Saturday, July 30, 2005

We Couldn't Arrest This Bastard

The pictured London terrorist was wanted by the US for setting up a terror-training camp in Oregon--but the Brits would NOT let us arrest him, as he was a British citizen.

Yah, well...
(HT to PowerLine:

Friday, July 29, 2005

One More on Appleton Lady vs. Clueless Feds

Stolen, without shame, from "Tom", a commenter on the Froggy Ruminations blog. Since I think this is an old Anne Coulter column, I'll mention her, too.


Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiplechoice test.

The events are actual events from history. They actually happened!!!Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 402. I

n 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 403.

In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year oldAmerican passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davy Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy divertrying to rescue passengers was murdered (beaten to death) by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy
c. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles totake out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the USPentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of peoplewere killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13 In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

Do you SERIOUSLY think an Appleton-area granny should have been included in the lists above?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Statism Watch: Xoff

Ol' Xoff ( more and more looks like a Statist.

He was unable to criticize Kelo. Now, after a full day has passed, he's unable to criticize the Homeland Security bozos who are prosecuting an Appleton granny to the ground, either.

Yeah, X, we recognize Statism, whether from the 'enlightened Democrats' or the slightly-more-neanderthal Pubbies.

Smells the same.

The Irrational Conquers the Emotional

Department of Homeland Security has emerged victorious over an Appleton-area woman, who was convicted of emotionally grabbing a DHS "security" type while the "security" type was feeling up the convict's underwire brassiere and the contents thereof.

Welcome to the Land of Oz--your airport--or, in Milwaukee County, your Courthouse.

The Department of Homeland Security's policy of manufacturing "security threats" from possession of cigarette lighters, nail-files, and 2" penknives (not to mention underwire brassieres), while ludicrous on its face, is now moving to the Bizarre.

Young Middle-Eastern men who pay cash for one-way airline tickets comprise 100% of the terrorists who struck the WTC. Yet DHS (and the Milwaukee County Sheriff) choose to inspect, closely, native-born American citizens who are age-gifted. Far TOO closely, in the Appleton case.

At some point in time, the Washington Wizzoids-in-charge may recognize that irrational regulations will provoke emotional (and perhaps irrational) responses.

But that eventuality supposes that the Washington Wizzoids (and their local yokel counterparts) will actually come across (and purchase) Common Sense. And THAT supposes that the Wiz-Wonks would actually RECOGNIZE Common Sense when they see it.

I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Reporting, Just Like the Sykes Story

Two boys are playing hockey on a frozen pond in a Chicago City park, when one of the boys is suddenly attacked by a crazed Rottweiller. Thinking quickly, the other boy takes his hockey stick, shoves it under the dog's collar, twists it and breaks the dog's neck, saving his friend.

A reporter, strolling by, sees the incident and rushes over to interview the boy. "Young Bears Fan Saves Friend from Vicious Animal," he starts writing in his notebook.

"But I'm not a Bears fan." the little hero replies. "Sorry, since we're in Chicago, I just assumed you were," says the reporter, and he starts writing again. "Young Bull's Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Attack". . .

"I'm not a Bull's fan either," the boy says. "Oh, I assumed everyone in Chicago was either for the Bears or the Bull's. What team do you root for?" the reporter asks.

"I'm a Packers fan," the boy replies.

The reporter starts a new sheet in his notebook and writes: "Little Bastard from Wisconsin Kills Beloved Family Pet".

Farrow Slaps Sykes--and Disses TABOR

Margaret Farrow, now in private sector activities (her emphasis) called Sykes to underline the extraordinary "veto" power of ThreeCardMonte.

We understand the situation--without remarking about lawyers (Doyle is one), one is struck by the Governor's apparently legal authority to raise spending by $330 million in a veto.

More interesting, however, was Farrow's deft manipulation. The segment was dedicated to a "Where's Waldo" humor--gently mocking Glen Grothmann for disappearing without a trace while supposedly coming up with TABOR legislation.

More crudely, Grothmann has not delivered the goods--whassamattayou, Glen, was the question.

Farrow jumped in and firmly downplayed TABOR as a matter of importance by mentioning the Doyle magic-spending-veto pen.

Hmmmmmmmm. We've all known that after too many years of Government service, many of our elected officials switch parties, and become members of The Party of Government (PIG is the best acronym, although not literally so.)

Grothmann himself now states that TABOR will be introduced late '05/early '06.

Doesn't explain Margaret, though.

Cease Euphemizing Euthanasia

The President of the Pontifical Council for Heath Care, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, recalled the Terry Schiavo case this week and said “they killed her” by denying her food and hydration.

According to the cardinal, “Food and hydration are never considered medicine.”

“To remove them means euthanasia, it means killing, and so this woman was killed by hunger and starvation. Let’s stop with the euphemisms—they killed her,” he stated.

“Law consists of a rational ordering that seeks the common good and not the common evil,” Cardinal Lozano noted, “but many times there are laws that are called laws but are nothing more than arbitrary norms. In fact, the President of the United States was against this court decision because he had enough sense to realize it was incorrect.”

Well, YEAH, duhhhh.

Who's Really "Afraid," David?

We had earlier mentioned an exchange of correspondence with the Milwaukee County Sheriff regarding the "security paranoia" he oversees at the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

Damn lucky I don't live in the County--or worse, work for Clarke.

In David Clarke's world, David Clarke gets his own personal 2-man armed escort when visiting the airport. Irony abounds: first off, Clarke's very own security procedures are in place at the airport--isn't he "safe" there?

Secondly, after a deputy wrote an editorial which questioned Clarke's 'personal bodyguard' needs, Clarke assigned him to '[v]isit every home and business in the area bounded by N. 10th to N. 27th streets and W. North Ave. to W. Burleigh St., ask whether there are any problems to report, encourage cooperation with law enforcement and record the details of every visit on a small tan card.' No squad car, no partner/backup.

Clarke's defense of this obviously retaliatory assignment is half-ludicrous--but the most delicious part is this: "...Clarke was telling reporters that his deputy... should stop worrying and be not afraid."

Uhhhh--David, who orders his own personal armed bodyguard to take him through the airport, is telling the deputy to "be not afraid."


CAFTA: Another Way to Spell NAFTA

PJBuchanan outlines reality:

In 1993, Republicans, by four to one, signed on to NAFTA. They believed the promises that our $5 billion trade surplus with Mexico would grow and illegal immigration would diminish. They were deceived. ... The U.S. trade surplus with Mexico vanished overnight. Last year, we ran a $50 billion trade deficit. Since 1993, 15 million illegal aliens have been caught breaking into the United States. ... As for Mexico's major exports to us, they appear to be two: narcotics and Mexicans. ...

House Republicans can stop this process cold by just saying no to CAFTA. The Business Roundtable will get over it. After all, they have no place else to go.

Here, he's wrong. The Business Roundtable will go to the highest bidder.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Israel Slams the Pope, Already!

When Benedict XVI failed to specifically mention terrorist attacks against Israel in his condemnation, the Israeli Government jumped into the breach with, ah, intemperate language, implying that the Pope was, at best, indifferent to the plight of Israeli citizens.

Maybe there's more to it, eh?

"AsiaNews has learnt that the unprecedented personal attack on Pope Benedict XVI launched by Israel's Foreign Ministry on Monday 25 July was meant as a smokescreen for the Ministry's decision to abandon the negotiations with the Holy See planned for the same day. These negotiations, explicitly mandated by Israel's 1993 Fundamental Agreement with the Holy See - the international treaty that is the "magna charta" of all relations between the Jewish State and the Catholic Church - have the purpose of achieving a new treaty to confirm the Church's centuries' old tax exemptions and property rights, which have been eroded by the State since its establishment.

The negotiations began officially on 11 March 1999. However, in recent years Israel has been reluctant even to meet the Holy See to negotiate, and on 28 August 2003, the Israeli delegation abandoned the negotiations altogether, and only came back to the table a year later in response to pressure from the Church and the Government of the United States.

After agreeing to very few meetings in 2005, Israel agreed to meet on 19 July, only to cancel the meeting at the last moment, and have it transferred to 25 July. Apparently Israeli officials feared the consequences of cancelling this meeting too at the very last moment, so they contrived to find fault with the papal Angelus address to cover up their non-compliance with their treaty obligation to negotiate with the Holy See.

HT to Amy Welborn, source: (

Windows Pirates to Starve

MS has fully implemented its promised tools to prevent Windows pirates from obtaining add-ons to XP.

They DID scratch the trial-run requirement that one enters the entire 25-digit XP validation code. Now they have some automated system which verifies.

When we added 256K to our RAM, we went through about a half-hour of conversation and "try, try, again" with some MS customer service type--actually, not a bad experience although it was time-consuming. Let's hope that hardware upgrades do not continue to incur the "Are YOU Registered" penalty.

Our Very Own Roberts/Bolton: Sykes

Somewhere in the Moonbat Playbook there's an entry which suggests that good little Moonbats should Pursue Meaningless Facts Stupidly And Blindly (PMFSAB.)

Thus, Charlie Sykes has now joined the Big Leagues. He's being Pursued (stupidly) over an admitted factual error, despite the huge credibility gap of his accuser--a fellow who apparently cannot recall his location at important points of his life.

Stupidity IS protected under the Constitution. But errors of fact published WITHOUT malice, also have some protections.

But stupidity lasts longer.

Doyle to Elderly: Live in a Cardboard Box

ThreeCardMonte Doyle paid off one of his three remaining constituencies--the teachers--by telling the elderly to go shove it where the sun never shines--or perhaps, by telling them to go live where the sun DOES shine.

Doyle's $800 million dollar to "education" comes from two major sources: funds meant for nursing-home care, hospital care, and pharmaceuticals (all for the elderly and disadvantaged), and from massive MasterCard borrowing.

He also continued his persecution of families which utilize private schools or home-schooling.

Thus the political inquiry: can Doyle actually win another election with only WEAC, the trial attorneys, and the State's bond-counsel voting for him?

Benedict XVI vs. the demi-Pelagians, Part II--Politics

Today's ZENIT posts Part II of an interview with Tracey Rowland, and Australian theologian. In this part, Rowland explores the nature of modernity and how Benedict XVI might characterize it vis-a-vis the Church.

Is liberalism a positive and "liberating" intellectual development within Western history that can be both baptized and integrated into the life of the Church?

Or, is it a destructive cultural and political force that thwarts the desire for transcendence?

Theologian Tracey Rowland believes the latter description of liberalism -- an intellectual tradition derivative of the epistemology and moral, political and economic philosophy of the various European Enlightenments in the 18th century -- better understands the phenomenon, and believes Benedict XVI shares at least some elements of this diagnosis. The encounter with liberal culture, she says, may be one of the central themes of his papacy.

...In the 19th century Lord Acton popularized the idea that Thomas Aquinas was the first Whig, that is, the first proponent of a modern, post-Enlightenment concept of politics. Thus "Whig Thomism" refers to an intellectual project that seeks to locate the genesis of the liberal tradition in the thought of Thomas Aquinas and to synthesize elements of the Liberal tradition, particularly those provided by the Scottish Enlightenment, to classical Thomism.

...[Those who disagree] are very broadly described as Augustinian Thomists for the want of a better label because, in a manner consistent with St. Augustine's idea of the two cities, they reject the claim of the liberal tradition to be neutral toward competing perspectives of the good and competing theological claims.While the Whigs argue that liberalism is the logical outgrowth of the classical-theistic synthesis, the Augustinian Thomists argue that the liberal tradition represents its mutation and heretical reconstruction, and they tend to agree with Samuel Johnson that the devil -- not Thomas Aquinas -- was the first Whig.

...The Whigs want to baptize the current international economic order, while the Augustinians take a more critical approach, arguing that there are economic practices characteristic of this order that cannot be squared with the social teaching of the Church.

...Benedict has also been strongly influenced by the Augustinian principle that faith is the door to understanding. He has said that he believes that a kind of memory, of recollection of God, is etched in man, though it needs to be awakened.

His Augustinian pedigree is also manifest in his interest in the transcendental of beauty and his understanding of the catechetical importance of language and symbols and the relationship between matters of form and substance.

So much of the liturgical mess of the last 30 years has been brought about by philistines who want to dumb down the language of the liturgy, replace symbolic gestures by lay people explaining what Father is doing -- as if we are all uncatechized Martians -- and gutting liturgical language of its poetic dimensions.

Even secular linguistic philosophers argue that form and substance are inseparable -- that if we change language, we also in some sense change the way that people think. Pope Benedict is onto this, along with Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, and liturgical scholars such Aidan Nichols, OP, Monsignor Peter Elliott, Stratford Caldecott of the Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford, and Alcuin Reid, OSB.

...From an Augustinian point of view, the biggest problem with liberalism is its claim to be theologically neutral or indifferent toward different religious traditions. Quite a long list of scholars are coming to the view that the liberal claim to theological neutrality is bogus. This list includes Anglicans associated with the radical orthodoxy circle and scholars with a more Baptist-oriented theological background.

It is not a position limited to so-called conservative or ultra-montanist Catholics. Indeed most postmoderns would agree with this criticism of the liberal tradition. Pope Benedict has made it clear that Catholics should not be persuaded by the liberal rhetoric to believe that in order to be good citizens they must bifurcate themselves into public and private halves.

He has observed that secularism is itself an ideology, a kind of religious position that presents itself as the only voice of rationality. He sees these views as posing a challenge to the dominant political cultures of contemporary liberal democracies. answer your question about culture and theology, the territory of the theology of culture is very broad. It ranges from the morality of different institutional and social practices, including practices within political institutions, to questions about the propriety of different types of music for liturgical use and questions about the role of language in the process of evangelization.

For example, should we adopt the language of hostile intellectual traditions when presenting the Church's teachings? And what principles should be applied when discerning which of the "spoils of the Egyptians" to plunder?

Pope Benedict has observed that the Church is its own cultural subject for the faithful, which is a further indication that he is not inclined to follow the pastoral strategy of accommodating the Church's culture to whatever happens to be fashionable in the contemporary Western world.

In a recent address to the Knights of Columbus, Cardinal Stafford said that every world religion is trembling before the advances of American pop culture. I think that Pope Benedict would agree with this assessment and that he understands that the Church, in a sense, needs to be the mother of culture. She needs to put life back into culture, so that people can be edified and experience self-transcendence.

...In his book "The Spirit of the Liturgy," Benedict made the point that the sole purpose -- not the major purpose, but the sole purpose -- for the liberation of the Jews from Pharaoh was that God wanted them to be able to worship according to his prescriptions.

Thus, I would say that for Benedict the most important question about any culture is, where does liturgy stand within this culture? Is it the highest good? Are we dealing with a liturgical city? Or are we dealing with a culture which is driven by economic factors? Who are the gods of this culture? What is the dominant vision of the human person? How are the sick and vulnerable treated?

...In the same work, Benedict said that law and ethics do not hold together when they are not anchored in the liturgical center and inspired by it.

He also made the point that every society has its cults; even the decidedly atheistic, materialistic systems create their own forms of cult. He comes very close to the position of scholars such as Catherine Pickstock and William T. Cavanaugh who have argued that in contemporary Western society the market has replaced the Eucharist as our object of adoration.

...Karl Polanyi expressed the position well when he wrote that a "natural order" is one in which the economy is embedded in social relations, rather than one in which social relations are embedded in the economic system, making society a mere adjunct to the market.

By making the test that of the place and nature of liturgy within a culture Benedict is also taking a very Augustinian position. Augustine would say that what we adore is a sign of what we love, and what we love is a declaration of our membership card of one of the two cities -- the city of God or the city of Man.

( Code: ZE05072529

A lot of food for thought.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Steyn Gets It

Referring to a certain Baroness Kennedy of Australia's recent remarks:

Kennedy appears to be arguing that our tolerance of our own tolerance is making us intolerant of other people's intolerance, which is intolerable. Thus the lop-sided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily round the room.

I would like to think that the newly fortified Age columnists are representative of the culture's mood, but, if I had to bet, I'd put my money on Kennedy: anyone can be tolerant of the tolerant, but tolerance of intolerance gives an even more intense frisson of pleasure to the multiculti masochists. Australia's old cultural cringe had a certain market rationality; the new multicultural cringe is pure nihilism.

HT: Betsy's Page:

Benedict XVI vs. The demi-Pelagians

Over the years, a number of Catholics (myself included) have been concerned about the puzzling pronouncements and actions of a number of Bishops and priests (not to mention laity) within the Church. The attempts made to 'reconcile' the Church and the 'modern world' have seemed to be slightly eccentric, or ill-formed.

Most Catholics understand that there is such a thing as a synthesis which flows from truth; one cannot proceed logically from an un-truth (or a partial truth) to whole truth. Therefore, when an eminent theologian shines a light on a foundational misunderstanding, we are grateful.

In this interview, Tracy Rowland demonstrates that a key mis-reading of "Gaudium et Spes" (often referred to as "The Church in the Modern World") a document of Vatican II, has been responsible for a number of unproductive and/or deleterious efforts.

From ZENIT: Code: ZE05072429

Q: What is the new Pope's view of the Church's role and its relationship to "the world" as understood by the Second Vatican Council?

Rowland: The Second Vatican Council described the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation. Accordingly, the Church is not an entity distinct from the world but the world reconciled unto itself and unto God. This is the kind of vision one would expect Benedict to promote.

Contrary to popular perceptions, his Augustinian spirituality does not mean that he is against the world or that he believes that Catholics should crawl into ghettos.

What it does mean is that he is no Pelagian. He doesn't think that with sufficient education the New Jerusalem can be built on earth. Civics education alone, lectures on human rights, exhortations about brotherly love and the common good, will get nowhere unless people are open to the work of grace and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A humanism that is not Christian cannot save the world. This was the conclusion of his fellow peritus Henri de Lubac, and Benedict has made some very strong statements against the pretensions of a mere secular humanism.

Moreover, while he is not advocating a retreat from the world, he has exhorted Catholics to rediscover with evangelical seriousness the courage of nonconformism in the face of the social trends of the affluent world.

Q: How has this project, laid out by the Council Fathers in "Gaudium et Spes," succeeded or failed?

Rowland: Against the background of secularizing readings of "Gaudium et Spes," John Paul II argued that the document needs to be read from the perspective of Paragraph 22. In a nutshell, it says that the human person needs to know Christ in order to have self-understanding.

No doubt Pope Benedict would agree that this paragraph undercuts some of the ambivalent language if it is taken as the lens through which the rest of the document is read. But how many of the world's Catholics, including the clergy, know about the significance of Paragraph 22?

The popular interpretation of this document was that it represented an acknowledgment on the part of the Church that modernity is OK and that it is the will of the Holy Spirit that Catholics accommodate their practices and culture, including liturgical culture, to modernity's spirit as quickly as possible.

This had the effect of generating a cultural revolution within the Church such that anything that was characteristically pre-conciliar became suspect.

Modes of liturgical dress, forms of prayer, different devotions, hymns that had been a part of the Church's cultural treasury for centuries, were not just dumped, but actively suppressed. To be a practicing Catholic in many parishes, one had to buy into the pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s.

Against this, Ratzinger has been critical of what he calls "claptrap and pastoral infantilism" -- "the degradation of liturgy to the level of a parish tea party and the intelligibility of the popular newspaper."

If the project of "Gaudium et Spes" is taken to mean "accommodating the practice of the faith to the culture of modernity," then I think that the project has been problematic in pastoral terms.

If, however, it is read more through the lens of de Lubac's "The Drama of Atheistic Humanism," then I think that the project of reaching out to so-called modern man and helping him to find himself by promoting John Paul II's theology of the body, the Trinitarian anthropology of the encyclicals "Redemptor Hominis," "Dives in Misericordia" and "Dominum et Vivificantem," and the values of the Gospel of Life in "Evangelium Vitae" and "Veritatis Splendor" -- that project has really only just begun and has a long way to go before it starts to bear fruit.

...Comparing the two papacies there is a kind of historical eloquence in that Wojtyla, the Pole, is elected to see off the Marxists and focus on the promotion of an alternative Christian anthropology, while the German Ratzinger is elected to contend with problems created by, among others, Luther and Nietzsche.

This papacy may well be focused on healing the wounds of the Reformation that began in Germany, and fighting what Benedict calls the "dictatorship of relativism" whose intellectual lineage is also strongly Germanic.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dump McBrien Movement Grows

Another Diocese pulls the plug on Tricky Richard:

"... Bishop Finn [KC-St. Joseph] said he wants The Catholic Key to be an important component of ongoing diocesan catechesis and evangelization, and an instrument of reconciliation. For that reason, he said, he directed The Key to discontinue Father Richard McBrien's often controversial syndicated column.

"Father McBrien likes to stir the pot," Bishop Finn said. "He approaches things with a certain skepticism and cynicism. You can get that in a lot of places, so go get it somewhere else. "We need clear expressions of the meaning of faith, why we believe and how we can inspire each other," he said. "We've got to give people hope and direction, and we don't have a lot of time and space (in the newspaper) to do that. I think we can do a whole lot better." ...

HT: Dappled Things via Curt Jester (

Perhaps, someday, Milwaukee will do the same.

Friday, July 22, 2005

From Showtime to the Theatre of the Absurd

Boy, Milwaukee is just lucky, right? First the NatlAssn of Pastoral Musicians (NAPALM to the intiated)--the "showtime" part of the title. Next, Call to Action, the "Absurd" part.

For those of you who are young 'uns, CTA was established back in the mid-1970's with the blessing of Cardinal Dearden of Detroit (making him a major suspect.) CTA has, over the years, opposed Roman Catholic teachings on almost any topic you care to name--but the underlying and always-foreground dissent was over Humanae Vitae, the document of Pope Paul VI firmly rejecting artificial birth control.

That's why so much of the CTA's activism has to do with confusion of gender roles--and, by the way, why CTA's membership is largely composed of gray-hairs, whether married or not. (A noticeable percentage are nuns and priests, or apostate-priests.)

Under an agreement executed by Rembert Weakland, OSB, disgraced former Archbishop of Milwaukee, CTA is here, rather than in Chicago--Cardinal George made it clear that he would not allow them to darken Chicago's doorstep again.

Program highlights: (you can't wait, can you?)

Richard McBrien, (he only wears a Roman collar to mock his Ordination) who will speak with no authority whatsoever on the reign (to date) of Benedict XVI. Since his opinion has already been published in the "Catholic" Herald of this Archdiocese, here's a sneak preview: "YECH!! It's AWFUL!!!"

Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, perhaps still a nun, but "born a feminist" in 1975--(?) This birthdate is in violent conflict with her appearance in the mug-shot provided--notwithstanding, we proceed: her work "against sexism in the Church" is reflected in the title of her address: "The Kin-dom of God." (Kings are male, get it? That Christ the King stuff is very, very, very passe.."

Miscellaneous Other Wackos (MOW's): Matthew Fox, (defrocked witchcraft-type,) Edwina Gately, Daniel Helminiak (defrocked after he found that the Bible does NOT condemn homosexual activity.)

The Conference's self-description:

Our theme for this conference is “Religion, Money and Politics: What’s God Got To Do With It?” The division between fundamentalists and progressives within Catholicism is a pattern that is present in most Christian denominations today and is present as well within other religious traditions throughout the world. In recent years we are seeing these differing religious perspectives becoming part of the political debate, particularly on “social” issues. In the last presidential election, Catholic bishops went so far as to suggest it was morally wrong for Catholics to vote for certain candidates based on their views on particular “social” issues. (The NERVE of those Bishops!)

And the Grand Highlight of the Absurd Theatre's Weekend?

Award to Charles E. Curran, theologian and prophet!!!!!!

Mr. (Fr.?) whatever... Curran used to have a position at Catholic University of America, until "[in] 1986 he was stripped of his license to teach theology because of his writings on 'marriage, abortion, euthanasia, masturbation, contraception, premarital intercourse and homosexual acts.'"

Of note here is that Tricky Dick McBrien (see above) will be the presenter--after all, they were both President of the Catholic Theological Society of America--a position which now looks a bit dubious, no?

CTA is also begging, openly, on its "announcement" site for new "diverse" members and for youth. Hmmmmm.

Patrick Marley, Hero! Maybe...(Updated)

Three-Card-Monte Doyle has ALREADY ordered Wis Dept of Revenue to "back off" on the cigarette-tax collection effort.

Doyle had to have known that DofR had the plan in the works, and obviously gave them at LEAST tacit approval. Most likely, he also had a few scripted remarks to make when questioned about the JBT effort.

But none of his remarks anticipated the possibility that Patrick Marley of the J-S would interview a 77-year-old woman who 'was just saving money' and who had coughed up (heh) tax payments to the State until she finally stopped working at age 72.

Understanding full well that both: 1) alienating smokers AND the elderly and 2) appearing to be a tax-revenue hog are NOT good ways to get re-elected, Doyle went into full-reverse, and articulated a new theory on Internet/Interstate purchases of goods: "If it's just for personal use, who cares? [We'll] go after the real bad-boys instead: the EEEEVILLLL COMPANIES who sold the goods." It remains to be seen whether this action will get Doyle more than 40% of the popular vote.

Patrick Marley not only saved that old woman from distress--he forced the Governor of the State to enounce a very interesting new Tax Policy.

Kudos, Pat.

Alternative Theory, however, was brilliantly exposed in Boots and Sabers ( by SteveEgg, a proud member of FR as well as a fine analyst.

Steve thinks that Doyle wrote the script from the beginning to the end to position himself as a "nice guy." That is, (per the above) Doyle knew about DoR's plans and tacitly or explicitly approved them, and knew IN ADVANCE that he would order DoR to cease their effort.

All it took was the right kind of mention in the newspaper.

The only unknown (we hope) was what kind of story would be printed. When Marley found that little old lady, Doyle ordered DoR to back off.

What if Marley had found a middle-aged-white-male living in, say, Brookfield?


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Slaps the Snot out of the MSM Moron

John Howard of Australia gets the "Shot-You-Down" award of the month (at least):

Here's how Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who was in London with Tony Blair when the two received word of today's explosions, responded to a reporter who seemed to think that British participation in Iraq was to blame:

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

Via Kathryn Lopez at NRO's Corner

It's a Romish Plot!!!

Howard Fineman attempts to re-start the Know-Nothing movement over the Roberts nomination:

He and his wife are members of a suburban Roman Catholic parish known for its good educational programs and rock-steady values. His two kids are adopted. Washington sits on a substratum of Catholic conservatism that few people who aren’t from here understand. It goes back to Georgetown University and pre-D.C. Maryland history. It is that community that Roberts represents, and that Bush is paying homage to with this pick.

You know, that "substratum" that was plotting to take over the USA on a signal from the Evil Conspirator Pope and his (all foreigners--notice that?) Curia. They all speak funny languages, and ...they're against Democracy, and.....yeah, that's it...they Hate Jews.....and....oh, yeah, they Hate Sex, TOO!!!

It's all there, in the history books, written by such luminaries as Jack Chick and Robert Byrd's alma mater, the KuKluxKlan.

HT to Betsy's Page:


Perhaps by coincidence, there's a bit of controversy over a speech given by Judge Pryor to the Thomas More Society (Catholic lawyers) recently. That discussion can be found at the Southern Appeal:

Money quote:

Although it certainly would have been appropriate for Pryor to mention that stain of dishonor on Black's Supreme Court tenure. See, e.g., Philip Hamburger, "Separation of Church and State," (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 2002). As one reviewer of Hamburger's most excellent book notes:

"The true source of separationism was a massive reorientation of political theory among "liberal" Protestants in the nineteenth century (p. 193), which posited Catholics and their priests as antithetical to American democracy. This "nativist" impulse (p. 202), Hamburger maintains in a particularly brilliant chapter, led secular and religious Americans to condemn all ecclesiastical authority because they opposed Catholics. Gradually, they persuaded themselves that this condemnation was the essence of the establishment clause and a safeguard of "true" religious liberty. The rich history of nineteenth-century anti-Catholicism has been explored before, but never so neatly connected to constitutional theory.

By the mid-twentieth century, the conflation of separationism and liberty was so pervasive, Hamburger argues, that the Supreme Court naturally (if unjustifiably) absorbed it in its first case involving state aid to parochial schools. Justice Hugo Black, a native of Alabama and former member of the notoriously anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan, wrote the opinion in Everson v. Board of Education (1947). Hamburger claims that Black relied on Jefferson's wall of separation to turn his own anti-Catholicism into constitutional law. "Black had long before sworn, under the light of flaming crosses," Hamburger writes, "to preserve 'the sacred constitutional rights' of 'free public schools' and 'separation of church and state'" (p. 462). Black's majority opinion, however, upheld free bus transportation of schoolchildren to parochial schools, over the dissents of four justices. Hamburger argues that the case's reasoning, rather than its result, is the real story. The result discomfited Black's Catholic critics; the reasoning laid the groundwork for future cases.

In the world after Everson, Hamburger claims, "separation has barred otherwise constitutional connections between church and state ... [T]he First Amendment, which was written to limit government, has been interpreted directly to constrain religion" (p. 484).

This is a powerful indictment not only of constitutional law in the twentieth century but also of a broad and long-standing American majority opinion. Hamburger has done prodigious historical detective work, and his book deserves to become a staple in history of religion clauses. His unrelenting focus on anti-Catholicism produces new insights into the cozy relationship between Protestant self-congratulation and anti-Catholic prejudice. It also condemns much of the work of the Supreme Court, which has relied on Black's constitutional historiography to decide contemporary cases.

It is ironic, to say the least, that a number of US Bishops have indirectly espoused Hugo Black's vituperative and gut-level anti-nomian stance--most notably through their stubborn dismissal of Rome's authority on matters liturgical. The agreed-upon 'father' of the "Americanist" US Bishops' movement was the Bishop of St. Paul (MN.) back in the early 1900's.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Charlotte Simmons--Another (Confirming) Look

Yes, I am also a Tom Wolfe fan (even managed to wangle one of his books from some young acquaintances once---likely cost them their entire allowance(s) for a month...) Felt a little guilt, but read the book anyway.

Charlotte Simmons is an absolutely horrifying work, and was carefully undermined by a number of commentators; generally, they subtly dismissed the claims Wolfe made as 'overwrought,' or 'misleading emphasis.'

Maybe, maybe not. An essay from a Loyola College (Baltimore and yes, sadly, Jesuit institution) professor re-inforces Simmons' thesis.

If you have daughters, you can't say you were not warned. Read the essay:

Then weep.

JBT's Are Prowling

The JackBooted Thugs are on the prowl, and have begun brutalizing a 77-year-old woman who committed an Unpardonable Crime: buying butts online, thus avoiding the State's tax. The Granny in question simply saw a "good deal" on prices and went for it.

She will learn: NEVER get between a politician and their Tax Revenue Schemes.

(Tea, anyone? Meet at the harbor....)

The State's Department of ScrewingtheCitizens expects to initiate collection actions against another 500 or so Verminous Scofflaws in the next 60 days.

The State's action was applauded by the Wisconsin Grocer's Association--(certainly a different 'face' than the one presented by the cute little Roundy's Man of the 1950's, eh?) which bemoans the loss of .....who knows?....Zillions of dollars in lost sales revenues.

Wisconsin Grocers' apparently believes that they have a RIGHT to your cigarette dollars, and they are perfectly happy to let the JBT's take your money on their behalf.

In what could only be called a brilliant political finesse, the Republicans allowed the sitting Democrat Administration to be the bad guys--but do not be decieved: the Republicans are just as addicted to Tax Revenues as the Dems ever were.

This is why someone invented the term Party of Government. I would suggest that the acronym for Party of Government should be PIG--but that's for others to decide.

Although there is no apparent relationship between this entry and the one below, there is. If you can't figure it out, you need to spend more time on FreeRepublic.

FreeRepublic, WND, Sierra Times: Change Agents

Yup. The forerunners of the blogosphere, primarily FreeRepublic (see my sidebar for the link), WorldNetDaily, and the SierraTimes (among others) are making things happen, and those things are not good for the Democratic machine.

Remember those names. They were then, are now, and always will be targets for Hillary Clinton and like-minded would-be Rulers.

This article is worth reading, as a brief history:

It should also serve as a warning. There's little doubt that the Machine will try to eliminate the opposition, again.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

IS Healthcare a Right?

One of the State's premier bloggers, Owen of Boots and Sabers, ( argues in a post on WiDigest ( that healthcare is a commodity, and not a right.

I maintain that he begins with a fundamental ontological error, and arrives at a partially-correct answer as a result.

Owen's flawed foundational statement?

"Rights are based upon the principle that each of us owns our own person."

Not exactly. Human rights result from our creation by God. THAT is why the rights are inalienable--not subject to the whim of Government(s). Human rights, properly understood, were bestowed on us by God, not ourselves. WE do not have the authority to abrogate or derogate those rights, insofar as WE did not "give them to ourselves." Were we to pursue the "ownership" thesis, such things as suicide would be morally acceptable--and they are not, at least in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, (rightly understood.) This is precisely the nexus of the argument over Terri Schiavo; neither the State nor her (poseur) "husband" GAVE her her life; therefore, neither of them had the right to TAKE it. In fact, the "husband"'s pursuit of her death and the judge's acquiescence to his wishes constitute murder under the terms of the 5th Commandment.

"Healthcare" takes on a different color with the Judaeo-Christian understanding of the origin of "human rights."

The society-based 'payer' system enshrined in health insurance is a logical outgrowth of the understanding that life is an inalienable right. Before 'health insurance' there were relatives, friends, and charitable institutions (principally religious) which worked to preserve the health of people. With the recognition that John Donne was right (" man is an island, entire to himself...therefore do not ask for whom the bell tolls...), this grew into 'health insurance,' which was certainly an admirable and justifiable extension of the underlying moral imperative.

One can argue, as Owen has, that 'the system' is now dysfunctional. I concur with his passing remark in one of his blog-entries that in the USA, the prevention of aging and death has become virtually manic, at horrendous expense. The fixation on defying Nature is almost amusing--after my father died at age 72, many of my friends simply refused to accept the fact that he "died of old age." 'Well, there HAS to be a CAUSE,' they would query, imperatively---as though simply getting old was no excuse to die. Sorry--getting old is still the most reliable method of achieving death, vested research-organization-dollar-grabbing notwithstanding.

Should healthcare, as currently constituted, be re-examined? Yes. Among other things, consumers of healthcare should be given pricing information along with a rudimentary "quality" affirmation--enabling them to pick a provider who/which is both "good" at what they do AND able to deliver the service for a good price. If they use this, they should be rewarded with less deductible obligation, or whatever. (HSA's are an excellent starting point.)

But should we regard healthcare as a function of "self-ownership?" Never. Accepting that line of argumentation opens the door for all the worst 'Corporate Statism' sins, which only just began with Schiavo and the Kelo decision.

India at the White House

Drudge notes that the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Singh, was a guest at the White House last night for a frou-frou dinner.

On Singh's agenda (not mentioned by Drudge) was obtaining an agreement that all Social Security taxes paid by Indian H1-B's get sent directly to India. In other words, the employment tax would NOT benefit the US. Hmmmmm.

The White House also invited the President-ess of PepsiCo, Ms. Nooyi--who had publicly insulted the US as 'the middle finger of the world' on May 15th.

Also included were the members of the "India Caucus" (Dick Lugar, Feinstein, and DeLay) and assorted propagandists such as Fred Barnes, a man who has never been concerned with the fine points of the National Interest, but whose hairdresser rates an A+.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Soybean Fuel: You Pay a LOT

It takes 29% more fossil fuel energy to MAKE ethanol auto fuel than the soybeans actually deliver to your car.

This is not exactly news, but now Cornell and UC-Berkeley researchers ran the numbers.

Worse, that doesn't count the $3 billion in Fed/State subsidies.

The other ethanol sources: switchgrass, wood, or sunflowers, are comparable or worse.

But your Wisconsin State Senate leadership will not be deterred by the facts.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The F-16 Takes the Cake

The Blue Angels are great--but the F-16 REALLY grabbed my daughter's attention yesterday at the Air Show.

It also presented another method of removing seagulls. When the -16 came in (from the west) over the crowd at slightly over 750MPH, the boom scared the bejabbers out of the 300+ gulls resting on the rocks.


Best segment: the "Muscle Climb," where he starts from about 150MPH slow-cruise, lights it up to the firewall, and climbs straight up about 3 miles. Un-frickin' believable.

The aerobatics shows were also worthwhile--these guys have a LOT of, ah, testosterone.

But nothing's more thrilling than a few good sonic booms.

By the way, parking lots 3-4 blocks west of the show (near Clybourn) were un-attended; parking was free, because their collection machines were inoperative. Heh.

Profit from Bombings!!

Farah's G-2 Bulletin tells us that the Pound Sterling dropped 6% in the week immediately PRECEDING 7/7. Anyone who watches the money markets, even at a distance, knows that 6% is a very large number for an established currency, especially since there were no other weakness-inducers on the table.

Farah also reminds us that both United Air and American Air stocks were shorted just before 9/11--with very significant "put" option action, 1,000% of normal.


Osama, or a few of his close, personal friends, evidently was/were a bit "short" on cash.

Friday, July 15, 2005

OKC Bomb Investigation Coverup

Not exactly a stunning revelation--except that it's coming from DOJ whistleblowers:

By J.D. Cash and Lt. Col. Roger Charles, (U.S.M.C. retired)

Speaking on the condition that their names not be revealed, a group of former Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have told this newspaper that the FBI never seriously investigated Tim McVeigh’s connections to a right-wing paramilitary training camp.

Neither, they say, were McVeigh’s ties to a notorious bank robbery gang operating in the Midwest investigated. Further, FBI agents interested in working the case were thwarted by Department of Justice attorneys and by other FBI officials.

Even spoken with an identity hidden because of fears of retribution, the explosive statements are especially surprising, coming as they do on the heels of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that journalists may be jailed if they refuse to reveal sources in federal cases.

That decision has reportedly already had a chilling effect on some federal whistleblowers.
In addition to the former officials’ personal insights into the case, however, the newspaper has been able to corroborate much of what they have said about problems with the OKBOMB investigation with other sources and documents pertaining to the bombing of the A.P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

Documents from the FBI and other federal agencies involved in the OKBOMB case support their claims that the FBI failed to arrest all the persons involved and that political considerations played a role in deliberately limiting the investigation to Tim McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier – even though the agencies assured bombing victims and the public that all persons involved would be brought to justice.

One former high-ranking member of the DOJ said the investigation began with five very experienced FBI commanders appointed by former director Louis Freeh to investigate the bombing.

However, the former official explained that after each of those men left the case, a less experienced agent took over the OKBOMB investigation, and the probe into other suspects suddenly ground to a halt.

One person assigned to the bombing investigation said, “I was inside the FBI office when Freeh showed up. There was a loud shouting match with our SAC.

“It wasn’t long after that Bob Ricks announced he was retiring and taking a job with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety. He left the investigation and by the time the case was transferred to Denver, the prosecutors were telling the field agents what evidence to bring them.”

Prosecutors wanted only select evidence, he indicated.

Copyright 2005,
McCurtain Daily Gazette


Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Let Them Die...and Not Eating Cake"

Amnesty International:

"We at Amnesty International are not going to condone the escalation of the flow of arms to the region," said Trish Katyoka, director of Africa Advocacy. "You are empowering (the victims) to create an element of retaliation.

"Whenever you create a sword-fight by letting the poor people fight back and give them the arms, it creates an added element of complexity. You do not know what the results could be."

Sure as hell don't want those poor (black, Christian) folks engaging in self-defense against one of the most aggressively violent Governments since Saddam...


THEY can be martyrs, according to Amnesty International's perverse "philosophy."

Stolen from: (scroll down a bit...)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Re-Thinking the French PLUS UPDATE

We've all done it--derided the French for their, ah, recalcitrance about partnering with us in Iraq.

But according to Daniel Pipes, the French have been a sterling ally of the US (and others) in the counter-terrorism effort since 9/11:

In the same article, Pipes also makes clear that the British "PC" problems are inextricably connected to the London terror attack.

And now that it is clear that the homicide bombers were British CITIZENS, the little red flag which was waving in the back of your head since 9/11 should get a lot more attention.

Connect the dots: PC "we should accept all cultures"---Muslim citizens---homicide bombings.

UPDATE: 7/15 news brings us the FACT that French Intelligence ID'd the 4th BritBomber a full day before the Brits did, and that Brit Intel was looking for one of them several months ago, but "missed him" in a series of raids. US Intel had warned the Brits that a 'transportation center' was the next target, based on info obtained from a high-level AlQuaeda captive.

Snotty Blackrobes v. Sensenbrenner

As usual, Jim Sensenbrenner jumps right in--on the right side--and, predictably, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel loads the "news" report with editorial pejoratives.

A drug-runner in Chicago was convicted and the Federal judge did NOT abide by sentencing guidelines, giving the convict only 8+ years instead of the legal-minimum 10. The US Attorney's office in Chicago did not appeal (duhhhhh.)

Sensenbrenner wrote a letter to the Chief Blackrobe/7th Circuit, addressing the question. A copy was sent to the US Attorney General, who is rumored to be a candidate for another position.

The 7th Circuit leaked the letter to the Chicago Tribune, (any guesses as to which High-And-Mighty twerp might have done it?) and the requisite Public Stooges were called for quotations.

A spokesman for Dick (the USArmy is a bunch of Nazis) Durbin called Sensen's letter "part of a serious and disturbing pattern." Some wack job named O'Hear, employed by Marquette's Law School, called the letter "bizarre." And an Ohio State compadre-in-wacko suggested that Sensen should "have better things to do." No one could be found, anywhere in the country, who was supportive of Sensenbrenner. Not one. Anywhere!!!

Apparently reminding the Tin Gods in Black Robes that they, too, are subject to authority will get you a roasting in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

If the Tin Gods in Black Robes cannot read applicable USCode, we would suggest that this is a Serious and Disturbing Pattern--and that their snot-nosed resistance is Bizarre--not to mention a failure to do their duty.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More FooFoo Dust from NAPALM

More from the NAPALM convention last week. Aren't you thrilled?

“We have a choice to embrace this growing cultural diversity or resist,” said Sacred Heart Sr. Mary E. McGann at a workshop for musicians at the National Pastoral Musicians Conference in Milwaukee. Sr. McGann is associate professor of liturgy and music at the Franciscan School of Theology and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.


The U.S. bishops are calling the members of the church to embrace the new people and changes that are occurring today, she said. For many, they consider it to be the process of birthing a new church. [A NEW Church? What's the matter with the Catholic Church?]

“The bishops are calling us to embrace these new arrivals of brothers and sisters,” said Sr. McGann. “We are called to a new Catholicity, a new vision of the church, a new way of being church, through a path of conversion, communion and solidarity. [Uh, huh, I guess.]


“Conversion is the ongoing struggle to overcome misunderstandings that stand in the way of new relationships and a new life,” said Sr. McGann. [No it's not. The classic "conversion" is "metanoia," conforming oneself to Christ.]

Conversion invites us to be stretched so that we may become pioneers, ready to embrace the rich varied sounds of the Body of Christ.”

Once conversion is achieved, she explained, communion may enter into the congregation, as deeper communication is reached throughout the cultures.


“Music,” said Sr. McGann. “What better way to build bridges across cultures? Music is not just an artifact of a culture, it is a threshold into the doorway of the history of a culture. And it’s not just about the music. It’s about the message. We are not performers. We are God’s messengers.” [Yes, Sister, sort of. Gregorian Chant and polyphony are the musical culture of the Catholic Church. They are not "doorways," nor "history." I'm sure that's what you meant, right?]

She added that through these messengers, bridges can be built within and across communities in any given archdiocese.

“As we forge our way into a new future, we must tend to those who follow us,” Sr. McGann said. “No doubt through these transformations we will have new insights. Music as a meeting point, a devotion, and a source of solidarity. No doubt that through this path, we will be on our way into singing a new church into being.” [Either music is a source of solidarity, as in the case of Chant, or it's 'singing a new Church' into being. Can't be both.]

Sometimes you wonder if MS Word has a random-intellectualoid-word-generator which actually writes these speeches.

Drink at Home? Be Careful!!

From Massachusetts:

A man arrested when police showed up to break up a New Year's Eve party at a friend's house has filed a lawsuit, arguing he had a constitutional right to get drunk on private property as long as he didn't cause a public disturbance.

Eric Laverriere, 25, of Portland, Maine, was taken into protective custody by Waltham police and locked in a cell for nine hours until the effects of the alcohol wore off.

Legal experts said his lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in Boston, is the first to challenge a state law allowing police to lock up drunk people against their will for their own protection.


Several lawyers said they believe police have the authority to take inebriated people into custody, but they said it was the first time the law has been challenged on the grounds that one has a constitutional right to get drunk on private property.

The Protective Custody Law, enacted in 1971, replaced a Colonial-era law that made public drunkenness a crime. It authorizes police to hold people against their will for up to 12 hours if they are drunk and a danger to themselves or others.

Attorney Leonard Kesten, who has defended police departments in civil-rights cases, said if officers are investigating a crime or responding to an incident and discover that someone is drunk and posing a danger, they are obligated to take that person into protective custody.

This is TED KENNEDY'S state, right?

Just Co-Incidence, of Course

We are told that Ms. magazine hosted a conference in DC during which the presenters made it clear that Bush's upcoming BlackRobe pick(s) will put an end to Roe, Griswold, and Western Civilization, or some such thing.

ONE of the presenters was Delores Huerta, a co-founder of the United Farm Workers, and a close pal of Cesar Chavez, known Communist. (

And where did Ms. Huerta, who claims to be Catholic (yet pro-choice) meet Comrade Chavez?

In Stockton, CA., where her religious "formation" was the responsibility of none other than (now) Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Just Co-Incidence, of course.

Reynolds' Penurious "Credit"

OK, I'll be a contrarian for the moment.

Tom Reynolds, a "white-hat" if there ever was one, stands accused of self-dealing because, according to Jessica McBride ( Reynolds forced the entire Senate Pubbie caucus to insert a $100.00/child tax credit into the Budget for children who are home-schooled and in private schools (but not in the Milwaukee Choice program.)

It is estimated that this "middle-of-the-night" insertion will reduce the State's annual thievery by about $14 million dollars.

Reynolds is a cheapskate, and it's easy to prove.

At this time, the State of Wisconsin underwrites roughly 60% of public school costs. Representative Lasee has been kind enough to tell us that the State average cost-per-pupil is now $10,505. That means that the State contributes about $6,303/student to each school district. (

There are about 125,000 home-schooled/private-schooled children in the State, meaning that the parents of these children now save the State $787 MILLION per year.

Reynold's measly, penurious, niggardly, tightfisted offering of $100.00/student doesn't make the cut either as "fair" or as "self-dealing." $100.00 buys 3 textbooks (used), or about 1/2 of an HP printer.

Senator Reynolds--you've been told!!

Jessica--why not talk about BIG issues?

Monday, July 11, 2005

McBride v. Wigderson v. Reynolds, et al, and on and...


"Middle of the night" budgeting? Get serious, Jessica. Been done that way for my lifetime, which is at least double yours, (judging from the picture on your blog.) And it took more than Tom Reynolds to move that piece into the puzzle.

Benefits me. Benefits you. Benefits about 124,435 OTHER parents in this State.

As to UW employees taking a hit: yeah. And two of my children will be paying 5% MORE to attend their UW-system school this year. That was middle-of-the-night, too. Where, o where, will they get that money, Jessica? How cruel is their fate.

A LOT of people in this State have taken it on the chops in the last three years--some from private industry, some on the public payroll.

It's the breaks, Jessica. Get over it.

Blue-Sky Unemployment Report Readings

While the US has just now broken even in "employed" numbers since the recession began in 2000, the DOL's 'unemployment' stats tell us that 'unemployment' is now at 5%.

In the meantime, a lot of new workers joined the workforce through immigration and graduations from college and high school.

How comes that is, hey?

You are no longer "unemployed" after your last unemployment comp check arrives. This is called a statistical gift to the Government.

The employment picture is not nearly as bad as it was from late 2002 through mid-2004; but it's by no means as beautiful as some would have us believe.

Some Good News and A Sad Farewell

The good news: Fr. Don Hying was appointed as the Seminary's Director/Formation. Fr. H. is a very good, solid priest. He will be a very positive addition to the staff at the Seminary, we think.

The Sad Farewell is to Fr. Richard Breitbach (a classmate of Bp. Bruskewitz) who has retired as of June 30, 2005. Fr. Breitbach is easily one of the smartest priests around, highly educated, and a living example of humility, graciousness, and fidelity to Christ.

He will be a blessing wherever he lands.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

No Mass Today

Knowing that there would be some discomfort, we nevertheless made the journey to St Sebastian's Parish today for the baptism of a grand-nephew.

The parish pastor, a "Fr." Aiken, journeyed up the aisle with a couple of altar boys and with several couples, godparents, and babies. Not a bad start, except for the 6/8 entrance hymn accompanied by a distinctly R&B/New Orleans piano accompaniment. The pianist/stylist had either a very bad rug or about 3 coats of dye in the hair.

I concluded that the New Orleans tribute was done due to Hurricane Dennis' proximity to that city. There was no other apparent excuse for this.

Since there were a number of baptisms, the pastor busied himself with the usual questions and declarations, skipping the penitential rites to do so. He also skipped the Gloria--there's the first hint that trouble is here.

His sermon was rather bland. Rather than using the Creed, he had the congregation repeat the Baptismal vows along with all the godparents and parents.

Then the real butchery began. Evidently the Parish is unable to purchase vessels which comport with the Church's directives--so they were crystal for the wine and stone for the hosts. But they were clean--what the hey!!

Since he was running a bit long with all those Baptisms, Fr. then decided to simply make up his own Canon of the Mass (which was VERY short), and his own Consecration. Neither the Body nor the Blood was confected--there is NO formula of Consecration in the Missal identical to what he said.

Of course, at the Our Father, we simply forged directly into the "for Thine..." without the intermediary prayer, and "Father" also made up his own formula for the last Blessing.

In short, it was not a Mass, and whatever the appearances were, it was not communion.

There was no more New Orleans, but there was a lot more banality and some of it was un-singable for most people--after 40+ years of singing and extensive music education, I had to look twice, hard, at the melodies before deciding to simply sit this out.

I wouuld have slapped some sense into the "Father," except I didn't have the requisite 18 hours to spare.

It's sad--there were around 450 people in that Church today expecting Mass.

0 for 450.

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise, surprise!!! "Fr." Richard Aiken was also a front-row honoree at a Midwestern conference of rabble dedicated to the proposition that Catholic priests should be able to marry. More: he's also part of a group of priests who wish to establish a "union" here. You know, the oppressive Capitalist Bishop, yada, yada.

UPDATE/DOCUMENTATION: See Redemptionis Sacramentum:

By my reading of the document, "Fr." Aiken's abuses fall under the "grave" category. If I were to write a letter to the Archbishop, he would be required to investigate and report to Rome.

Big Brother's Software

New stuff out there...called Entity Analysis.

Now marketed by IBM, the software was developed in Las Vegas to help casinos identify individuals with unsavory connections.

Briefly, it 'vacuums' information bits from a variety of public (and private) sources and assembles 'relationships' with other individuals. You might belong to the same church and Google-search the same places as a "person of interest" in a series of armed robberies--so you, too, will become a "person of interest."

Some of us have maintained that the powers granted under the Patriot Act are ripe for misuse by the Feds; although the current Administration is composed of people with integrity, the next one might not have such people.

Recall that Janet Reno specified "home-schoolers,....those who believe in the Second Coming,...[and] ...those who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible" as people "of interest" for domestic terrorism.

That finger coming out of the screen--is it pointing at you?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Evolution Is Not a Catholic Thing


The silliness of some who posited that "evolution" was consonant with Roman Catholic teachings has been soundly whacked by a Big Hitter Cardinal:

An influential cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, which has long been regarded as an ally of the theory of evolution, is now suggesting that belief in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with Catholic faith. (New York Times, 7/7/05)

The cardinal, Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, a theologian who is close to Pope Benedict XVI, staked out his position in an Op-Ed article in The New York Times on Thursday, writing, "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

In a telephone interview from a monastery in Austria, where he was on retreat, the cardinal said that his essay had not been approved by the Vatican, but that two or three weeks before Pope Benedict XVI's election in April, he spoke with the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, about the church's position on evolution. "I said I would like to have a more explicit statement about that, and he encouraged me to go on," said Cardinal Schönborn.

He said that he had been "angry" for years about writers and theologians, many Catholics, who he said had "misrepresented" the church's position as endorsing the idea of evolution as a random process.

Opponents of Darwinian evolution said they were gratified by Cardinal Schönborn's essay. But scientists and science teachers reacted with confusion, dismay and even anger. Some said they feared the cardinal's sentiments would cause religious scientists to question their faiths.

Cardinal Schönborn, who is on the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, said the office had no plans to issue new guidance to teachers in Catholic schools on evolution. But he said he believed students in Catholic schools, and all schools, should be taught that evolution is just one of many theories. Many Catholic schools teach Darwinian evolution, in which accidental mutation and natural selection of the fittest organisms drive the history of life, as part of their science curriculum.

Darwinian evolution is the foundation of modern biology. While researchers may debate details of how the mechanism of evolution plays out, there is no credible scientific challenge to the underlying theory.

American Catholics and conservative evangelical Christians have been a potent united front in opposing abortion, stem cell research and euthanasia, but had parted company on the death penalty and the teaching of evolution. Cardinal Schönborn's essay and comments are an indication that the church may now enter the debate over evolution more forcefully on the side of those who oppose the teaching of evolution alone.

One of the strongest advocates of teaching alternatives to evolution is the Discovery Institute in Seattle, which promotes the idea, termed intelligent design, that the variety and complexity of life on earth cannot be explained except through the intervention of a designer of some sort.
Mark Ryland, a vice president of the institute, said in an interview that he had urged the cardinal to write the essay. Both Mr. Ryland and Cardinal Schönborn said that an essay in May in The Times about the compatibility of religion and evolutionary theory by Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, suggested to them that it was time to clarify the church's position on evolution.

The cardinal's essay was submitted to The Times by a Virginia public relations firm, Creative Response Concepts, which also represents the Discovery Institute.

Mr. Ryland, who said he knew the cardinal through the International Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, where he is chancellor and Mr. Ryland is on the board, said supporters of intelligent design were "very excited" that a church leader had taken a position opposing Darwinian evolution. "It clarified that in some sense the Catholics aren't fine with it," he said.
Bruce Chapman, the institute's president, said the cardinal's essay "helps blunt the claims" that the church "has spoken on Darwinian evolution in a way that's supportive."

But some biologists and others said they read the essay as abandoning longstanding church support for evolutionary biology. How did the Discovery Institute talking points wind up in Vienna?" wondered Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, which advocates the teaching of evolution. "It really did look quite a bit as if Cardinal Schönborn had been reading their Web pages."

Mr. Ryland said the cardinal was well versed on these issues and had written the essay on his own.

Dr. Francis Collins, who headed the official American effort to decipher the human genome, and who describes himself as a Christian, though not a Catholic, said Cardinal Schönborn's essay looked like "a step in the wrong direction" and said he feared that it "may represent some backpedaling from what scientifically is a very compelling conclusion, especially now that we have the ability to study DNA."

"There is a deep and growing chasm between the scientific and the spiritual world views," he went on. "To the extent that the cardinal's essay makes believing scientists less and less comfortable inhabiting the middle ground, it is unfortunate. It makes me uneasy."

"Unguided," "unplanned," "random" and "natural" are all adjectives that biologists might apply to the process of evolution, said Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, a professor of biology at Brown and a Catholic. But even so, he said, evolution "can fall within God's providential plan." He added: "Science cannot rule it out. Science cannot speak on this."

Dr. Miller, whose book "Finding Darwin's God" describes his reconciliation of evolutionary theory with Christian faith, said the essay seemed to equate belief in evolution with disbelief in God. That is alarming, he said. "It may have the effect of convincing Catholics that evolution is something they should reject."

Dr. Collins and other scientists said they could understand why a cleric might want to make the case that, as Dr. Collins put it, "evolution is the mechanism by which human beings came into existence, but God had something to do with that, too." Dr. Collins said that view, theistic evolution, "is shared with a very large number of biologists who also believe in God, including me."

But it does not encompass the idea that the workings of evolution required the direct intervention of a supernatural agent, as intelligent design would have it.
In his essay, Cardinal Schönborn asserted that he was not trying to break new ground but to correct the idea, "often invoked," that the church accepts or at least acquiesces to the theory of evolution.

He referred to widely cited remarks by Pope John Paul II, who, in a 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, noted that the scientific case for evolution was growing stronger and that the theory was "more than a hypothesis."

In December, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, chairman of the Committee on Science and Human Values of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, cited those remarks in writing to the nation's bishops that "the Church does not need to fear the teaching of evolution as long as it is understood as a scientific account of the physical origins and development of the universe." But in his essay, Cardinal Schönborn dismissed John Paul's statement as "rather vague and unimportant."

Francisco Ayala, a professor of biology at the University of California, Irvine, and a former Dominican priest, called this assessment "an insult" to the late pope and said the cardinal seemed to be drawing a line between the theory of evolution and religious faith, and "seeing a conflict that does not exist."

Dr. Miller said he was already hearing from people worried about the cardinal's essay. "People are saying, does the church really believe this?" He said he would not speculate. "John Paul II made it very clear that he regarded scientific rationality as a gift from God," Dr. Miller said, adding, "There are more than 100 cardinals and they often have conflicting opinions."

Citgo: Enemy of the US

Courtesy of Random 10 ( we learn:

“Looking for an easy way to protest Bush foreign policy week after week? And an easy way to help alleviate global poverty? Buy your gasoline at Citgo stations.

Citgo is a U.S. refining and marketing firm that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company. Money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela -- not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East."

This "action" is being encouraged by a certain Jeff Cohen, a rad-left type who founded Fairness and Accuracy in Media.

Well, since Venezuela's Commie-lite dictator (c'mon--we all know it's a pretend-democracy) is tight-to-the-butt with Fidel and the ChiComs, I look at Citgo in a whole new way...

NARAL Comes Out

Right from NARAL's website to your children... (

(HT to Amy Wellborn, NRO's "Corner.")

Rome to Bishops: No More Homo Seminarians

After who-knows-how many $gazillion in settlements, Church authorities in Rome have re-stated a 1961 prohibition on the formation and ordination of homosexuals.

Briefly, the document says Just Say NO.

The whining and prancing crowd just can't STAND it. Here's John Allen's report:

Sources indicate that the long-awaited Vatican document on the admission of homosexuals to seminaries is now in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI. The document, which has been condensed from earlier versions, reasserts the response given by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2002, in response to a dubium submitted by a bishop on whether a homosexual could be ordained: "A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency, is not fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

That reply was published in the November-December 2002 issue of Notitiae, the official publication of the congregation.

It is up to Benedict XVI to decide whether to issue the new document as it stands, to send it back for revision, or to shelve it on the basis that for now such a document is "inopportune."
Several American bishops were in Rome last week for the June 29 pallium ceremony, and I spoke to some of them about the document.

Privately, some hope Benedict will decide to put the document in a desk drawer for the time being, on the grounds that it will generate controversy and negative press without changing anything in terms of existing discipline.

Controversy? Negative Press? About what, exactly?

As one bishop put it to me, the policy against ordaining homosexuals is already clear -- the only interesting question is, what do you mean by a "homosexual"? At one end of the continuum, it could refer to anyone who once had a fleeting same-sex attraction; at another, it could be restricted to someone who is sexually active and openly part of a "gay pride" movement. Most people would exclude those extremes, but where is the line drawn in between?

"Oh, my dear, it's so AWFUL to have to figure this out. I just don't KNOW what I can DO....."

Vatican sources have made clear the document will not enter into these details, and hence this bishop believes it's an unneeded headache.

Further, the bishop said, the document may make candidates less likely to be honest with formation directors about their psycho-sexual development, even though some degree of experimentation and ambivalence about orientation is not unusual, and by itself should not disqualify potential priests.

Now that's a ridiculous pile of crap.

"The risk is that we drive the conversation underground," he said.

Yes. With a silver stake through its heart, Your Excellency (or Your Grace-in-Lace.)

Others, however, hold that the document is needed for two reasons.

One, it will come with a higher level of authority than a response to a dubium published in the bulletin of a curial agency. This document will come with the clear authorization of the pope, perhaps in forma specifica, meaning that it draws on his personal authority. In that sense, the bishop said, it's like the relationship of John Paul's 1994 document Ordinatio sacerdotalis, on women priests, to the 1976 document Inter Insigniores from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the same subject. The teaching didn't change, but the level of authority and clarity did.

What this Bishop is saying is that a lot of US Bishops are rebellious, divisive, snippy twerps who will stamp their feet and snivel. By the way, if the Pope signs off, in forma specifica or not, they will continue to snipe, whine, snivel, and pout, don't you know...

Two, the document will reject a solution that some seminaries, religious communities and bishops have tended to adopt in recent years -- that it doesn't matter if a candidate is gay, as long as he's capable of remaining celibate.

Easy to gamble with Other People's Money, eh?

"I suspect some people, in good will, have gravitated to this idea," one bishop said. "But that's not what the church is saying, and this document will make that clear."

To date, there's been no indication of what the pope intends to do.