerbated by global warming."

Which raises a question: given that the earth has gone through warming and cooling cycles throughout her history and still seems reasonably intact, isn't it possible that along with the many bad things associated with global warming there may be good things too? If so, why don't we hear about them?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Whew!

To my great relief the speech given by the President tonight was not what I feared it might be: a statesmanlike appeal to members of both parties to get his health insurance scheme passed. The President didn't disappoint me though and instead gave a partisan, bordering on strident, broadside against the majority in this country who oppose his trillion dollar socialist fantasy, thus dashing any chance it will pass.

Wise Augustine

From a review in Zocalo Public Square of Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe by Brian Clegg:
But according to Clegg, the greatest problem with the Big Bang theory isn’t with the particulars, but rather with the fundamental (and universal, if you will) element of time. After cautioning that thinking about time “tends to twist the mind into pretzel form,” Clegg asks a perplexing question that resonates in the title: what came before the Big Bang? Here, supporters of the Big Bang theory come up empty-handed, and Clegg hints that a non-astrophysicist may know best. In his Confessions, ancient Greek philosopher St. Augustine proposed that before creation, there was no time as we know it, “no past and no future” but simply “always the present.”

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Remembering Billie Boggs

Fellow blogger Robbo, who lives in a D.C. suburb, reports the corpse of a man surrounded by empty beer cans was found recently in a tent the fellow lived in, in woods behind Robbo's house. There's no telling the particulars but odds are, like so many homeless, the man was mentally ill, schizophrenic probably, and downed vast quantities of alcohol in order to still the voices he heard in his deeply troubled mind. Robbo notes in an earlier time poor souls like this would have been locked up for their own and society's good but beginning in the Carter administration, in the name of "civil liberties," were turned loose, just as whacked out as before but "free" now to do whatever they wished.

The problem of the homeless in New York City, after the mental hospitals had been closed, exploded in the 1980s to the point where they were found on nearly every block in midtown and in large encampments in the parks (I'll never forget walking along the West Drive in Central Park one afternoon and catching site in one such encampment, on a stretch of lawn along Central Park South, the naked backside of a 300-plus pound woman as she took a copious dump on the grass). Then-Mayor Ed Koch finally had enough and ordered the police to round up the most incapacitated homeless and haul them to Bellevue Hospital where a special facility had been set up for them.

One of those rounded up, going by the name of Billie Boggs, was particularly notorious, well known to all who frequented midtown. Camped atop a heating vent on a sidewalk near Grand Central Terminal, she would shriek obscenities at passers by and if at hand, would hurl dog feces at them. While at Bellevue Boggs, who possessed considerable intelligence, contacted the New York Civil Liberties Union who took up her case. Owing to the expert handling of it by NYCLU director Norman Siegel, Billie Boggs was quickly made a cause célèbre among left-wing elites of New York City and became, as her case made its way through the courts, an eloquent spokeswoman (the drugs they treated her with at Bellevue having had their effect) for the civil "rights" of the mentally ill. Billie appeared on the Phil Donahue show and in perhaps her greatest triumph, gave a well-received lecture at the Harvard Law School. At a press conference Norman Siegel asked rhetorically, in classic PoMo relativistic fashion, if it were even possible to distinguish between the mentally ill and those pursuing"a vigorous alternative lifestyle." Billie won her case and was set free amid a shower of publicity and press.

Two weeks after giving her address at Harvard, Billie was seen back at her perch on the heating grate, dirty and disheveled, screaming obscenities and flinging turds at people. A couple of weeks later she was arrested for brawling. She drifted in and out of the courts and was seen for a while on various street corners on the East Side, in varying states of disrepair, then vanished, both from the public and the public's mind. Nobody from the Harvard Law School went looking for her, nor did Norman Siegel or anyone else from the New York Civil Liberties Union, or any of her other liberal "supporters." Billie Boggs, like Cynthia Sheehan so many years later, was no longer useful to her left-wing benefactors, indeed she had become a liability, so she was unceremoniously dropped and her former new friends moved on to the next great battle in the class struggle.

Sauce for the Gander

The national debt is about to push north of $12 trillion and by law the Senate must vote to okay it. Republicans Senators can and should--loudly--make political hay of it. They could do worse than by quoting the following:
Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren...America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.
Strong words indeed and time tested too; they served well in 2006 for former Senator Barack Obama on the Senate floor when he lambasted, before voting against, the Bush administration's motion to increase the deficit to the then towering figure of $9 trillion. The words should prove even more compelling the second time around.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Modest Proposal...

From Damian Thompson (Telegraph, UK):
Perhaps I shouldn’t suggest this, but I wonder… wouldn’t it be a nice ecumenical gesture if, in return, we let the Episcopal Church have the Catholic “radical sisters” who have been pretending to be priests in American Catholic parishes for so long? Once they’re Anglicans, they can be nuns and priests at the same time. Think of the glorious opportunities for bossing people around!
I say let's not be pikers about this: for every Episcopal nun who popes, let's give back two make that three (with symbolic reference to the Trinity) of our rad Catholic sisters along with every guitar and tambourine we can dig up if we can somehow resist smashing them to smithereens. 

Friday, September 04, 2009

Speaking of Imperious...



An interview with Congressman Pete Stark (D-CA): ignorance, arrogance, condescension and profanity from a little man with a lucrative sinecure (36 years and counting).

(Thanks to Instapundit)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Too Many Trips to the Well

The Wall Street Journal in what looks like an obituary for ObamaCare:
A look back suggests the president and his allies may have "overlearned" the lessons of President Bill Clinton's 1993-1994 health-care defeat. They expended great effort to line up the support of health-care insurers, pharmaceutical makers and care providers, believing that by keeping them around the table, they could win over Republicans (emphasis added) and stop the kind of industry-led attacks that helped sink the Clinton plan. But this strategy left out the wooing of public opinion, which was being affected by broader events, including the economic crisis and anger over bank bailouts.
Here we see the folly of Administration and Congress believing opponents of socialized medicine are the cardboard-cutout stereotypes their college professors taught them they were; that all that was necessary was to bribe and threaten big pharma and insurance into submission and dim-witted lumpenproletariat conservatives, regarding it as nihil obstat, would meekly follow suit. What a delightful rude awakening then for Administration and Congress, most of whom have never had an honest job in their lives, to be angrily accosted by working stiffs deeply resentful of faux-aristocrats imperiously asserting authority over their welfare while simultaneously spending our republic into bankruptcy.

We need not need savor this moment however for there will be many more of them to enjoy in the months and years to come.

Metamorphosis



With its scintillating spread (with accompanying photo shoot) on Levi Johnston, the inarticulate but semi-photogenic fellow whose sole accomplishment thus far in life's journey has been the impregnation of Sarah Palin's daughter, Vanity Fair, ages ago a respectable journal, completes its transformation into Us Magazine for the chattering classes (who will devour the piece with alacrity). It is a publication no one needs now regard with the slightest seriousness nor, of course, its subscribers.