Saturday, December 31, 2005

Narnia

Just saw it, courtesy of one of the kids--birthday present.

Even if you have NOT read the books (I have not), the flick absolutely oozes Roman Catholic symbolism. Likely will take at least two viewings to internalize/list all of it. There's a lot there; the light/dark stuff, the flower of Jesse, the eagles, (yes, Ms. Asquith, we paid attention;) the score's vaguely Dies Irae turn at Aslan's death--and OT references, as well--Lion of Judah, Isaac/Christ...

There was a lot reminiscent of the Gibson "Passion," too (unsurprisingly.) Frankly, I liked the score better than Mel's; it fits better into the scheme and is more apprehensible.

The Titanic Battle stuff is interesting. Clearly, Lewis did not view Kumbaya as a viable Christian theological position. The child-less-ness of the Ice Queen, who reigns in (dark) Winter is also a good, targeted hit.

Lewis certainly clarified sin and likes auricular confession, eh?

It's worth the $6.00/head. Go see it.

Windows At Risk--Again

This is NOT an "Explorer" problem--it's embedded in Windows, so using Firefox will not prevent the difficulty.

MS 'is scrambling.'

My Norton went ballistic yesterday and pointed to an item ("Bloodhound") in "Temporary Download." That particular file on my box is rather large, drat it all....

So keep your Norton up to date. There may be a lot more of this stuff going around in the next few days before MS comes up with a patch. One hopes that the BigBoys in MS security are not off on holiday breaks...

The Mouths of Babes

Malkin caught a marvelous item. The top cartoon was a RESPONSE, drawn by a 12-year-old girl, after she saw the Editorial cartoon in the local MSM rag (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


Here's the girl's letter to the AJ-C:

The first time I saw Mike Luckovich’s drawing of the word “WHY?”, made up of the names of 2,000 troops killed in Iraq, was when my mother was putting it up on our refrigerator. It bothered me that no one did a response showing how others feel. On Nov. 8, I got an updated list of the names of the war dead and started writing them, spelling out “FREEDOM.” Six days later, it was done. I only worked on it in my free time at school. It took me about 12 hours to get it done, so needless to say I devoted many of my classes to this, and stayed late after school to work on it. I didn’t take it home and show it to my mother until I had prints made. She and I have different views of things. She said that, as a mother, she didn’t like it that so many people have been killed. She was not happy when I placed my work next to Luckovich’s “WHY?” on the fridge, but it hasn't been taken down. I may seem as if I am too young to have an opinion on matters like these. I am not saying that my opinion is right, for an opinion is just that — someone’s views on something. But, like a child’s voice, an opinion is often not heard.

We often give children a lot LESS credit than they deserve.



BagManJim--the Gift That Keeps On Vetoing

In a moment of candor, ol' BagManJim spake thus:

“I wish I could enact laws and sign them into law. I don’t do that as governor,” Doyle said in a year-end Wisconsin Public TV interview airing tonight “A special session doesn’t mean the bill gets passed. It just wastes a lot of people’s time and taxpayer money to call a special session on a bill that isn’t going to be enacted.”

First, he expresses his desire to become the Dictator--no big surprise here. But he also raises an interesting question: why bother with legislative sessions at all? BagMan will veto any common-sense bill passed by the Legislature--

Save MORE money. Keep the Leggies at home.

HT: Kevin

Milwaukee Makes the National News

But not for the reason you expected.

Seems that good old X42 was the President who initiated "renditioning" with the CIA--the practice of taking terrorists to allied countries for questioning. This fact has yet to be reported by the NYSlimes or the WaPost...

And the individual who claims credit for inventing the program (in 1995) tells us:

"In Cairo, people are not treated like they are in Milwaukee. The Clinton administration asked us if we believed that the prisoners were being treated in accordance with local law. And we answered, yes, we're fairly sure."

But is this good or not good? Perhaps Mike McCann should think about 'renditions' for street-gang terrorists. Might have just the right effect.

Her Mom and Dad Must Be Proud

Oh, yeah, it's controversial: the idea that women "want" to get raped.

And some ditzy blonde "editor" at the UW-M Post tells the world that it's true. With pictures. On the front page of the 11/23/05 issue, no less.

The photo essay, which was published Nov. 23, shows Sara DeKeuster, the publication's photo editor and a senior at the time, being attacked in a parking garage. In the staged scenes, which are titled "Bedtime stories," DeKeuster is slammed against a car by a man posing as a stranger and forced into what photo captions describes as "unexpected intercourse" that leads to her feeling "guilty and rejoiced."

Diego Costa, a graduate student who is the Post's arts and entertainment editor, said in a note to readers that he and DeKeuster conceptualized the essay "in order to explore the age-old repressed female sexuality in its attempt to strip itself of social and feminist constraints." In a follow-up article, Costa, who took the photos, said the work was an "art piece" that expressed DeKeuster's "guilt-ridden sexual desire of getting raped."

....

DeKeuster, who graduated this month with a degree in fine art photography, said the essay was originally done for a class. Her aim, she said, was to use self-portrait film stills as a way of "liberating my sexuality." She said Costa, a graduate student of film who serves as a teaching assistant, took the photos and came up with the captions.

It turns out that those who question the sanity of Sara and Costa are just the usual Neanderthal Red-State schlumps who don't get it:

Critics were even more upset when the Post ran a follow-up story Dec. 7 about the angry reaction on campus, in which Costa dismissed it as "typical of people whose understanding of art is so superficial" - a sentiment that he and DeKeuster maintain today.

...

Costa, meanwhile, said he will strive to publish "other things in the future that will question the order of things."

The dumb jack evidently thinks the phrase "Ars pro gratia Artis" actually has some foundation in rightly-ordered Western thought.

UW-M, of course, is helpless. They can't take action "because the Post receives no University funding," --only FREE OFFICE SPACE AND PARKING!!

"They see themselves as an independent newspaper, and we treat them as such," [Provost Rita] Cheng said this week. "This is a very sensitive issue of independence and freedom of speech."

Earth to Ms. Cheng: FREE OFFICES AND FREE PARKING ARE STATE SUBSIDIES. Get your act together and toss these morons out into the real world.

You're damned right, by the way, if you think I'm a little exercised about this particular topic.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Maybe NOT Smarter than That

Just this morning it occurred to me that Xoff, the predictable (lovable??) Leftable had not really spent any time spinning the war-footing actions of the President--you know, like paying attention to what our enemies overseas are talking about...

Ah, well. Now it turns out that Xoff was waiting for the ACLU to speak--that way he'd know what to say.

Earth-to-Xoff: ACLU or not, Article Two of the Constitution is still in effect, and it is NOT going to be repealed nor derogated by Congress.

Tailgunner Joe Looks Smarter Every Day

The Marquette Warrior has a very interesting piece about Sacco & Vanzetti, their completely unethical and execrable lawyer, and Upton Sinclair posted here.

Seems that the "MSM malaise" is not exactly recent-vintage, as Sinclair was also a practitioner (just as was the NYSlimes when covering Joe Stalin's murderous ass at about the same time.)

And, by the way, Joe's famous speech was about 207 "names." He may not have had all of the bad guys on that list, and did NOT reveal the names (Joe believed in the 'innocent-until-proven-guilty' stuff.)

The Second Amendment's Enemies

In an effort to fulfill Jib's prediction, I will now try to slap the silliness out of Wigderson



Despite his formidable writing, political analysis, and intellectual talents, Wigderson misses the point of the Second Amendment by a mile. Obviously, Wig's in need of some target practice.

Jim contends that 'we have nothing to fear from a tyranny here in the USA,' and thus, the Second Amendment was REALLY written to assure the US of a prepared civilian-military force. This contention is partially accurate, of course. Should the US be invaded by some foreign army, weaponry already in the homes (or hands) of the citizens will be necessary and quite useful.

But Jim seems to ignore the history. The "shot heard 'round the world" was fired specifically to prevent the Redcoats (that would be the Government's troops at the time) from seizing the guns the Colonials had stored.

The King of England (through his appointed local governor) WAS the Government of the Colonies at the time. He was also judged to be a tyrant by the Colonials.

By no co-incidence, the Founders specifically included the Second Amendment into the Constitution following the Revolution against a tyrant. They were well-aware that tyrants arise, and sometimes are VERY popular fellows (see above quotation's author.)

Self-defense and the defense of others is good, and an inalienable right. It was the contention of the Founders that a corollary right was the ability to overthrow a Government (ANY Government) which was adjudged to be a tyranny.

Frankly, it's not likely that Washington will become so oppressive that a critical mass of the citizens will decide that a revolution is necessary. But that does not obviate the reality of the Second Amendment's genesis.

Poll Result is Amazing

Last night's Channel 6 News ran the results of a poll on the question "Are you Safe in Milwaukee?"

1200 people called in.

It was 3 t0 1 "NO." 76% of the responders called the "I'm not safe here" telephone number.

I know--it's not scientific, it's not controlled sample, who knows who actually called in...

But that's a stunning number.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

RIP One of the Great Catholics of Milwaukee

A friend, mentor, and great Catholic woman passed away yesterday.

It was my privilege to know her for over 25 years, and it was an honor to speak with her.

She was wise--she knew serpents when she saw them--and yet, like all great women, compassionate. She never gave up, never quit, and never allowed her friends to confuse the Church with its often-ignominious members.

Jo Kuffel, RIP.

In Paradisum deducant te, Angeli
In tuo adventu suscipiat te Martyres
Et perducant te in civitatem sanctam,
Jerusalem.

Chorus Angelorum te suscipiat,
Et cum Lazaro, quondam paupere,
Aeternam habeas requiem.

SOME Anti-Catholicism is Bad

There's a story below about ABC News engaging in Catholic-bashing. We also recall the MSM-propaganda about the current Pope's "Nazi" past, and more than a little ammo being thrown at the Church over its position on homosexual priests (no more will be ordained, thank you.)

Then there's the Church-bashing which other Elite Liberals spew on the topic of abortion--not to mention artificial birth control.

That is GOOD Church-bashing; it's done by the Left and its MSM running-dogs.

But there is such a thing as BAD Church-bashing, according to a Leading Lefty Light (Xoff.) BAD Church-bashing happens when Tom Reynolds is in the mix.

There are, however, a few lingering questions for Reynolds, including his association with an anti-Catholic organization that spews bigotry in its publications -- which Reynolds prints.

I'm sure Xoff recalls the quote about motes and beams.

There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religion.
G. K. Chesterton

Just Co-Incidence, Of Course

The JSOnline reports that the Menomonee and Potowatomi are in a fight over "territory"--they both claim to have inhabited the Kenosha area long, long ago.

But the interesting paragraph in the story is here:

Nonetheless, the heightened concern over whether the Menominee tribe has historic Kenosha ties dovetails with legislation introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last month that would ban new off-reservation casinos unless a tribe had a proven "temporal, cultural and geographic" connection to a proposed casino site.

IIRC, there's a good deal of lobbyist money and campaign contributions being spent by various tribal gambling interests.

Has Marty Schreiber been visiting with John McCain?

Tom Barrett's Problem

It's clear from the televised reports on Channel 4 and Channel 6 (not to mention from bloggers who know) that people living near 35th and Hampton are scared to ID the area's troublemakers. That's bad enough.

There are a couple of reasons: first, calling out the tangos may well result in retaliation. Second, it's likely that after the usual drill in Juvenile Court, the little darlings will be back at 'home' in a matter of 90 days or less.

Go ahead: tell us that all the perps in the recent beating will be doing 5-10 at Waupun.

What? No takers?

The Mayor of Milwaukee emerged from a cocoon, put on his "I'm serious" face, and told the residents to get on the phone with the police, but quick. There's a logic here: Tommy, who lives with a police guard and escort at his disposal, doesn't think that citizens like Sam McClain should have the tools of self-defense handy. Tommy doesn't like CCW.

Nor, for that matter, does E. Michael McCann, the DA. Nor does Milwaukee's Top Cop. Nor does the Milwaukee County Sheriff.

So these eminentoes have consigned men like McClain to Froedtert's emergency department. One wonders--when Steve Hargarten, MD., treats these folks, does Steve re-think HIS opposition to Concealed Carry?

S'pose if McClain brandished a Glock .40 that the results would have been the same?

Baba Wawa Competes with Drooler Dan

We all knew that the Disney purchase of ABC would have an effect--and sure enough, ABC is now producing "news" shows from Fantasyland.

Similar to its take on the controversial "Da Vinci Code," ABC News "Primetime" gives credence to the claim that a woman disguised as a man served as pope in medieval Rome.

Titled "On the Trail of Pope Joan," an ABC promo says, "Diane Sawyer takes you on the trail of a passionate mystery. Just as intriguing as 'The Da Vinci Code.' Chasing down centuries-old clues hidden even inside the Vatican. Could a woman disguised as a man have been pope? Thursday night. One astonishing Primetime."


ABC's take was fashionable at one time:

But Catholic writer Philip Jenkins, in his book "The New Anti-Catholicism, calls the "Pope Joan legend" a "venerable staple of the anti-Catholic mythology."

"Though it has not the slightest foundation," he writes, "from the sixteenth century through the nineteenth, the tale was beloved by Protestants, since it testified to Catholic stupidity. ..." Today, he says, "Pope Joan enjoys a lively presence on the Web, where feminist anti-Catholics celebrate her existence much as did seventeenth-century Calvinists."


The posting on the Newsbusters site said: "That a major network like ABC would lend credibility to such a vicious anti-Catholic smear is deplorable."

Did Mary Mapes find a new job?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

SUE the So-and-So's

When all seems to be working well, it's time to SUE!

Thus speaketh Citizens' Utility Board (the Left with neckties) and its compatriot, Wisconsin Industrial Energy Council, which claims to represent firms employing over 60,000 people in Wisconsin.

Why do I say "...claims to represent..."? Because the website for WIEC will not tell you exactly who those 'firms' really are. But when Nino Amato runs his jaw, you can be sure that some utility, somewhere, will pay a price.

This time it's WE Energies.

In something of a complex deal, WE was authorized to keep the money they saved when they purchased Wisconsin Gas and right-sized the management teams and employee roster. That put them over their authorized 12.2% ROI limit to the tune of $52MM.

The wonzos want the money back. Of course, their press release is filled with irrelevant and immaterial stuff--like the recent authorized increases in rates due to the recent run-up of natural gas prices (you know, like gasoline prices...) They figure if they spray enough brown material at the reader, the reader will come to the conclusion that all those high prices mean WE is stealing.

So WE and the PSC will spend a few hundred thousand on lawyers to defend a decision made years ago. The sue-happy bozos will pepper the press with stories (like Bruce Murphy specializes in) telling us that all those Big Guys at WE are vastly overpaid.

But if you took back every dollar of compensation for the 5 highest-paid Big Guys at WE, it still wouldn't total $52MM--nor would you EVER notice it in your energy bill.

Memo to the Sue-Happy: get a life.

If Lincoln Was Right...



Well, well. Notice the faint Copper glow emanating from these drooling faces...

HT: Catholic Caveman

What Daschle REALLY Said

Scrappleface provides a translation of the Disgraceful Displaced Democrat's droolings:

[Daschle] wrote that Democrats in Congress never authorized NSA surveillance of terrorist communications with U.S. residents, and he would not have approved a document the Bush administration has used as its justification for the wiretaps: the U.S. Constitution.

When I was in Congress, the Constitution never came up for a vote, Mr. Daschle wrote "and if it had, Article II never would have made it out of committee."

Just like Jennifer (see below), Tom, you've been FIRED! Now go find a job.

Jennifer Goes B&^%chy

While Dan Vrakas is deservedly taking heat for his levy-increase problem, his former Chief of Staff is beginning to make the case that she SHOULD have been fired.

"Mr. Vrakas has mishandled the management of my resignation - and he needs to be accountable as a public servant for it," she said.

Jennifer, you've been fired. Your remarks are ridiculous; one may conclude that you think you have some sort of Divine Right to an office in the Courthouse.

You don't. You're done. Go find a real job someplace.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Papa Ratzi Drops the Hammer

HT to Bettnet on this one.

Chiesa reports that Pope Benedict has firmly requested that the Neocatechumenate Way organization conform its liturgical celebrations to the norms of the Roman Rite.

Speculation is that this organization, which professes loyalty to the Pope, is "first on the list" precisely because they DO profess such loyalty and are likely to comply with his request.

The points made:

1. Sunday is the “Dies Domini” as the Servant of God Pope John Paul II wished to illustrate in the Apostolic Letter on the Lord’s Day. Therefore the Neocatechumenal Way must enter into dialogue with the diocesan bishop in order to make it clear that the community of the Neocatechumenal Way is incorporated into the parish even in the context of the liturgical celebrations. At least one Sunday per month, the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way must participate in the Holy Mass of the parish community.

(NW has celebrated Mass on Saturday nights, not Sundays, and the NW members are NOT in their 'home parishes' for Mass.)

2. As for any admonitions issued before the readings, these must be brief. Adherence must also be shown to what is set out in the “Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani” (nn. 105 and 128) and to the Praenotanda of the “Ordo Lectionum Missae” (nn. 15, 19, 38, 42).

3. The homily, because of its nature and importance, is reserved to the priest or deacon (cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 767 § 1). As for the occasional contribution of testimonies on the part of the lay faithful, the proper places and methods for these are indicated in the Interdicasterial Instruction “Ecclesiae de Mysterio,” which was approved “in specific form” by Pope John Paul II and published on August 15, 1997.

(NW had extensive commentaries on the readings delivered by laymen. The priest's sermon or homily was an undistinguished part of these 'commentaries.')

5. On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books.

6. The Neocatechumenal Way must also make use of the other Eucharistic Prayers contained in the missal, and not only Eucharistic Prayer II.

The letter was NOT signed "Is That CLEAR, Bucko?"...

Steyr and Norinco

Both companies are under sanction by the US State Department for providing missile systems $ components and other arms to Iran.

Norinco and 5 other PRChina-Government-run companies were named. Norinco is best known for its attempt to smuggle full-auto rifles to Los Angeles street gangs a number of years ago.

They also manufacture a cheap line of shotguns retailed in the United States.

Steyr-Mannlicher of Austria makes better-quality rifles and pistols.

Neither of these companies is a friend of United States citizens who enjoy shooting sports.

Monday, December 26, 2005

"Afganistaning" In the Blogosphere

About 20 years ago, before Afghanistan was a point of interest to Special Forces, the term "Afghanistaning" was used to describe newspaper editorials which were written about things totally irrelevant to the editorialist's own personal life and circumstances. A Milwaukee Journal editorial would appear bemoaning some political development in New York, e.g., or wailing about some school-tax referendum in Rhinelander.

That was when there was such a thing as the Milwaukee Journal--and, as mentioned, when "Afghanistan" was about as distant from 4th and State as was Rhinelander, at least mentally.

That was then.

NOW we have bloggers from Ozaukee or Sheboygan County (who knows?) bewailing the fact that Waukesha County residents and taxpayers are calling for Vrakas' head, after a certain Ms. Finley revealed that Vrakas did not assiduously pursue budget cuts.

"Afghanistaning" has risen again!!

Perhaps Ms. Finley is posturing; perhaps not. Perhaps Mr. Vrakas should not have hired Ms. Finley, and perhaps he will actually address the issue himself at some point in time.

But we do know this: Vrakas SAID that he would not increase taxes--and then he DID increase taxes. Not by much, true. But by the testimony of Ms. Finley, Vrakas did not HAVE to increase the levy.

The Afghanistaners tut-tut. After all, they are mature.

More on Chant

While Mgr. Miserachs-Grau's bona fides are suspect, his commentary on the question of liturgical music (specifically, Gregorian Chant) is direct and to the point. Many observers can make the point that Miserachs-Grau has been in his position since 1995--meaning that 10 full years have elapsed before he 'came out of the closet' so to speak. Nonetheless, a few excerpts from his Zenit interview are in order.

As to why his remarks of a couple weeks ago were applauded:

I believe...that there is a general opinion that coincides on the necessity of recovering Latin and Gregorian chant, which is the chant proper to the Church. Gregorian chant has been abandoned and left to concert halls and CD's when its proper place was and is the liturgy.

On current "musical" offerings (the Haugen-Hass/StLouis mess of pottage):

I think that new musical products, in the majority of cases, have not learned or have not been able to root themselves in the tradition of the Church, thus dragging in a general impoverishment. It is incomprehensible, especially in the Latin countries, that Latin and Gregorian chant has been pushed aside in the last 40 years. Latin and Gregorian chant form part of tradition -- and they have been amputated. It is like cutting the roots …

Whether Catholics are too STUPID to learn Chant:

Before, people knew how to sing the basic songs in Latin. Today, it seems that efforts are being made to make them unlearn what they knew. It is obvious that we cannot propose they learn the entire repertoire, which contains 5,000 pieces.

What "actuosa participatio" means IN CONTEXT:

In liturgical chant the assembly does not have to be the only protagonist. A certain order must be kept. The people should sing their part and the rest should be done by the choir, the chanter, the psalmist and obviously the celebrant.

Whether the question of music in the liturgy has been resolved:

No. For some time, we have insisted on this point. Our institute does its job, but it is only an academic institution, not a normative body and it thus has no say in these affairs. A Vatican body is needed that would directly oversee the matters of sacred music.

John Paul II stated that the musical aspect of liturgical celebrations cannot be left to improvisation or to the free will of the people. It should be confided to a concerted direction and the respect for certain norms. Authorized indications are awaited and this concerns the Church of Rome, the Holy See.

While it is true that there is no "Vatican-based" governing body, Mgr. Miserachs-Grau elides a few things which are important to the discussion.

First off, there IS an international body of genuine Church Music experts which WAS directly commissioned by Paul VI to recommend, advise, and serve as a standards-creation/maintenance group: the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae. The people who are part of this have absolutely luminous academic credentials, and are published. They pay a great deal of attention to the writings and speeches of the current Pope on the topic of liturgical music, too--not just to 'dead white men.'

Secondly, Mgr. M-G overlooks the pernicious and obstructionist activities of, ah, "genealogically-challenged" 'national' music commissions (such as the one maintained by the USCC) and their similarly-begotten children, the Diocesan music/liturgy commissions. Here in the US, at least, one can easily make the case that members are selected for their outstanding qualities of historical ignorance, revolutionary inclinations, and malformed musical sensibilities. This has been the case in this country since the Revolution of 1966 which enshrined Rembert Weakland OSB (a Cdl. Jos. Bernardin lackey) as the domestic tin-god of church music. Aside from Sr. Theophane Hytrek OSF (+) and Fr. Larry Heimann, members of the US 'establishment' have simply not met any standard of excellence. (I'd be perfectly willing to be corrected here--but am perfectly willing to argue the cases on an individual basis.)

What about folks like Paul Salamunovich? Roger Wagner? Cal Shenk? Ted Marier? Mgr. Shuler? ALL (save Shenk) were Knights Commander of St. Gregory, an honor not given because of purchase, but rather for real capabilities and real accomplishment.

So, yes, Mgr., there's a lot of work to do. Perhaps you should telephone CIMS' President and ask for help. It would be a very good start.

Christmas Events

We had them all here on Christmas Eve, including the grandchild--and we got the early "peek" about an event which would occur only a few hours later as #2 kid displayed the engagement ring he'd give a wonderful young lady that evening. A great deal of salt water flowed both here and in Green Bay, the location of the event. A chorus of inarticulate wimminfolk noises arose.

Pictorial results from THAT front tell us that she was pleased with the idea of becoming a wife.

Did you know that people actually pay MONEY for jeans with holes in the knees? This presents an opportunity, because after only about 2 years or so, my jeans develop holes in precisely the correct places.

Recycling for profit becomes a possibility.

Some debate was inspired: are REAL coaster wagons made of steel or from polymers?

Vatican Midnight Mass: A Lotta Latin Goin' On

It was very noticeable. Latin chant, Latin hymns, Latin prayers.

Yes, the "bidding prayers" were multi-lingual--perfectly understandable and no surprises.

One can feel the resentment and resistance seething over in certain local rectories--not to mention in the 'liturgical establishment' dominated by the Shallow and Timebound--you know, the ones for whom Vatican II marked the actual birthday of the Church and whose reading on the topic consists of reading American Catholic, Commonweal, and the NAPALM Newsletter (whatever its title may actually be.)

Latin is the language of the future of the Church. Get over it.

Friday, December 23, 2005

OMG!!! GWB Authorizes Nuke-Material Search

You can't make this stuff up. Here's the first breathless graf from USNWR's article:

In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.

Shock!!! HORROR!!! AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!

To date no nuclear bombs, nor high/low-level nuclear waste has been found.

HT: Froggy

New Blogger Welcome

Although Get Up and Get Moving has only posted once, the promise is certainly present in the offering.

Welcome to the Milwaukee-Catholic-blogosphere!

Sen. Larry Craig is NOT a Nut

In contrast to Sen. Feingold (D-AlQuaeda), who has purchased his 15 minutes' fame with silly rhetoric and Me! ME! MEEEE! statements, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) has some significant objections to the PATRIOT Act which deserve consideration.

Craig's concerns about the Act are encapsuled in his "SAFE" Act proposal, which would modify the PATRIOT Act in certain specific ways.

How significant are these modifications? Well, here's one that caught my eye:


Section 7 – Domestic Terrorism Definition (Section 802)

The PATRIOT Act’s overbroad definition of domestic terrorism could include acts of civil
disobedience by political organizations. While civil disobedience is and should be illegal, it is
not necessarily terrorism.
The SAFE Act would limit the qualifying offenses for domestic
terrorism to those that constitute a federal crime of terrorism, instead of any federal or state
crime, as is currently the case.


And here's another:


Section 5 – National Security Letters (Section 505)

The SAFE Act would restore a standard of individualized suspicion for using an NSL, requiring
that the government have reason to believe the records sought relate to a suspected terrorist or
spy.
As is the case for grand jury subpoenas, the SAFE Act would give the recipient of an NSL
the right to challenge the letter and the nondisclosure requirement, and place a time limit on the
nondisclosure requirement (which could be extended by the court). As is the case for FISA
authorities, the SAFE Act would give notice to the target of an NSL if the government seeks to
use the records obtained from the NSL in a subsequent proceeding, and give the target an
opportunity to challenge the use of those records.


There are others, perhaps less striking.

Yesterday's Limbaugh show included an interview with Craig, where he explained his objections very clearly and quite convincingly. Limbaugh countered with a remark to the effect that 'there will always be abuse of the system' by Government officials. BOTH cited the regime of X42, and BOTH conceded that a Hildebeeste Presidency would likely produce more of the same. It is VERY important to recall that the Hildebeeste specifically refers to anti-abortion protesters as "terrorists" in the context of this debate. And it is a sure bet that other Democratic Party figures hold this opinion as well. (Can you say George Soros? Howard Scream?)

Having thought about this for a while, it is clear to me that Senator Craig's position is the better one. While Limbaugh's assertion that miscreants will abuse their power is undoubtedly true (and could happen under some (R) President, too...) there is NO GOOD REASON to explicitly license such abuse. In fact, the compelling case is Craig's: make abuse illegal.

A close and valued friend--and an exceptionally bright guy--mentioned over lunch that he simply does not now, and never will, trust the Government with his personal information. Not that it's possible to hide the info; the IRS or Wis DOR could create fairly accurate biographies of anyone who pays taxes, and the FBI has the capability to fill in all the details (with court authorization), including when and where you bought your last bag of Doritos.

Sensenbrenner has assured us that a good debate will take place again, soon. Outstanding. Let those who think that the Government can define abortion protestors as "terrorists" make their case, if they can.

"O" of December 23rd

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Entrance Examination

Stolen, top-to-bottom, from its hilarious resting spot at Catholic World News:

Don't ask, don't tell: a subtle seminary entrance test

1) What is your current occupation?

a) construction worker
b) computer programmer
c) dance instructor

2) Would you like something to drink?

a) a cold can of beer would be nice
b) Scotch, thanks, with just a splash.
c) Chardonnay, but only if it's chilled. Or do you have any herbal tea?

3) In high school, what was your main extracurricular activity?

a) football team
b) school newspaper/student government
c) drama club

4) When your friends come over for dinner, what do you like to serve?

a) Steak. You want vegetables? Don't worry; the cow ate some.
b) Burgers on the grills, probably. The wives and girlfriends will bring salads, so we'll be OK.
c) Quiche

5) If you could choose any car for your own use, what would your prefer?

a) a 4-by-4 pickup truck
b) whatever; as long as it's comfortable and gets good mileage
c) a sporty red convertible

6) If you are not admitted to the seminary, what career path are you most likely to choose:

a) the US Marines
b) investment banking
c) fashion design

7) If you had the time to get out of the city, and spend a few weeks in the countryside, what do you think you would enjoy the most?

a) hunting
b) the quiet, the fresh air, the clear skies at night
c) the antique shops

8) An old friend calls, to ask if you have a couple of hours this weekend to help him do a valve job on his old Jeep. What do you say?

a) Sure! Should I bring my spring compressor?
b) OK, I suppose. If you can tell me what to do…
c) What's a valve job?

9) Imagine that you can take a half-dozen of your old friends on a week-long vacation, with all expenses paid. Which would you choose:

a) Camp out at an untouched trout stream. Eat what you catch. Play poker at night. Remember to take a shower as soon as you get home.
b) Fly to Scotland. Play 18 holes on a different golf course every day.
c) Book a nice hotel in New York. Catch a different Broadway show every night.

10) At a friend's birthday party, you are introduced to a young woman who is, frankly, a bombshell. Beautiful curly red hair, a 50-megawatt smile, and a sensational figure. She's wearing a tight hot-pink dress with a slit up to here and a neckline plunging down to there, and she's delighted to meet you. What is your first reaction?

a) What do you think think my first reaction is? I'm human, you know.
b) I try to avoid her, without being impolite. Custody of the eyes, and all that. Stay away from trouble.
c) I love it; she's fabulous! I just wish she'd realize that pink is not her color. And those shoes definitely don't match the belt!

For extra credit:

11) What do you think of this test?

a) Worth a couple of laughs, I suppose.
b) Not sure. What are you getting at?
c) I am outraged! How dare you!

How to score your own test: If you have to ask, you flunk.

REAL Torture

Here's how we handle all this stuff.

First, we get a room, about 1000 square feet. Secure. Barred windows, solidly lockable door, etc., nice furniture but nothing that can be made into weapons, all fastened securely to the floor or walls.

Now we attach men's and ladies' rooms, with showers, similarly secure.

Then we attach a kitchen, fully equipped, but separated from The Room by a solid wall--the wall will have apertures.

Yup. Pretty close to a prison. Nice--but a prison.

Now we fill the room with those who deserve each others' company.

I'll start the list:

Osama
Saddam
BagManDoyle
Feingold
Hldebeeste
X42
Feinstein
Reid
Risser

Get the idea? OK. Now you make additions. Think it will be crowded? No problem--we'll add another room.

No radio--no TV--no 'Net--no phone. No books, newspapers, periodicals. All they get to do is eat, sleep, and talk with each other. No interpreters, either...

Edited Editorials on ID vs. Darwin's Failed Theory

A friend of mine sent the following editorial to the Milwaukee JS:

By TOM PHILLIPS

Posted: Dec. 21, 2005

There has been much propaganda regarding intelligent design.In truth, creation/design is the scientific position; evolution is unscientific. By definition, science is based upon what we observe in the physical world and logical inference from what we observe.

While microevolution, which is change within a species, is observed and scientific, macroevolution, which is what "evolution" customarily means, is not. It asserts life somehow arose from non-life by chance.


Such "spontaneous generation," disproved long ago, has never been observed. Instead, we always observe that life comes from previous life - and, as Scripture teaches, ultimately from an ever-living God.

Evolution also asserts one life form can change into another, higher form - something also never observed and thus unscientific. Instead, we always observe exactly what Genesis states numerous times: Life reproduces "according to its kind," i.e., cats beget cats, crickets beget crickets, etc. They never change into something else. With microbiology, we understand why.
All life contains DNA, a genetic blueprint containing information. But purely material processes cannot create information, which originates only from a "mind." Evolution proceeds via chance, the antithesis of information. The DNA in simple bacteria has several million specifications; man's has several billion.


The DNA molecule, the most complex structure we know and unquestionably the most efficient copying device, with self-correcting processes, prevents one life form from "changing" into another. We are all copies of a copy of a copy, etc., going back to the very first human parents.
Genesis 3:20 says Eve was "the mother of all the living." Science proved we are descendents of one woman, whose genes are carried by all mankind. Even evolutionists accept the finding that all humans descended from a relatively recent woman whom scientists have taken to calling Eve, based on the DNA in our mitochondria, the cell's powerhouse. Mitochondrial DNA comes unmixed, only from the mother.


The fossil record disproves evolution. If the first life form changed into another, higher form by gradual gene changes, and so on down the line, accounting for all life then, quoting Darwin, "the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great."
The whole world would be awash in the remains of "infinitely numerous connecting links." It isn't. Darwin conceded that fact, calling it "the most obvious and serious objection" against his theory. He attests the "sudden appearance" of species, complete and distinct, in the fossil record - just as if God created all life individually.


Evolution is scientifically preposterous. Laws of probability are real scientific laws. Our DNA is unique because the odds of another person having our exact DNA are so remote we can dismiss that possibility altogether. Likewise with evolution.

Nobel laureate Francis Crick calculated nature's chances of producing one small protein: 1 in 10 to the 260th power. Crick reminds us there are only 10 to the 80th power (1 followed by 80 zeros) atoms in the whole universe; he concludes even the elementary components of life "cannot have arisen by pure chance."

Mathematician Emile Borel states an event will never happen when the odds are less than 1 in 10 to the 50th power.


Sir Fred Hoyle, mathematician and astronomer, calculated nature's chances of producing the 2,000 enzymes found in life: 1 in 10 to the 40,000th power. He states: "The Darwinian theory of evolution is shown to be plainly wrong" and concludes, "Life cannot have had a random beginning . . . but must have come from a cosmic intelligence."

Nobel laureate Ernst Chain said, "To postulate that the development and survival of the fittest is entirely a consequence of chance mutations seems to me a hypothesis based on no evidence and irreconcilable with the facts."

Albert Einstein said, "I want to know how God created this world." Einstein knew the universe didn't happen by chance.

Atheism and evolution are dead. Science destroyed them. Those claiming evolution is scientific must demonstrate that life can come from non-life by purely material processes and that one life form can turn into another, higher form.

Science demands it. Put up or shut up.

Here's what the Journal printed:

The big lie, recently reiterated by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones in the Dover, PA case, is that evolution is "scientific" but that creation/design is not. The opposite is true. It is WRONG for the courts to let atheists use public schools and public money to teach a (very unscientific) theory that supports their atheism, while forbidding believers to teach a (scientific) theory that supports their beliefs.

An effective way to debunk evolution is to use Darwin himself. He has no fewer than four chapters in The Origin Of Species which present serious problems with his own theory: "Chapter VI --Difficulties of the Theory," wherein he touches on "design" questions in discussing "Organs of extreme perfection" (such as the eye); "Chapter VII --Miscellaneous Objections to the Theory of Natural Selection," wherein he actually discredits the modern theory of "punctuated equilibrium" in discussing "Reasons for disbelieving in great and abrupt modifications" of changes within species; "Chapter VIII --Instinct,"wherein he discusses "Difficulties of the theory of the natural selection of instincts"; and "Chapter X --"On the Imperfection of the Geological Record" --my Quotes from Darwin in the editorial come from this chapter. A judge can scarcely say that Darwin's book is "scientific" except for four chapters.

FYI: The Journal also dis-remembered that Tom has TWO degrees: a B.S. Bio (Magna cum Laude) from Boston College, and an MS Educational Psych, (4.0 GPA) from UW-Milwaukee.

Judge Robertson: A "Reversal Record" Contestant

The X42-appointee who quit the FISA Court for unknown reasons (speculation is that he's in a snit over bad feeeeeelllllllllllings about National Defense)--did he have a track record?

Yup.

As a District Judge, he got reversed a lot. A LOT.

Recall that X42 had a 'pal' at the Second Circuit, who tricked up the hearing-judge calendar whenever Ken Starr brought motions/pleas?--Yeah--one of the favorite "friendlies" was none other than Robertson.

Too bad that impeachment of a Fed bench-sitter requires that he be videotaped committing a crime (and who knows? the Dimowits might block that, too...)

Powerline has the story.

"O" of December 22nd

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Richard Rohr, OFM (Gnostic)

(Fr.) Richard Rohr writes columns, some of which escape the dank confines to which they should be assigned and actually get in front of adults and children (!!) in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Here's a sample, and some commentary from Catholic World News:

If you want and need religion, I think the Papacy is rather excellent at providing just that. No one does it better, and it will continue to appeal to a large percentage of humanity, many young people, and then again at the end of life. Individuals need the container to get started; nations and cultures need religion to hold together. Institutional Christianity, and the Papacy in particular, will give you intellectual arguments, enchanting rituals, grand historical sweep, a fine belonging system, and a clear morality to give you pleasing ego boundaries. This will hold you together quite well. It works at deep and good levels. It can create the real beginnings of spiritual desire, as it did for me.

But just remember, it can also give you just enough of God to quite effectively inoculate you from any need or search for the real thing. This is the normal pattern, in my experience. "I have no need for inner experience. I have outer assurances". In fact, I find a rather clear correlation between one's preoccupation with outer forms and one's lack of any inner substance.

The question for me is how much of your life do you want to give to maintaining, supporting, and cheering the container, and when do you get on to finding your real life and "giving it away"? Any preoccupation with exalting or maintaining Peter does not seem to be the least part of Jesus' teaching, but once you replace the contents with the container, Peter becomes your concern, your figurehead, your projection screen, even your vicarious salvation. Peter is fine, but he was never meant to be a substitute for Jesus or the Gospel.

"If you want and need religion ..." It's all there, isn't it? The sharp, invidious divisions: container vs. content, exterior forms vs. interior reality, plebeian morality vs. patrician enlightenment. Even the patronizing tone is perfect. Remember the unctuously condescending gnostic (Marcias, the tutor turned traveling mystic) in Waugh's Helena? Rohr all over.

Let me concede that there's a grain of truth in his picture. It does happen that some Christians content themselves with purely formal compliance with the concrete requirements of churchmanship and cultivate no interest in God. But Rohr doesn't see this as a defective adherence to religion but as the function of religion full stop. It's a place to begin, a ladder that you kick away once you've used it to climb to a higher plane: "Religion can create the real beginnings of spiritual desire, as it did for me."

Note that, for Rohr, it doesn't matter much which religion you begin with. He's not really interested in truth claims. Where Judaism and Catholicism and Hinduism disagree, they've all missed the point. This puts him at variance with the huge majority of the adherents of these religions, of course, as does his tellingly dismissive compliment paid to morality: it can give you "pleasing ego boundaries." I'm not sure what ego boundaries are exactly, but I suspect they're the kind of thing that fortuitously tend to dissolve in an all-men's bath house in the Castro district.

It's clear that Rohr's Higher Life is not markedly family friendly. Breeders -- those simple folks engaged in the messy and fatiguing struggle to pay school fees and dental bills and turn their children into Christian adults -- aren't going to find much sympathy from him. After all, they make considerable sacrifices to keep alive some remnant of the "institutional Christianity" that Rohr disdains, and put themselves to great trouble to connect their children with it. One feels Rohr would advise the family interested in God (as opposed to mere religion) to stay home on Sunday mornings and watch the Discovery Channel. I'm wryly amused by the image of a Catholic mom, stuffing her four young children into snowsuits, unstuffing the one who has to go to the bathroom, re-fitting him, cramming the family into the minivan, racing to church on icy roads, and arriving steamy and panting three minutes late for the start of Mass -- only to meet Father Rohr in the vestibule, with his superior half-smile: "Institutional Christianity, and the Papacy in particular, will give you intellectual arguments, enchanting rituals, grand historical sweep, a fine belonging system ..."

Some of us are painfully aware of unctious, condescending priests--they show up at close range often, here in Milwaukee.

NYSlimes Reporting Methodology








Sorry it's so small, Xoff. But you get the idea.

Poll Question

OK.

Who's more embarassing to the State of Wisconsin?

A) the 3-win Packer team which did an El Foldo on Monday night?

or

B) Feingold, (D-AlQuaeda) who wants the US to do an El Foldo on its own National Security?

"O" of December 21st

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Xoff Tries the Spin Tricks

Backed up by the Milwaukee Driveling Sentinel, Xoff seems to think that Rusty Feingold, (D-AlQuaeda) is some sort of hero.

We await Xoff's terse and pithy condemnation of FDR for his internment of Japanese-Americans and Italian-Americans during WWII.

We're still waiting for Xoff-the-Statist's terse and pithy condemnation of Kelo--so my advice to you readers is: don't hold your breath.

Feinie is an embarassment, at best, on the issue of national security and it would serve Xoff well to disconnect from the brown-end of that horse--immediately.

Was it Rockefeller (D-Saudi Arabia)???

The AmericanSpectator blogsite has a tantalizing little bit about Jay Rockefeller, (who is allegedly a United States Senator.)

Seems that Rockefeller is known as a leaker and serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, with Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Ks.)

Roberts issued a statement this morning, blowing Rockebozo out of the water:

"I am puzzled by the release yesterday of a July 2003 letter from Senator Rockefeller to the Vice President regarding the recently exposed intelligence collection program, which was authorized by the President shortly after September 11, 2001.

“In his letter and accompanying press statement, Senator Rockefeller asserts that he had lingering concerns about the program designed to protect the American people from another attack, but was prohibited from doing anything about it.

“A United States Senator has significant tools with which to wield power and influence over the executive branch. Feigning helplessness is not one of those tools.

“If Senator Rockefeller truly had the concerns he claimed to have had in his two and a half year old letter, he could have pursued a number of options to have those concerns addressed:

1. First, he could have discussed his concerns with me or other Members of Congress who had been briefed on the program. He never asked me or the Committee to take any action consistent with the “concerns” raised in his letter.

2. Second, he could have raised objections with the Vice President during one of the many briefings we received. I have no recollection of Senator Rockefeller objecting to the program at the many briefings he and I attended together. In fact, it is my recollection that on many occasions Senator Rockefeller expressed to the Vice President his vocal support for the program. His most recent expression of support was only two weeks ago.

3. Finally, he could have pursued any number of legislative remedies. He chose to pursue none.

“Senator Rockefeller could have taken any of these approaches to adress his “lingering concerns.” He did not. He chose instead to write a letter to the Vice President and for two and a half years, keep a copy of the letter in the Intelligence Committee vault and say nothing to anyone.

“For the nearly three years Senator Rockefeller has served as Vice Chairman, I have heard no objection from him about this valuable program. Now, when it appears to be politically advantageous, Senator Rockefeller has chosen to release his two and a half year old letter. Forgive me if I find this to be inconsistent and a bit disingenuous.”

No less disingenous than Feingold's (D-AlQuaeda) sniveling and whining about "civil rights."

ENEMIES HAVE NO CIVIL RIGHTS, Feinie, you dumbass.

Birthday

Having a birthday near Christmas is not a bad thing--among other bennies, the occasion allows for more-than-the-usual-expense goodies to be purchased for BOTH occasions.

That's how it worked this time, when I was very pleased to receive the entire (hardbound) opus of Watterson--Calvin & Hobbes from beginning to end. (The damn thing weighs near 50 pounds, btw. Careful!)

A few of the chilluns were able to justify it on the "two-gifts" theory described above. Neat.

Also, two (TWO!!) French Chocolate pies plus a single-serve of same. Of course, the pies are now reduced to 1/8 of 1, as the chilluns seemed to have fasted in anticipation; three white shirts, JIT-delivery formulation, and...

a Dan Wesson .357mag. Damn fine piece, great balance, shoots straight and consistent groups, a fine "in the waistband" for around-the-house use, especially if I were Kathy Stepp.

Kinder, Gentler, GWB

Scrappleface offers a solution:

The new National Do Not Wiretap Registry (DoNotWiretap.gov) follows the successful DoNotCall.gov model of allowing citizens to opt-out of harassment by electronic means.

If you are concerned that your civil rights might be violated simply because some al Qaeda member has your information in his cellphone or computer, the president said, then go to DoNotWiretap.gov, enter your contact phone number, email address, and names of terrorists who might have you on speed dial and let the National Security Administration know that you don't want them eavesdropping on you.

Sen. Feingold--jump right in here, you jackass.

Don't Like FISA? Then Try C-In-C

Hinderaker makes another point:

Many people seem not to understand that the executive branch is of equal authority with the legislative and judicial branches. The President has Constitutional powers upon which Congress cannot impinge. Thus, if the President has the authority to direct the armed forces to intercept phone calls received by telephones used by terrorists in Afghanistan, as I think he surely does, that authority cannot be taken away by Congressional action. Consequently, while the fine points of FISA and the scope of Congress's authorization of war in Iraq are interesting topics, the legality of the NSA program does not necessarily turn on statutory analysis. If, as I think, the program falls within the President's Constitutional authority as commander in chief, there is nothing that Congress could do about it, even if it tried. Which it hasn't.

Personally, I think that prosecuting a WAR requires that action be taken immediately to disable or neutralize the enemy. The position that Feingold (D-Vainglory and AlQuaeda) has taken is in stark contrast to common sense.

There is also the argument (cited below) from Captain'sQuarters that FISA specifically addresses only LEGAL immigrants who are not here on student visas--thus, the vast majority of people who are terrorist accomplices are simply not protected under FISA.

Sen. Specter (R-Snakes and Abortionists) has 'skepticism' about the President's powers as C-In-C. Since we know that Spectral Specter also has 'skepticism' about pre-born infants being actual human beings, it demonstrates that he is at least consistently skeptical about common sense, too.

Feinie is also consistent. It is a very rare occasion when Feinie votes FOR a military-spending bill.

We could conclude that Feinie is mainlining Coke.

It's All Coke's Fault

You know, the "Coke overcomes all..." bilge, where polar bears meet penguins (real-world check: last count, they live about 12,000 miles apart...)

And it's a happy ending with Coke.

The commercial encapsulates the Foreign Policy sophistication of Senator Feingold (D-AlQuaeda) and Ms. Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury Redux) --much like the 'Tenement Top' concert commercial they ran during the summer.

One notices that the Coke commercials never feature a picture of the vacant airspace where the World Trade Center used to exist...

"O" of December 20th

O Key of David:

Monday, December 19, 2005

Sen Feingold (D-Complete Idiot)--PAY ATTENTION

Look, Senator, I have family in the States.

I have friends overseas who are occupied in war zones.

Your self-aggrandizing BS is now pissing me off, mightily. Jim Sensenbrenner knows from 'civil liberties,' and HE thinks that the Patriot Act, as amended, passes muster.

GWBush apparently knows a hell of a lot more about FISA than you do--and for that matter, my 8th-grader knows more about Constitutional law than you do, based on your cockamamie reverse-negative crap (see below if you need more, Senator Stupid.)

I'd hate to think that any of my family or overseas friends got hurt because you think that it's time to revive Gene McCarthy's campaign.

So get this straight, Senator Asshole: change your votes. Clear?

Jolly Wrong, Corrected...

The blog "Regret the Error" has published its "Corrections of the Year" awards, highlighting MSM stupidities in the 'extraordinary' class. Unfortunately, such stupidities must be acknowledged by the MSM originator to make "Corrections,"--which leaves the ordinary MSM prejudices out of the column.

Nonetheless, we rather like this one:

This jolly typo/correction comes from the Liverpool Daily News in England:

Technology has revolutionised most of our lives in recent years and the media has particularly benefited from developments in IT and communications.

But all technology should always be treated with a degree of caution. This was a lesson brought into sharp focus last week following a review of the Welsh National Opera's double bill performance of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci at the Empire Theatre. The problem arose when the computer spell checker did not recognise the term "WNO" (Welsh National Opera).

A slip of the finger caused it to be replaced with the word "winos". All stories in the Daily Post go through a series of checks for error, but unfortunately this one slipped through the net. It just goes to show that it's hard to beat the good, old-fashioned dictionary.

A second runner-up, but a delight, eh wot?

HT: Godfaddah

"O" of December 19th

"Root of Jesse"

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"O Antiphons" Countdown to Christmas

These are the last seven days of Advent, the 'great ferias,' and each of them gets its own "O Antiphon". Each of the antiphons provide another name for Christ who is to come.

These are the "O"s for the first two days (got into this a little late, obviously.)



Note the first letter of the appelations (Sapientia, Adonai) When all of them are published here, if you take the first letters and create an acrostic in REVERSE order, they form Ero cras, Latin for "I Shall Come," or "I Will Be."

Let us pray--that these will serve as an antidote to the nausea you all experienced when reading the post below!

Bush and Intercepts of Communications

Captain's Quarters, once again, sets it straight.

Yes, indeed, the NYSlimes' story is BS--artfully disguised. That is to say, the President did what he was authorized to do--explicitly authorized to do--despite the bitch-ninny Feingold's horrific mis-reading of US law.

People have the impression that FISA requires warrants from the FISA judge, but that isn't what FISA says at all. In fact, FISA gives the government wide latitude in warrantless surveillance of international communications even when one point originates in the US -- as long as the person in the US does not qualify as a "US person":

(i) “United States person” means a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in section 1101 (a)(20) of title 8), an unincorporated association a substantial number of members of which are citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or a corporation which is incorporated in the United States, but does not include a corporation or an association which is a foreign power, as defined in subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this section.

And further,

In fact, the only people who need to make this call are the President and the Attorney General, and it doesn't even make the accidental or tangential exposure of communications with US persons a crime. It only requires that the AG ensure that mitigation procedures have been applied to ensure compliance with FISA. The only way that one can violate this law is if the law gets intentionally violated. In other words, one would have to prove that Bush intentionally ordered the surveillance of a qualifying US person.

Since the targets within the US got identified through intelligence developed through captures of al-Qaeda agents and their equipment, it seems rather unlikely that they had contacts with many US-born American citizens. Most AQ assets enter countries on student visas -- which does not qualify them as a US person under FISA and therefore does not extend them the protection of warrants prior to or during surveillance.

Note that a US person must either be a US citizen or someone lawfully admitted to the US for permanent residence. If someone resides in the US on a visa and not a green card, they do not qualify, nor do they qualify if they get a green card under false pretenses. FISA authorizes warrantless surveillance in its opening chapter

Nothing more to be said.

Ghastly Liturgical Stories, Chapter 3,265

Just when you think that you're inured--that your armor-plating is sufficient--and that there is NO level of asininity that remains to be plumbed...

That's when you hear the update.

A Milwaukee suburban parish's Christmas concert will include the Mozart Ave Verum as part of the pre-Christmas Mass concert. Yup. How could I make this up?

You know, the piece which has the text about 'for us, [Your Body], sacrificed, perforated, ...flowing Blood and Water...' you know: CHRISTMAS stuff.

And, by the way, the piece will be sung in English, just in case nobody gets the connection.

It's worth remembering that the Director-ette/Liturgeist of this Parish has earned an MA from the seminary. Given this credential, it's obvious that our thoughts are uninformed.

We take comfort in the knowledge that the Liturgeist has affirmed that the Ave Verum is, indeed, "highbrow music."

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Defend Vrakas?

Da Godfaddah, Charlie, mentions that nobody--but nobody--is defending Vrakas for his rather messy "deparature scene" melodrama at the Courthouse.

Ummmmm......Vrakas never took anyone into his confidence and said (for publication on some blog, or in some newspaper) that there was a REASON to dump Finley.

So, even if someone were inclined to be nice and helpful, with what tools? Any ammo handy?

All we are left to conclude is that Vrakas did what was best for himself and his office. That's the logical conclusion.

As to a rationale--dohhh...I dunno, chief.

Why Can't Weeeeee Beeeeee Friends?

The smarmy and dimwitted CIA takes a well-deserved hit:

Mr. Scheuer, he of pseudo-“Anonymous” fame, who was supposedly “in charge” of the Bin Laden desk, was clearly not up to the task. Instead of low cunning, he offered a kind of Boy Scoutish, or rather Cub Scoutish, simplemindedness, and clearly understood nothing about the theory and practice of Islam. His every remark showed this. Yet apparently he was kept on for many years. The C.I.A. needs to have a cadre created, or expanded, of people who will be given the necessary leisure to read widely in the history of Islam -- and particularly to learn something about its teachings, and about Jihad-conquest, and about the very similar treatment, through time and space, of non-Muslims under Muslim rule. They then need to be trained in the fissures, or disgruntlements, within Islam itself. They need to learn as well about the points of obvious weakness that can be emphasized to non-Muslims all over the world, who are grossly underinformed about the nature of Islam.

One hopes that the C.I.A. is not pulling any punches about Islam. If it echoes the nonsense from the government about the “extremists” in Islam, and continues to offer a sanitized version of Islam instead of the Ibn Warraq or Ali Sina version, then there is not much to expect from those on whom we rely for our own security, and from whom we have a right to expect at least as hard-eyed a view as was taken by the secret services of America and England with the Nazis and then with the Communists. All pieties, all vagueness, all denial of reality, really have no place, whatever role they may have in public diplomacy (and it has been a grave error to define the current, and continuing, and endless but manageable conflict as a “war on terrorism” instead of as a “war against the Jihad”). And even the latter formulation, while much saner and more realistic, needs to be amplified: the Jihad has many instruments, and the three D’s -- Da’wa, demography, and dhimmitude -- are more potent, in the end, than intermittent terrorism.


And while we're at it, DhimmiWatch mentions a corollary which the MSM has managed to ignore, for the most part:

Archbishop Charles Chaput, of the diocese of Denver, broke free from politically correct restrictions to speak openly about growing Moslem persecution of Christians, in an address to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, of which he is a member.
“Anti-Christian discrimination and violence seem to be growing throughout the Islamic world,” said Archbishop Chaput. “In the past several years, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and even Moslem-controlled areas of the heavily Catholic Philippines have all seen extraordinary acts of bloodshed against Christians.”


The Archbishop expressed his concern over consistent lack of media attention given to acts of violence against Christians.

“Three things distinguish anti-Christian persecution and discrimination around the world. First, it’s ugly. Second, it’s growing. And third, the mass media generally ignore or downplay its gravity.”


More "cultural incompatibility" issues arise in Northern Europe:

Some Muslim immigrants admit their bias quite openly. An Islamic Mufti in Copenhagen sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are "asking for rape." Apparently, he's not the only one thinking this way. “It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably f+*+*+* before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.” It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne – this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background. “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore…… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That’s what I am going to do. I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get f+*+*+* to pieces.”

So maybe young Muslims are not really "dating material" for my daughters...unless my daughters are carrying a nice S&W in .357...

Boots and Sabers quotes a former WSJ foreign-affairs reporter who quit his job to join the USMarines:

When you live abroad long enough, you come to understand that governments that behave this way are not the exception, but the rule. They feel alien to us, but from the viewpoint of the world’s population, we are the aliens, not them. That makes you think about protecting your country no matter who you are or what you’re doing. What impresses you most, when you don’t have them day to day, are the institutions that distinguish the U.S.: the separation of powers, a free press, the right to vote, and a culture that values civic duty and service, to name but a few.

I’m not an uncritical, rah-rah American. Living abroad has sharpened my view of what’s wrong with my country, too. It’s obvious that we need to reinvent ourselves in various ways, but we should also be allowed to do it from within, not according to someone else’s dictates.

Which quote brings us back to the top of the post: what the Hell is the CIA actually doing out there in Langley besides criminal leaking? Maybe hiring a few folks who did NOT graduate from Smarmy University, but rather from a school with a degree program in Nasty, Brutish, and Short would be helpful. Think of it: Chuck Chvala (D-Dane County Jail) could rehabilitate his reputation--or at least put to GOOD use the skills he worked so hard to sharpen.

The Problem with Feinie

Feingold, (D-Arrogant and Condescending) makes the wrong point in his response to GWB's weekly address:

Feingold also argues that whatever is not explicitly legal is somehow prohibited under American law, but the opposite is true. In order for something to be illegal, it has to be explicitly made so by law. Anything unaddressed remains legal until the Legislature makes it illegal.

If I recall correctly, Feingold's horrific mis-understanding of US law is actually true--in Germany.

As noted by CQ, the blogger who caught Feinie's flapdoodle, were Feinie's take actually operative, the US would be a tyranny.

Of course, that's exactly what the Arrogant and Condescending want--a tyranny. Certainly suits the style of X42 and Hildebeeste, (D-Candidate from Hell.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Magi Meditation

Yes, it's a bit early for chat about Ephiphany, the Twelfth Day...but Evelyn Waugh's prayer to the Kings is worth repeating in preparation, as well as in celebration of their day:

"Like me," she said to [the Magi], "you were late in coming.... You are my especial patrons," said Helena, "and patrons of all late-comers, of all who have a tedious journey to make to the truth, of all who are confused with knowledge and speculation, of all who through politeness make themselves partners in guilt, of all who stand in danger by reason of their talents.... For His sake who did not reject your curious gifts, pray always for the learned, the oblique, the delicate. Let them not be quite forgotten at the Throne of God when the simple come into their kingdom."

More Waugh--on far less serious topics (mostly):

[On] politics, which Waugh loathed: "I have never voted in a parliamentary election.... I do not aspire to advise my Sovereign in her choice of servants";

(2) modern art: "Perhaps in the Providence of God the unqualified hideosity of Modern Art has been sent us to scourge us";

(3) psychology: "Voodoo, bog-magic, the wise woman's cabin -- there isn't such a thing as psychology ... the whole thing's a fraud";

(4) socialism: "[Marxism is] the new opium of the people [and] the ideal of a classless society is so unnatural to man that his reason, in practice, cannot bear the strain";

(5) the sexual revolution: "Responsible people -- doctors, psychologists, novelists -- write in the papers and say, 'You cannot be happy unless your sex life is happy.' That seems to me just about as sensible as saying, 'You cannot lead a happy life unless your golf life is happy.' It is not only nonsense, it is mischievous nonsense";

(6) the health and dieting craze: "Food can and should be a source of delight. As for 'nutrition,' that is all balls";

(7) liturgical reform: "'Participation' in the Mass does not mean hearing our own voices. It means God hearing our voices."

All stolen from Blosser's Homepage. If you read the linked article, there's a LOT more, especially on the definition of "snob," which Waugh may have been--but maybe not.

Still Think Gard is a Good Guy?

No Runny does the math for you on his post.

John Gard has demonstrated to Mark Belling and Charlie Sykes that he can f*&^ Wisconsin residents and taxpayers 9 ways from Sunday, and he's perfectly happy to do so.

History 101:

1) Gard makes it perfectly clear that he has NO interest in honest politics, affirming that taxation without representation is his preferred mode of governance.

2) Belling, Sykes, and others raise holy Hell about Gard's position and force a vote on the matter.

3) Gard suddenly reverses course on Indexing--Belling and Sykes claim victory.

4) Gard immediately sees to passage of the Corn-a-Hole bill (that's descriptive, not exactly scientifically accurate.) Because Corn-a-Hole is less efficient, Wisconsin motorists will buy more gasoline. Thus, the Highway Paver/DOT Estimate-Buster lobby is not just protected, but rewarded!

REPEAT: DOT will have MORE money to waste on highway projects, and will piss away MORE money than ever before.

5) Gard smirks his way to his Congressional race and gives the bird to Belling and Sykes.

You've been had, radio-boys.

The Value of the Free Press, (If Used)

Although there's good reason to bemoan the MSM (part of it will be cited here), there's also a good reason the Founders enshrined 'free press' in the 1st Amendment.

The free press, for example, would be all over this sort of story in the US:

On December 6, 2005, villagers in Shanwei, a small town in Southern China, staged a protest outside of a power plant that had been built on their expropriated farms. Acting with their usual restraint, the Communists fired machine guns into the crowd of men, women and children.

The Communist Chinese government is claiming only 3 dead, but Lost Budgie's China sources say the number will eventually reach over 100 dead. Telecommunications and internet service in the area have been cut off, and police have been confiscating cameras and cell-phones. The bodies of the dead have not been returned to the families and it is expected by many that the Communists will dispose of the bodies to hide the death toll and killing of children.

Except that the Free Press is NOT all over this story:

The Epoch Times is following the story closely, but no one in the western media really seems to give a damn.

PRChina holds an interesting position in the world. There are lots of US apologists for PRC, and many of them are major players in the Fortune 500 (Rick Waggoner, for example, doesn't mention PRC's little problems like this one.) After all, there's money to be made over there, right?

GWB and the State bozos have been very quiet, although the President has recently begun speaking up about PRC's notorious and well-reported human rights abuses (of the sort described above) and religious-rights abuses (see, e.g., any story on Catholic priests or Christians in PRChina.)

The US press has been ambivalent, at best, and clueless or silent at worst. Sorta reminds you of the US press' take on Saddam back a few years ago, eh?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Genuine Ninny-dom Example

Commenting on Wisconsin's CCW law, a ninny of the Left (redundant, I know) sketches a ghastly scenario of the foreboding future in Wisconsin on Monday nights:

The way the law works, he’ll have to keep up the vigilance when he gets home if wants to prevent people from bringing guns into his house.

When his buddies come over for a Monday Night Football game, if he wants to make sure that none of them bring a gun into his house, he must “verbally and orally” notify them them that they can’t bring concealed weapons into the house.

If he forgets, their rights to carry a gun in his house are intact. He might as well post a sign by the door in case he forgets, and so that there is not misunderstanding.

OMG!!! I suppose that if your friends are likely to shoot your house up over the results of Monday Night Football, the casual observer might question your choice of friends...

But not in NinnyLand.

Attention, Wisconsin Capitol Ninny Squad

The perfect Christmas gift for the Capitol Ninny Squad (Pedro Colon, D-Infantile, Leader):

Canadian auto regulators are testing a system that would enforce speed limits by making it harder to push down the car's gas pedal once the speed limit is passed, according to a newspaper report.

The system being tested by Transport Canada, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation, uses a global positioning satellite device installed in the car to monitor the car's speed and position. If the car begins to significantly exceed the speed limit for the road on which it's travelling the system responds by making it harder to depress the gas pedal, according to a story posted on the Toronto Globe and Mail's Website.

No mention whether the system will be installed in State of Wisconsin-owned vehicles and disable the auto when a DUI driver enters the car.

Evidently Transport Canada has never heard of "passing," wherein a vehicle accelerates beyond the speed limit to get past lethargic Government-payroll employees who are, after all, on the clock and don't really have to get anyplace.

HT: Bainbridge




More "Religion of Peace" Crap

Alright, I'll admit it: when the Muslims burned down France, I wasn't too concerned. That's OK--neither was Mitterand's government.

Now they're burning down Australia, too:

Muslims Attack-Burn Christian Churches in Sydney, Australia - Carol-singers Spat Upon etc.Adrian from Cablog reports that while the beaches have been quiet, things are heating up in other areas - with attacks upon half a dozen Christian churches in the last 24 hours.

More here in The Australian.

HT: Lost Budgie

"Religion of Peace"?--Maybe Not

Another astounding tale of CIA incompetence (why do you think they're Bush-bashing over at Langley, anyway?) broken by Front Page Magazine, coupled with a dark revelation:

“Today we are confronted with a stateless threat that does not have at the strategic level targetable entities: no capitals, no economic base, no military formations or installations,” states a new Pentagon briefing paper I’ve obtained. “Yet political Islam wages an ideological battle against the non-Islamic world at the tactical, operational and strategic level. The West’s response is focused at the tactical and operation level, leaving the strategic level — Islam — unaddressed.”

So far the conclusions of intelligence analysts assigned to the project, who include both private contractors and career military officials, contradict the commonly held notion that Islam is a peaceful religion hijacked or distorted by terrorists. They’ve found that the terrorists for the most part are following a war-fighting doctrine articulated through Muhammad in the Quran, elaborated on in the hadiths, codified in Islamic or sharia law, and reinforced by recent interpretations or fatwahs.

“Islam is an ideological engine of war (Jihad),” concludes the sensitive Pentagon briefing paper. And “no one is looking for its off switch.”

As usual, it's Little Green Footballs who found the item.

The Pentagon commissioned the study because after 10 years of Jihads, bombings, and attacks on US buildings, ships (etc.) abroad, and after >25 years of similar attacks on Israel, our fine-feather(bedded) CIA had not yet inquired about Islam. Not at all. No interest. Zip. Zero. Nada.

Most of my 3 regular readers understand that REAL wars are fought over religion--and yes, both Hitler and Stalin had 'religions,' (atheistic or idol-worship, take your pick) as does Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and others.

Those who do NOT understand this are the pointy-heads commonly hired by the CIA, State, and other Universities: educated beyond 'religion' and serenely unaware of the impact of faith on actions. Seems to me that most of those poor slobs should get refunds from their Ivy League almae matres.

Teacher, Student

Kevin and Dennis both covered this--and the real credit goes to the JS reporter--but it's so damn disgusting that I want to post it anyway:

Remember ex-Chvala staffer Paula McGuire's breathless account of what a great guy convicted felon Chuck is? The one where she recounts how Chuck emptied his own trash and allowed a Capitol janitor to sit in on a policy meeting where they all ate pizza? A great story, right?

Too bad it isn't true.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Steve Walters actually talked to the janitor, who said it never happened.

Ms. McGuire simply did what she'd been taught--lie, lie, lie. Make up a good story! Who the hell will bother to check?

Works for Clinton.

By the way, Steve Walters: the title should be The Chvala Code--some fact, and a LOT of fiction.