Sunday, September 30, 2007

Too Good Not to Steal

This is cute, and stolen (whole and entire) from The Digital Hairshirt.

It's entitled "Why MEN Don't Write Advice Columns" (bear that in mind...)

Dear Ask Al:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a few hundred yards down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was parading in front ofthe wardrobe mirror dressed in my underwear and high-heel shoes, and he was wearing my make up. I am 42, my husband is 44 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he tried to make out that he had dressed in my lingerie because he couldn't find his own underwear. But when I asked him about the make up, he broke down and admitted that he'd been wearing my clothes for six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him. He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore. Can you please help?

Sincerely, Mrs. Sheila Lusk

Dear Sheila:

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber. I hope this helps.

Al

Frankly, I thought Al was spot-on. It's most likely a fuel problem.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's LONDON, Not South Africa

I've heard and seen this error too many times.

Miller (Whips'n'Leather) Brewing is owned by South African Brewing Co.,

.....which is BASED IN LONDON, ENGLAND!!!

not in South Africa.

Another good reason for 1776.

The Marxist on the 2A

From Arms and the Law:

I don't consider the "liberal wing" as a lost cause, as Tushnet apparently does. The leading lights on the individual rights side are all quite liberal. Akhil Amar, Sanford Levinson, William van Alstyne. Don Kates and Joe Olson got their start as civil rights workers who took up arms to defend against attack. This issue resonates across political lines. Heck, I know a devout Marxist who is a lifer in the NRA, and his explanations make more sense than the conservative ones. I.e., how will the workers defend themselves without arms? Why do most gun control schemes have exceptions for corporations' hired guards?

(Not that anyone expects a Rockefeller family guard to gun them down...)

It so happens, however, that it is remark about the NFA is true.

Your Marxist friend is right. As you know, the NFA contains a provision that allows corporations and trusts to purchase NFA firearms without local law enforcement sign-off; individuals have to be approved by the local CLEO.

As you also know, only the military and law enforcement can presently purchase machine guns that were made after May 1986. Someone is floating a proposal to allow security companies, who conveniently have contracts with state or federal governments, to purchase newly made machine guns.


So as "Arms" posits, the Parker case may well be THE 'case of the term' for SCOTUS--the decision may well have an effect on various provisions of the NFA, such as the 'newer' machine-gun ban.

After all, machine guns are common military weapons--sorta like what a 'militia' should be familiar with. Given the usual restrictions on purchases (and the zillion-dollar budget required to feed and maintain machine guns) I don't think that availability will have a big impact.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Those Who Did NOT Speak at Columbia U.

Read the poster.



"Cheap" Employees vs. The Customer

Clayton has a problem with his HP. (He ain't the first. NONE of my family member will ever again purchase an HP laptop. It's better to purchase a car which was underwater for several months than an HP laptop.)

In any case, he also discovers something: that there IS a computer manufacturer who does not outsource its customer service to "cheap labor" countries.

A reader points out that someone has taken up the challenge. Gateway advertises:
Now offering 100% North America-based telephone technical support.

That would not necessarily have prevented Clayton's problem--nor does Gateway necessarily have better customer-support software and systems.

But it would have saved him a lot of time just in repeating numbers over and over and over and over...

It is becoming more clear (albeit we're 5 years away from the 'tipping point,') that outsourcing for "cheap labor" is NOT the answer. Whether it's junk (or poison) parts, llllloooooooonnnnng shipping delays, or the inability to understand plain English--sooner or later the customer simply goes away.

The Lesson of Tennessee for Wisconsin Residents

This will be fun to watch--because there WILL be a Federal lawsuit.

Starting today, state Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states, then charging them with a crime and, in some cases, seizing their cars.

Critics say the new “cigarette surveillance program” amounts to the use of “police state” tactics and wrongfully interferes with interstate commerce. But state Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr says his department is simply doing its job, enforcing a valid state law while protecting Tennessee retailers who properly pay state taxes.


Agents have already been watching out-of-state stores that sell cigarettes near the Tennessee border to “get a feel where problem areas are,” Farr said.

While declining to be specific, the commissioner said “problem areas” are generally along interstate highways with exits near the Tennessee border.

Of course, 4th Amendment will come into play here. Searching cars for legal products is not founded on "probable cause" under any circumstance--although it may be interesting to watch a case which involves re-selling the butts.

That "protecting retailers" phrase is also of interest. Here we have a State official who explicitly states that they are using State law-enforcement resources to "protect retailers" from importation of legal products from another State for personal use. That's a new one, but similar to the Wisconsin expenditures to implement the Internet Sales Tax regime.

Of course, I will be pricing cigarettes in Illinois when the Republicans cave on the butt tax, and I intend to utilize the differential for my own benefit. There are many others who will be doing the same thing. It's one thing to ask for a self-declaration for 'use-tax' purposes but another thing entirely to do search-and-siezure. And as to 'use-tax': shall the State of Wisconsin begin collecting "use-tax" on gasoline purchased in Minnesota but used in Wisconsin?

And there are rules which come into play, beginning with Rule Number One:

NEVER allow a cop to search your vehicle for cigarettes. It ain't no crime to have 20 cartons of cigarettes in the USA which were legally purchased for personal consumption, even if they were purchased in another State.

After Rule Number One comes Rule Number Two: have your attorney's number on speed-dial.

Rule Number Three: have a nice "damages" number in mind--about 10x what you actually want.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Church and Liberalism

An excerpt from a very lengthy (and worthwhile) blogpost.

The excerpt will give you a flavor for the post's discussion, but also is the core.

...the Church has elevated certain elements of the classical liberal agenda—and without compromise—by divorcing liberalism from its historic excesses. By situating liberalism within a Christian philosophical and theological framework, the Church has sufficiently anchored liberalism’s vision of individual liberty and human rights in a proper anthropology.

This process began with Pius IX’s 1864 Syllabus of Errors, which condemned the radical elements of the liberal movement, and has continued all the way through John Paul II’s encyclical letter, Fides et Ratio. By asserting this, however, I am also recognizing that the Church has condemned the excesses and abuses of liberalism. Among these would be the errors of atomistic individualism, the absolute right to private property, the idea that law originates from the will of the people, and the rejection of legitimate authority, especially the moral authority of the Church. Yet I would suggest that these condemnations, and others, have been carefully focused on specific errors of liberalism so as not to disregard many of the key insights that liberals advanced, such as religious liberty, freedom of association, and economic liberty.

Admittedly, the Church has prudently taken more than a century to develop her teaching on these matters. Consequently, the nuancing of liberalism has been gradual and slow to develop.

--Michael Therrien, published by Acton Institute

Worth remembering.

That's It for Miller; Now It Will Be .410 Target

My home, my choice!

I've never really liked Miller Brewing products--the "Lite" beer is froggy-water with yellow coloring, anyway; the only decent formula they have was purchased, and the "High Life" label gives people headaches.

But Miller has chosen its markets carefully. Fine.

Going forward, no Miller at this residence. I don't care if you bring your own; the 12-packs will be emptied by a single blast from my .410 shotgun.

I, too, can "choose"--or if you prefer, "UN-choose."

The "Marriage Amendment" Redux?

A crank from UW-Oshkosh gets a curious concession.

A Dane County Circuit Court judge today ruled that a Door County man doesn't have the right to challenge a state constitutional amendment defining marriage on constitutional grounds, but left open the possibility he could be allowed to challenge it based on how it was presented to voters.

...However, Niess [the judge] directed both sides to provide more information on the question of whether the amendment was properly put to voters. McConkey is arguing that it wasn't because a constitutional amendment should only contain one subject, while this one contained several.

Nope. The single topic was gay "marriage," including any and all variations thereof by name or in fact.

And the "presentation" made by gay "marriage" supporters was blatantly fraudulent. Wouldn't it be fun if Judge Niess found that?

Another Audit at Red's

In the "ongoing news" section, we find that Red's had ANOTHER BATFE audit.

It's finally become clear to Red's that the business of BATFE auditors is to 'find problems' and they're going to 'find them' at Red's.

Still think that the term "jackboot" is meaningless in the USA?

Lefty Argues Against "Healthy Wisconsin"

On another blog, there's a discussion of Walker's parks-labor plan. One of the Lefties argues that Walker's plan is bad. No surprise.

Perhaps you recall that the Lefties have argued (falsely) that "Healthy Wisconsin" will deliver health-care to EVERYONE in the State for no real increase in cost. Nobody believes that, of course--not even the Lefties.

How do I know that? They TOLD me:

Walker gives you a tax freeze, so you pay no more in taxes, but you get less in services. That would equate to a tax hike, thus saving one nothing, but hurting everyone.

See where he's going? He argues that Walker's plan will maintain costs and reduce services. The Left also argues that Healthy Wisconsin will (roughly) maintain costs and INCREASE services (or the number of people served.) In fact, they claim that health-costs will be REDUCED because all those eeeeeeeeeevvvillllllll Administrators will be unemployed:

...the Lewin Group actually found that HW would reduce health care spending by over $750 million in the first year alone.

Hmmmmmnnn.

Looks like a case of "Whose Goose" to me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Esenberg Laws Down the Law

OK. Kinda, sorta 'lays it down.' Here's his last 'graf:

This is a critical juncture. The court is now more or less evenly divided between two groups of justices who have dramatically different notions of the role of the judiciary. It is the purpose of this white paper to facilitate a discussion about this important trend and to foster a dialogue about the proper role of the courts in our state. It is the hope of its author that it begins now—in earnest.

So--lousy punditry aside, he actually 'laid down a challenge'--to the voters and the Supremes.

Earlier, the Shark reviewed our beloved Supremes' startling rulings of the last few years--the one which essentially was a "Shirley Says" ruling on concealed carry; the one which was a "Shirley Says" ruling on casino compacts; and the one which was a "Shirley Says" ruling on evidence in juvie cases.

Note the similarity in titling of the cases? I got that from Esenberg, who characterized a SCOTUS ruling on church/state as WWSD (what would Sandra do) ruling.

The guy is just a font of ideas.

He also slammed my thought that Shirley's inane Hamdan rule would pre-abort any CCW regulations, drat it all...which doesn't mean that one cannot try, hey. Who knows who will be sitting on the Court when a case comes up?

Worth the read, folks. We DO have to have a discussion.

If "Fatherless" Is Correct, Abp. Dolan Has More Work to Do

Just sorta came across this (StatCounter is wunnerful...wunnerful.)

Frankly, nothing here is surprising, but the use of direct quotations is unusual unless one actually tape-recorded the conversations.

Discussions with our new “pastor” about the new liturgical practices that violate Redemptionis Sacramentum include such “pastoral” comments as:

“I will not celebrate the Liturgy in a way that makes ME uncomfortable.” (This is in reference to calling God “Father” and praying the Eucharistic Prayers as written.)

Poor 'Fatherless.' He must have missed the last 20 years of "I Gotta Be MEEEEEE!!!"

“Your previous Pastors (who celebrated the Mass according to the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum) did the parish no favors and poorly formed the parish when it comes to Liturgical practice.”

(Unimaginative morons, they...)

“The Archbishop has not fully implemented the GIRM and Redemptionis Sacramentum in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.”

(That may be news to the Archbishop of Milwaukee...)

“I am not sticking my neck out here as there are parishes in other parts of the Archdiocese that celebrate the Mass in a more liberal way than I do and are not required to change.”

When telling “Father” that his actions are dividing the parish his comment is: “Maybe that needs to happen.” So much for being concerned about the church community.

(See "I Gotta Be MEEEEEE!!!!" above)

And my person favorite: “If I have a choice between listening to you (Fatherless Catholic) and listening to Bishop Sklba, I will listen to Bishop Sklba.”

(Translation: Bp. Sklba tickles my ears. You don't. Get lost.)

Hmmmmmm. I guess Archbishop Dolan does not matter in this.

Ummnnnnhhhhh....in an Archdiocese which is chock-full of Liturgeist/Dissenting priests, one hesitates to guess the precise Parish in which this set of scandals is occurring.

It would be sorta like guessing which part of Lake Michigan is wet.

Note to 'Fatherless:' Try St. Anthony's, 9th/Mitchell, 10:00 AM Sundays--or for a REAL treat, try St Stan's, 5th/Mitchell, 10:00 AM Sundays.

Better to go to Mass and thank God afterwards than to go and think about ways to strangle puppies...

The Axis of Evil? You Bet Your Life...

Occasionally, it's good to read a few facts which are NOT part of the MSM mantra.

Here, conditions in North Korea's concentration camps are reported.

[At] Haengyong, hidden away in the mountains, Camp 22 - North Korea's largest concentration camp, thousands die each year and prison guards stamp on the necks of babies born to prisoners to kill them, North Korean defectors have said.

Witnesses have been quoted by British media, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and The Observer news paper, "watching entire families being put in glass chambers and gassed." They are left to an agonizing death while scientists take notes, the defectors said.

Other experiments in these and other camps allegedly include chemical experiments. "An officer ordered me to select 50 healthy female prisoners," said Soon Ok-lee, who was imprisoned for seven years. "One of the guards handed me a basket full of soaked cabbage, told me not to eat it but to give it to the 50 women. I gave them out and heard a scream from those who had eaten them. They were all screaming and vomiting blood. All who ate the cabbage leaves started violently vomiting blood and screaming with pain. It was hell. In less than 20 minutes they were quite dead," The Observer news paper quoted her as saying.

The victims of the Tender Mercies of the Supreme Leader have something in common:

Many of the victims are believed to be Christians as North Korea's Stalinist system of carrying out Communism is based on "total devotion" of the individual to an ideology promoted by the late leader Kim Il Sung and his successor and son, Kim Jong Il. Christianity is seen as a threat, several Christian and other observers have said. North Korean authorities have denied wrongdoing and say the North Korean people love to serve the country's "dear leader".

Based on what's reported, it would seem we have a cross between Stalin and Mengele running this place.

HT: WardWideWeb

Cops Whining About Getting Tickets

I didn't believe it, either, until I read the posts on this site.

Obviously, the image and the reality differ. "Professional Courtesy" waivers for "testing the top-end of my new 'Vette"?

What jackasses.

A Certain Car Salesguy Could Kill Me for This...

...but I don't care. Besides, I have the .357 handy...

Via Tom McMahon, Kent Howard's words of wisdom:

For 15 years, Clark has talked about the advantage of keeping a new car for at least 10 years or buying a used car and keeping it for at least four years. Cars lose about half of their value during the first three years, but then the loss ratio drops off pretty steeply after that time. Consumer Reports has now done a study on the virtues of keeping a car for 15 years. Bear in mind that most owners only keep their vehicles for three or maybe five years. But by keeping a car for 15 years or 225,000 miles, you save $31,000 dollars. The report found that during the course of 15 years, your average maintenance will be $18,000 and your insurance will be $18,000

Another trick--buy a car off-lease; your capcost is about 1/2 of "new" car, and with only 50K or less on the clock, it's not likely the car could have been abused seriously. Besides, you can purchase the 'remainder' of the OE warranty, usually good for 75,000 miles.

Congress at Work

Lawdog found a nugget.

And whoever Uncle Jay is, he's a scream. Certainly not like Miss Frances--or Mr. Rogers.

Go on. Click on the link, and then on the embedded YouTube.

Pelosi: "Rules Are for Suckas"

Congressmen Drier, Hastings, et.al., are releasing a report today on the Dysfunctional Democrat-run House Rules Committee.

Our report, entitled “Out of Order,” details a Democrat Rules Committee operated by partisan advantage, invoking the following heavy-handed tactics:

• Rewriting bills to include massive tax increases and Medicare cuts with no debate.
• Rejecting more Minority-sponsored amendments than the previous Congress.
• Issuing more than double the number of closed rules prohibiting amendments than the previous Congress.
• Reducing by an entire day the amount of time Members have to review legislation and submit amendments for consideration.
• Adopting a policy of turning some Members of Congress away at the door of the Committee when they attempt to submit amendments.
• Abandoning its pledges for regular order in the House by jamming through huge bills with less than 24 hours for review.

In a desperate effort to keep the legislative process from seeing the light of day, the Democrat Majority have repeatedly waived long-standing precedent and transparency measures. The result has been a disorganized and chaotic House as the Majority party has proven that political expediency is the Democrat’s #1 virtue.

Order, of course, proceeds from an orderly mind. There are two elements there, folks: 1) a mind; and 2) 'orderly.'

What we have in the DemDominated Congress is Will--not Mind.

The Hildebeeste: Inching Timidly With Money

Nobody would call HRC a 'visionary.' She's a very cautious individual, as her Senate record demonstrates. In the words of Josh Green, "a timid, calculating, pol." Nothing bold, nothing new--strictly buy-and-sell retail politics, with the single exception being her 'HillaryCare' program--and you know where that went.

And "buy-and-sell" retail politics is more than just a phrase.

Disgraced fund-raiser Norman Hsu did a lot more than just pump $850,000 into Hillary Clinton's campaign bank account: He also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local, state, and federal candidates who have endorsed Clinton or whose support she courted

...In at least some cases, Clinton or her aides directly channeled contributions from Hsu and his network to other politicians supportive of her presidential campaign, according to interviews and campaign finance records

With that quote from the Boston Globe, the Captain draws the obvious conclusion:

This revelation shows that Hillary and her campaign didn't just passively receive funds from Hsu. The campaign actively worked with Hsu to distribute the funds to other campaigns, and in return, Hillary bought endorsements with the stolen money.

It's a well-worn formula.

Of course, the "bought-and-sold" include DarthDoyle, now fast becoming Wisconsin's most-purchased Governor.

Vrakas Showing the Way

Here's a guy who gets it.

Waukesha County Board members responded with a mix of cheer and fear Tuesday to a 2008 county budget proposal that would slow spending increases to less than 1%.

In presenting his $254 million proposal, County Executive Dan Vrakas said the spending increase of about $400,000 would meet the needs of the county's growing population.

As a result of that,

Vrakas also said most property owners would see their tax bills for county government stay the same or decrease.

It's the SPENDING that drives the TAXES.

Burmaster Can't Read (the Signs)

The 'reading gap' in Wisconsin is bad.

But the 'reading gap' of Eliz. Burmaster, our Chief of Education, is worse--because she either cannot or will not state the obvious.

Burmaster said the high and rising level of poverty in Wisconsin was a big factor behind the gaps. She said she wanted to know whether other states had the same proportions of students from low-income homes as Wisconsin.

"It's not just an achievement gap," she said. "It's an economic gap. It's a gap in health. It's a quality of life gap. All of those things influence student achievement."

While you're looking at the "poverty level," Liz, why don't you look at the INTACT FAMILIES level? You remember--daddy, mommy, children.

Or, to put it another way, Liz, don't let your PC confuse you with the appearances.

Suicide by Multi-Culturalism? B-16's Call to Lepanto

Ever wonder why Benedict XVI spoke as he did at Regensburg? Or on the Western conceit of 'relativism'? Or more recently, on the topic of "religious freedom"?

It's because the State Departments of the 'civilized' West STILL don't get it. And even if they did, they don't have the moral capital to say what they have to on the topic.

Fortunately, Robert Spencer does.

...Six years after 9/11, and a year and a half after Donald Rumsfeld observed that “We need to find ways to win the ideological battle as well,” the jihadists’ ideological challenge is not being answered adequately. Osama’s challenge to Christianity and advocacy of Sharia is an opportunity for Western leaders to stress the aspects of Judeo-Christian civilization that Sharia law denies: notably the equality of dignity of men and women and the freedom of conscience. But no Western leader will do this, because it would contradict the multiculturalist dogma that no civilization or culture has any virtues that any others do not possess.

...even conservative media figures are hesitant to discuss the cultural conflict. The ideological challenge that the jihadists are making to the West remains the single most misunderstood aspect of the war on terror. As Osama invites us once again to accept Islam, probably very few Americans would be able to articulate why they wouldn’t want to accept the invitation, and yet talk of Sharia and how it contradicts basic Western understandings of human rights remain taboo.

So the West, paralyzed by its 'multi-culturalism' (which of course is derived from relativism), is unable to articulate a response to Bin Laden and his followers. And just as in the last major go-round with the Muslims, it is the Church who takes up the challenge.

Let's hope it works again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Take It to the WI Supremes? You're Nuts!

Yesterday evening we posted a brief on the victory of Mr. Vegas.

A Milwaukee Circuit judge ruled that the Milwaukee DA's attempt to charge Mr. Vegas with unlawful carrying of a weapon was unconstitutional given 1) the 25th Amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution and 2) The SCOWI's Hamdan ruling.

However, if you follow the "Hamdan" link above, you'll find that Screechin'Shirley Abrahamson was able to FUBAR the 25th Amendment with yappaflappa that is a clumsy and irrational rewrite of Kafka (at best.)

In Hamdan, SCOWI grudgingly acknowledged that a shopkeeper had a (WI) Constitutional right to have a concealed weapon on his premises because his place of business was in a very dangerous location. (Shirley also graciously conceded the common-law's ancient grant of the right to keep a concealed weapon in one's home. Nice of her, no?)

BUT if that 'imminent danger' could not be proven, then Screech would not allow concealed carry. Period.

The practical effect was that someone who carries in their car had to demonstrate that it was necessary to protect his life or limb--which demonstration Vegas was able to present, convincingly. At the time of Hamdan, I argued that Shirley's Court was setting up a situation in which each and every "in-car" carrying incident could or would be litigated all the way to SCOWI--and potentially "advance-abrogating" any CCW legislation.

Well, I was partly wrong, because Vegas came around. But it's only a pre-trial decision in one Circuit Court. Thus, Vegas will not set another evolutionary precedent.

IMHO, there was no good reason for Chisholm to bring charges against Vegas in the first place--other than to punish Vegas for disobeying Chisholm's asinine "order" not to carry in the future. This was an open and shut case, even in the LaLaLand of Shirley Abrahamson, and Chisholm wasted resources in bringing the charge.

Were this to advance to trial and appeal, the Court of Appeals would find exactly the same as did the Circuit Court. However, there's no guarantee that Shirley's Gang would rule consistently with their Hamdan decision--because Shirley has demonstrated that the Constitution as written means nothing---nothing---to her and her compliant majority. Thus, 'consistency' is not required--Shirley makes up the rules as she goes along. It's entirely possible that she would have found FOR the Milwaukee County DA on some cockamamie premise.

In the meantime, the "training" and "licensing" requirements of CCW proposals is now endangered. If (under Hamdan) one can carry in a place of business without "training," and Hamdan's provisions apply to "in-car" concealed carry, why should anyone get "training"? Why spend money to obtain a "license" if Vegas and Hamdan did not?

Over time, as more case-law builds, the Wisconsin courts will be forced to allow more and more instances of concealed-carry. So long as a CCW law is not in effect, each of them will abrogate more and more CCW "training" and "licensing" provisions...

Given the outcome of Vegas, for example, what's to prevent carrying in your car on the way to work if you work in a "dangerous" place? And what's to prevent carrying in your car if you are driving to (or habitually drive through) a "dangerous" place?

Nothing. No training required--and no "fees" payable to the Sheriff, either.

Shirley's Will-to-Power is truly awesome--and has (potentially) resulted in a ridiculous patchwork of "yea/nay" carry permissibilities.

Perhaps she's proud of her "jurisprudence." But she shouldn't be.

How To Be A REAL Shepherd

Mentioned by The Jester. This evidently occurred during a discussion (radio or tv) on May 1st. My guess is that it was about Hitchens' atheism book.

FATHER RUTLER: I have met saints. You cannot explain the existence of saints without God. I was nine years chaplain with Mother Teresa [inaudible]. You have called her a whore, a demagogue. She’s in heaven that you don’t believe in, but she’s praying for you.

If you do not believe in heaven, that’s why you drink.

CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Excuse me?

FATHER RUTLER: That’s why you drink.

God has offered us happiness, all of us. And you will either die a Catholic or a madman, and I’ll tell you the difference.

From this snip it's clear that Fr. Rutler holds Hitchens' intelligence in high regard.

Later:

“At the end of the event as he staggered, sweating and red faced, out of the room, he [Hitchens] advanced on Father Rutler in a threatening and physical manner, screaming that this beloved pastor and brilliant scholar whom he had never met was `a child molester and a lazy layabout who never did a day’s work in his life’. His behavior was so frightening that a bodyguard put himself between Hitchens and Father Rutler to protect him. Several of the event organizers then escorted Hitchens to the men’s room and when he emerged he continued his psychotic rant, repeating the same calumnious and baseless screed as before. It was then that Father Rutler, in the most charitable manner, told Hitchens [for the second time] that he will `either die a madman or a Roman Catholic’. … Unless he faces his alcoholism soon, I am betting on the ‘madman’ ending for him.”

Those words are the words of a real pastor of souls, folks. Not some cardboard 'happy-clappy' wonzo; not a "no offense at any cost" nice-boy-with-collar.

That is a shepherd. Let us pray that Hitchens was sufficiently jolted to think about those words. Hard.

It's the Inventory

....not "sales."

The fall in [existing home] sales pushed the inventory of unsold homes to a record 4.58 million in August. That means it would take 10 months to exhaust the inventory of homes on the market at the August sales pace, also a record figure

The previous record inventory was around 8 months' supply, except in the early 1980's/late 1970's, when it was almost 12 months.

How Much Does Congress Overspend?


A hell of a lot.

George Soros: Moneyed Anarchist

Investors' Business Daily has a series going on George Soros (we mentioned some of it yesterday, HT to Powerline.)

Here's another interesting little nugget:

How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute , which gave him "legal and media advice"?

That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program.

And this:

Didn't the mainstream media report that 2006's vast immigration rallies across the country began as a spontaneous uprising of 2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer?

Turns out that wasn't what happened, either. Soros' OSI had money-muscle there, too, through its $17 million Justice Fund. The fund lists 19 projects in 2006. One was vaguely described involvement in the immigration rallies. Another project funded illegal immigrant activist groups for subsequent court cases.

So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a manipulation from OSI's glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no way of knowing until the release of OSI's 2006 annual report.

And Soros has other pals:

Do people know last year's Supreme Court ruling abolishing special military commissions for terrorists at Guantanamo was a Soros project? OSI gave support to Georgetown lawyers in 2006 to win Hamdan v. Rumsfeld — for the terrorists.

Remember that Soros makes his money by exploiting instability. So his interests lie in destabilizing the US, which will contribute to destabilizing/devaluing the USD.

Of course, in pursuing this end, Soros has no problem with creating anarchy, which will have an impact on your wives and children, sooner or later.

Monday, September 24, 2007

CCW Victory in Milwaukee!!

Here's the scoop:

Today, the 31st Circuit Court of Milwaukee County ruled that the Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) statute was unconstitutional as applied to a particular defendant -- in this case, a pizza delivery driver who carried a gun for self-defense on the job, after being robbed repeatedly in a high crime area.

Andres Vegas is a pizza delivery driver and has been robbed and mugged while attempting to deliver a pizza on four different occasions. The first time was in March of 2005. The second time was July 14, 2006, when Vegas was attacked and threatened at gunpoint. Vegas, armed with a firearm, exercised his constitutional right of self-defense and shot one of the assailants. Vegas was not charged with the crime of carrying concealed and was ruled as acting in self defense. Not only was his firearm confiscated at the time of arrest, but it was never returned. He was subsequently told by the prosecuting District Attorney that if he were to use a firearm in self-defense again he would be prosecuted.

On September 13, 2006, an unarmed Vegas -- acting under the orders of the District Attorney to avoid prosecution -- was robbed, beaten, and sprayed with pepper spray by three assailants. Consequently Vegas went out and purchased another firearm. On January 4, 2007, Vegas was again attempting to deliver a pizza when two men approached him and pointed a gun in his face. This time, he responded by again exercising his right to self-defense and shot his assailant in the hip. Vegas then secured his assailant' s firearm along with his, placed them both on the roof of his car, dialed 911, and waited for the police to arrive. The DA determined that he acted in self defense, but he was subsequently charged with CCW for the moments before he was assaulted and defended.Even though this charge was brought forward by the DA’s office, the court has ruled in favor of Vegas, saying:

“Defendant Vegas has demonstrated the requisite extraordinary circumstances that warrant his concealed weapon…Vegas legally purchased his firearm for the purpose of security and protection. There is a strong inference that Vegas’ concealed firearm has saved his life during these violent assaults…Vegas has a substantial interest in being secure and protecting himself by carrying a concealed weapon.”

“This Court is not convinced that there are any reasonable alternatives that would have secured Vegas’ safety. Vegas' concealed weapon has most likely saved his life on several occasions; this the State cannot ignore. The State has conceded that Vegas did not have an unlawful purpose for concealing a weapon. Given the totality of the circumstances, this Court is satisfied that the Defendant has affirmatively answered the two-prong analysis as outlined in Hamdan and Fisher and thus grants the Defendant’s motion to dismiss.”

This is a giant step forward in the battle for Right-to-Carry in Wisconsin. This court ruling will likely lead to future citizens exercising their right to self-defense by carrying concealed firearms. Unfortunately this will likely lead to subsequent prosecutions, but this circuit court ruling will become a perfect example of law-abiding citizens' need for concealed firearms for protection against crime, especially in high crime areas such as Milwaukee


You could draw two conclusions from this case.

One possibility: the DA brought the case specifically to 'lose', with the intent of clarifying the law which Screechin'Shirley has screwed up beyond a fare-thee-well.

Second possibility: the DA brought the case because he is invincibly ignorant.

G K Chesterton Does Irony

Maybe it's the GKC Paradox. It's also ironic.

“Openly and to all appearance, this ancestral conflict has silently and abruptly ended; one of the two sexes has suddenly surrendered to the other.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, within the last few years, the woman has in public surrendered to the man. She has seriously and officially owned that the man has been right all along; that the public house (or Parliament) is really more important than the private house; that politics are not (as woman had always maintained) an excuse for pots of beer, but are a sacred solemnity to which new female worshipers may kneel; that the talkative patriots in the tavern are not only admirable but enviable; that talk is not a waste of time, and therefore (as a consequence, surely) that taverns are not a waste of money.

All we men had grown used to our wives and mothers, and grandmothers, and great aunts all pouring a chorus of contempt upon our hobbies of sport, drink and party politics. And now comes Miss Pankhurst with tears in her eyes, owning that all the women were wrong and all the men were right; humbly imploring to be admitted into so much as an outer court, from which she may catch a glimpse of those masculine merits which her erring sisters had so thoughtlessly scorned.”

...to which the Hildebeeste's now-infamous "Laugh of the Witch at Full Throat" lends a fitting exclamation point.

Beats Corn-a-Hole by...Oh...100 MPG

Think that only the Japanese are working hybrids?

Think again.

Hybrids Plus Inc., founded last year in Boulder, Colo., lashes together up to 1,200 lithium-ion cells the size of D batteries into pumped-up battery systems that can be charged in wall outlets. "In daily usage, we're seeing numbers as high as 137 miles per gallon," says CEO Carl Lawrence. Even with their Rocky Mountain-high cost—refitting a Prius can cost $24,000—the conversions are drawing interest from wealthy techies who gain psychological satisfaction from using less gas. (This is Boulder, after all.)

Even better:

Widespread use of plug-in hybrids would be good news for utilities, which could sell the juice at night during periods of low demand. EnergyCS, a 13-person engineering shop in Monrovia, Calif., is developing an electronic and software system that would allow plug-in hybrids to charge batteries efficiently. One of its clients: the giant utility Pacific Gas & Electric. In April, PG&E used a hybrid to demonstrate an application of V2G technology. V2G isn't a category on Craigslist. It stands for vehicle-to-grid: In addition to drawing power from the energy system, hybrids can theoretically provide the power stored in their batteries to the electrical grid. Should V2G come to fruition, on a sweltering August day, you could run your air conditioner off your Ford Escape.

There is this practical problem:

Naturally, cost is an issue. It takes 64 years of gas savings to pay off the extra investment a Hybrids Plus conversion entails. But these entrepreneurial initiatives function as demonstration projects for risk-averse big companies, which know how to reduce costs through mass production. In August, A123Systems signed a deal with GM to help develop a fuel cell for the Chevy Volt. GM believes a plug-in hybrid like the Volt, which could be in showrooms by 2009, could render the average daily commute—about 40 miles—gas-free.

Not to worry. The Legislature and the Governor will raise the taxes on electricity and sunlight ASAP.

HT: The Big Picture

It's Cooling. It's Warming. It's The End of the World...

John Kerry and this guy Hansen have something in common.

Climate Change: Did NASA scientist James Hansen, the global warming alarmist in chief, once believe we were headed for . . . an ice age? An old Washington Post story indicates he did.

Yup. Voted for "cooling" before he voted for "warming."

HT: Clay Cramer

I Feel Pretty: Pinky Pinky Bang-Bang

So far, neither Guns and Ammo nor The American Rifleman has mentioned this.

... the two girls were immediately drawn to a rifle and a youth shotgun.

But it wasn't the firepower of the guns that attracted the girls' attention. It was a color: Call it blaze pink.

Say what?

Gander Mountain and the Cabela's in Richfield - which was selling a pink pistol the other day, along with two pink long guns - are displaying more than promoting pink firearms.

But the decidedly feminine form of a traditionally male pursuit may be catching on.
Hanson said the pink rifle sold well enough last year in its first season in Gander Mountain stores that the pink shotgun was added late this summer.


The deer will laugh themselves to death. No need for ammo, folks.

By the way, there IS a group self-named "the Pink Pistols," who are handgun-owner homosexuals.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Vibrancy in Dallas

Here's a fellow who gets it.

After mentioning that he's in a 'friendly' environment (the University of Dallas) where the students don't have to be dragged to Mass, he then makes utterly sensible remarks. I'll repost it in full, so the Archdiocesan folks can copy it...

Teach the apostolic faith full on…no compromises on basic doctrine or dogma. This generation of college students can smell an intellectual/spiritual weasel a hundred miles away. They would rather hear the bald-faced Truth and struggle with it than listen to a priest/minister try to sugar-coat a difficult teaching in the vain search for popularity or “hipness.”

Preach the gospel full on…ditto. Tell it like it is and let the students grow in holiness. Yes, they will fail. Who doesn’t? But let them fail knowing what Christ and his Church expects of them. Lowering the moral bar comes across as expecting too little from them. What does that say about the Church’s view of our future ecclesial leaders? They can’t cut it, so we have to shorten the race.


Give them charitable work to do…present this work as a kind of “churchy social work” and they will not stay away in droves. I regularly cite Matthew 25 as my scriptural backing for asking them to do volunteer work in the community. Frankly, They have been beaten with the Social Justice-Work stick all their lives and most of what they hear sounds like the socio-economic engineering agenda of a modernist, socialist political party. This is attractive to some, but my experience is that students yearn for a chance to do something Truly Good for their community. If their leaders loudly and proudly attach volunteer work to the Gospels as a an exercise in charity rather than an experiment in social engineering, they will come.


Challenge them intellectually…these are smarts kids. They want to know what the Church teaches and why. They don’t always agree with the Church. Fine. Coming to holiness through obedience is a long, long road for some (..even for Dominican friars who try really hard!). They aren’t afraid of tough texts or difficult arguments. Just give them the documents, read along with them, answer questions honestly and clearly, and let them make the choices they will be responsible for. You have no control over what they will come to believe or practice. Fortunately, that’s not our task. Jesus said, “Preach and teach the gospel.” He said nothing about punishing those who will not hear or see.

Feed them…they’re poor and hungry. Yes, I mean feed them spiritually, but I also mean feed them literally—food, drink, and fellowship do amazing things for students on budgets and for students who have endured slap-dash catechesis and dumbed-down, irreverent liturgy.

For the ecclesial leaders over 45 y.o. (esp. campus ministers):
[Or Liturgeists with "Yout' Mass" and "Yout' Catechism class...]

These students aren’t you at 18. Apply your own standards of liberality and let them explore the fullness of the Church’s ancient traditions. You had a crappy childhood at St. Sixtus of the Perpetual Frown under the bruising discipline of Sr. Mary of the Five Wounds of Christ, so religious habits, rosaries, crucifixes, devotional booklets, Latin, incense, sanctus bells, etc. all remind you of stifling dogmatic lectures, knuckle-rappings, silly moral imperatives, triumphal-martial Catholicism, etc. Guess what? They aren’t you! They didn’t have these experiences, so they don’t associate Eucharistic adoration and First Friday Masses with intellectual repression and physical pain. Let them transform these traditions and make them their own. This is what you did, right? Well then, be consistent and apply your own principles. If you don’t, they will simply ignore you as a dinosaur and look for unofficial leadership elsewhere…which is exactly what you did when your elders failed to allow you the room you needed to explore and grow!


You didn’t follow in the religious/spiritual footsteps of your parents, why would you expect them to follow in yours? More than anything these younger generations need our patience.
Keep your contempt and snarky commentary to yourself. You only injure your already sketchy credibility.

You grew up (for the most part) in a sexually repressed culture crowded with rules and punishments. They didn’t. They grew up in the sexual chaos your revolution caused and still celebrates. If they want to figure out what virginity, chastity, and NFP is all about, let them. Again, your snarky predictions of their inevitable failure will only serve to further damage your credibility—it will not deter them. Also, ask yourself: why are you threatened by their desire to put their sexuality in the context of faithful marriage?

[Dear Father--you don't REALLY want to know that answer, do you?]

These younger generations respect ecclesial authority most when those in authority show themselves to be people of integrity and strength. They do not expect moral perfection from you, only consistency and heroic effort. Failure is a demon they struggle with daily. Your efforts to weaken the moral ideals of the faith so that they might “succeed” are patronizing. We have to own up to the fact that recent attempts to undermine the moral teachings of the Church are really about the Baby-boomer generation’s obsession with sex and its very public need to have their sexual lives approved and celebrated, especially by those most likely to disapprove.


Also, please, please, please don’t assume that they want their Christian lives to mirror their secular culture. You wanted the Church to look more and more like your “times.” They don’t. They want their Christian lives to be counter-cultural, against the secular grain. Yes, they are extremely na├»ve sometimes about what this actually means but you will lose them instantly if you think an MTV Mass is the hip thing to do. Why would they come to a MTV Mass? They have MTV (and worse) 24/7 on their cell phones. They don’t need or want you for entertainment. Church is not a concert or an amusement park. What they don’t have on their cell phones is the Real Presence of Christ in his Eucharist.


Looks like my daughter made a good choice of colleges, no?

Best part: she works for this guy in the Campus Ministry office!

GWB Does the Right Thing v. Ahioutyejob

Malkin quotes as follows:

After having been rejected by the United States administration to visit the site of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is now planning to meet the families of the 9/11 victims, Fars news agency reported.

Good. Thanks!!

How Many Divisions Has the Pope?

You have to hand it to B-16.

First he takes on the LeftoWacky establishment in the Church by making the Johannine Use available easily.

Now (again) he takes on the Muslims.

The Pope has again risked provoking the wrath of the Islamic world, by criticising its treatment of Christians.

Benedict XVI attacked Muslim nations where Christians are either persecuted or given the status of second-class citizens under the Shariah Islamic law.


He also defended the rights of Muslims to convert to Christianity, an act which warrants the death penalty in many Islamic countries.


His comments came almost exactly a year after he provoked a wave of anger among Muslims by quoting a Byzantine emperor who linked Islam to violence.


Yesterday, near Rome, the 80-year-old pontiff made a speech in "defence of religious liberty", which, he said "is a fundamental, irrepressible, inalienable and inviolable right".

In a clear reference to Islam, he said: "The exercise of this freedom also includes the right to change religion, which should be guaranteed not only legally, but also in daily practice."


Addressing the problem of Islamic extremism, he added: "Terrorism is a serious problem whose perpetrators often claim to act in God's name
and harbour an inexcusable contempt for human life."

By the way, he will also draw fire from the RightoWacky element in the Church, which has a cockamamie view on 'religious freedom.'

Lepanto, ....Vienna, .....

Owen Made Me Do It...

So I took this test.

91.67%

Ah, well. At my age, ...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bernanke's Bumbling

From Abelson, via The Big Picture:

"NO GOOD DEED, OF COURSE, goes unpunished. And wouldn't you know, Mr. Bernanke's muscular move that touched off a blistering rally in stocks also, it grieves us to report, had less salutary, if equally predictable, consequences in other trading arenas

...A euro fetched a record price in U.S. dollars and the Canadian dollar -- the loonie -- achieved parity with our battered buck for the first time in over three decades (who's crazy now?). Virtually every currency known to man appreciated against our beleaguered greenback...

The incidental devaluation of the U.S. dollar sent the price of crude, which is denominated in dollars, barreling to an all-time high above $84 a barrel ...a spurt in gold to nearly $745 an ounce, the highest price since January 1980...

...he managed to steepen the Treasury yield curve, which means that the longer-term obligations, which effectively determine the level of mortgage rates, went up. Not, we suspect, the ideal medicine for what ails homebuilding

In other news, (related--read between the lines--) the US taxpayer will relieve bond-holders such as Lehmann, BearStearns, and others of high-risk 'nuclear waste' mortgages through FHA and FreddieMae actions.

Not the first time that moneyed interests have purchased Government policy and actions.

Rudy's Getting Desparate

Let's face it: when your track record with wives and children is ...hard to defend...you have to try to make up for it when appearing before the Common People, right?

So what better than a clumsily-engineered way to say "I Love You" to wifey-dear?

Judith Giuliani apparently didn’t get the memo that her husband was scheduled to address the crowd at 11:30 a.m. EDT. Half-way through Giuliani’s 20-minute speech, his phone, stashed in his pants pocket, rang. (Washington Wire has no desire to be the manners police, but c’mon. As the Washington Post points out, this isn’t the first time Giuliani’s forgotten to silence his phone.

As the crowd listened, Giuliani told her he was giving a speech to the NRA and asked if she’d like to say anything to the members. He listened for a moment, laughed and then began winding down the call. “Love you, dear. Have a safe flight,” Giuliani said before hanging up and continuing his speech right where he’d left off.

Sure, Rudy. We'll buy that crapola.

Soros: It's the Money, Stupid!

The Captain interviewed a woman who gets it, in part.

Monica Showalter of Investors Business Daily takes a look ...

IBD believes that Soros works as a political nihilist. Showalter, in her interview on Wednesday's Heading Right Radio broadcast live from IBD's offices, says that Soros has a pattern of undermining government institutions and democratic processes. He uses instability to make money in his currency speculation, racking up billions while nations reel from the effects of his trading.

But I think that Showalter draws the wrong conclusion:

...Showalter believes that's intended to force a sovereign UN-based government on the world rather than the nation-state model.

No, Monica. You can reduce Soros' MO to just the "making billions" part. Soros may tell folks that he's a Globaloney Believer who wants Whirled Peas.

But you'd be a damn fool to believe it.

It's the money, honey.

"Soldier of Fortune" Bunch in More Trouble

For whatever reason, I've always been a touch uneasy with the concept of "rent-a-soldier." Either they are legitimate military, or they are accidents waiting to happen.

Blackwater seems to have found the accident(s).

From the Captain:

Blackwater Security has returned to its work for the US military and State Department in Iraq after Baghdad threatened to expel them after a deadly shooting.

Although they're back 'on the job,' that might be temporary.

The Captain quotes a report that portends bigger problems:

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday.

Evidently a couple of bozos were snatching M-4s and selling them to the PKK, who used them against the Turks. The Turks retrieved the weapons, complete with serial numbers...

It ain't gonna be pretty.

Ruuuuudeeeee!!!! Flip/Flop, Flip/Flop...

Rudy appeared before the NRA's Board and proceeded to wiggle.

In the Q&A, he was asked about whether he still supported the lawsuit he filed in NYC against gun manufacturers, and flipped on the issue. He said, at the time, he was focused on using every law he could, and every interpretation of the law, to reduce crime, but that since then, the lawsuit has taken "twists and turns" and so he no longer supports the current version. He said the Parker decision and 9/11 also changed his thinking on it--the connection to Sept. 11 will probably raise questions among Giuliani cynics. Also, just yesterday, he had punted on the lawsuit question, saying he doesn't discuss pending litigation.

There's a case to be made that Rudy's a closet Statist--just like the Hildebeeste. You could argue that the particular affliction of Statism comes in a couple of flavors; Rudy's just happens to be flavored more like Tommy Thompson's than FDR's.

In contrast, there's Fred, who is a Federalist--and whose major challenge is to get people to understand that Federalism is a virtue.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Nurse Judy: Shove It

Take your offer and....

Assembly Republican leaders rejected a $1 billion package of tax increases and other funding programs that Senate Democrats said they need to drop their universal health care plan from the overdue state budget.

"I am providing you nothing in return," said Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem). He said Healthy Wisconsin, which would provide universal health care by 2009, should have never been added to the state budget by Democrats who control the Senate.

"This is a significant tax increase," said Republican Rep. Kitty Rhoades of Hudson, co-chairman of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee.

Today, Senate Democrats said they would drop the Healthy Wisconsin plan, but only if Assembly Republicans ageed to raise the 77-cent cigarette tax by $1.25, levy a surtax on hospital revenues to attract more federal aid and transfer $175 million from the Patients Compensation Fund that helps pay medical malpractice damage awards."This is a complete offer," Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson (D-Beloit) told Huebsch. "You don't get to pick and choose what you like, and what you don't like."

Thanks, Rep. Huebsch, for 'picking and choosing' the right answer: NO!

Wisconsin Gummint at Work

These are the poeple that Nurse Rached Robson wants to manage your healthcare.


...we examined 2006 daily revenue recorded in the State’s Data Collection System and found instances for every day of the year in which amounts recorded by electronic meters differed
from amounts counted by casino staff by at least 3.0 percent and more than $25. In discussing this issue with the Division, we found that it was unaware of almost all of the differences we identified and could not readily determine their causes.


...
One of the primary reasons the Legislature and Governor authorized the expenditure of approximately $1.0 million for the development and support of the Data Collection System through FY 2006-07 was to assist the Division in ensuring the integrity of Indian gaming by allowing it to readily identify instances in which amounts recorded by electronic meters in the gaming devices differ from amounts collected and counted by casino staff. Although the
Division reviews many important financial controls implemented by casinos,
it has not routinely used the Data Collection System to identify these differences, which are important in identifying
potential irregularities in gaming operations and financial reporting that cannot be identified from other controls the Division reviews. Moreover, we found that from March 2006 through April 2007, the Division did not review data maintained by casinos to determine
whether the tribes routinely identified, investigated, and documented differences between amounts recorded by electronic meters and amounts counted by casino staff, as compacts require.


Wisconsin's Gaming Control folks are just plain....underperforming.

You don't want to THINK about how sloppy procedures like these could impact your spouse's heart surgery...

Sad News for U of D-Mercy

Small world, sorta. The Jebby mentioned here spent many hours in a classroom with me.

(But he was the valedictorian...in contrast, I managed to graduate.)

In an update of sorts to my coverage of the relatively recent controversy involving the University of Detroit Mercy — which had advertised job opportunities at Planned Parenthood, among other scandalous items — a UDM alumnus who had given nearly $200,000 to the university "will never give them another dime.

"The alumnus, Tom (not his real name), who works for a major German bank in Chicago, reports that about two years ago, he met with Maureen Fay, then-outgoing UDM president, Father Gerard Stockhausen, S.J., then-incoming (and current) president, and F. Thomas Lewand, UDM board of trustees chair, "about this exact issue."

"I was prepared to make a gift of $3 million to UDM upon my death," said Tom, via e-mail. "I asked that these [pro-abortion] links and Web sites be removed. I was blown off, so I had UDM removed as a beneficiary from my estate.Tom said that Father Stockhausen treated him in a very abrupt and cavalier manner, even telling him "I see nothing wrong with these organizations. They do a lot of good."

The same article goes on to mention that the "job placement" with Planned Parenthood has apparently been 'disappeared' from the UD-Mercy website.

One always wonders what happened to guys with umpty years of Catholic education (and who were obviously the smartest people in the room) when they make remarks such as reported above. But hey--Fr. Stockhausen--good luck with that.

HT: The Curt Jester

More Chesterton

From the daily read:

THE abyss between Christ and all His modern interpreters is that we have no record that He ever wrote a word, except with His finger in the sand. The whole is the history of one continuous and sublime conversation. It was not for any pompous proclamation, it was not for any elaborate output of printed volumes; it was for a few splendid and idle words that the cross was set up on Calvary and the earth gaped, and the sun was darkened at noonday.

--12 Types, GKChesterton

What the Hell Is the Matter With GWB? Ground Zero for Ahmidoingob?

The Secret Service reports to the Sec/Treasury, who reports to GWB. CORRECTION: see comments--the Secret Service now reports to DHS Sec'y Mikey Cherthoff.

Draw you OWN damn conclusions:

The source says regardless of the NYPD’s rejection of the request for a Ground Zero tour, Iran’s president and his entourage will be accompanied by a Secret Service protective detail, a detail provided to all heads of state when they visit the United States.

Dear Mr. President,

Thanks for making the (D) case about your .....intellectual challenges.....so much easier to make.


As a side note:

How come there's a discussion of Columbia U--but no discussion of the Secret Service protection on local talk-radio?

UPDATE: Maybe it's on, maybe it's off. Iranian twit Ahmendlikglskgob now states he 'will not insist' on a visit to Ground Zero--but according to the NYT's "buzz," if he decides to go there, the Secret Service will escort him.

Unless, of course, all the assigned agents become "ill" ...

Ted Stevens (R-AK) Next to Go?

Here's an interesting tidbit:

The FBI, working with an Alaska oil contractor, secretly taped telephone calls with Sen. Ted Stevens as part of a public corruption sting, according to people close to the investigation.

The secret recordings suggest the Justice Department was eyeing Stevens long before June, when the Republican senator first publicly acknowledged he was under scrutiny. At that time, it appeared Stevens was a new focus in a case that had already ensnared several state lawmakers.


The recorded calls between Stevens and businessman Bill Allen were confirmed by two people close to the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way. They declined to say how many calls were recorded or what was said.

Allen, a wealthy businessman and Stevens' political patron, agreed to the taping last year after authorities confronted him with evidence he had bribed Alaska lawmakers. He pleaded guilty to bribery and is a key witness against Alaska legislators. He also has told prosecutors he paid his employees to renovate the senator's house.

If they've got the goods on Stevens, I'd LOVE to see the perp-walk featuring this jerk.

HT: The Captain.

The Federal Do-Not-Call List

Just in case you wish to "go national," here's the Federal Trade Commission's "Do-Not-Call" registration page:

http://www.donotcall.gov

You can also register by phone: 888-382-1222

Very simple and quick.

HT: Betsy

Bush and Biden, LOST in a Tree...

It seems that Our President is indeed a lineal descendant of old "Globaloney George" Bush I.

With all the critical problems facing America today, it's hard to see why President Bush is wasting whatever is left of his political capital to partner with Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., to try to get the Senate to ratify the United Nations Law of the Sea Treaty.

This piece of dung was dumped years ago--but evidently someone forgot the stake in its heart.

The treaty has already been ratified by 155 countries. Most of them no doubt expect corrupt U.N. bureaucrats to divvy up the riches at the bottom of the sea, which will be brought to the surface by U.S. investment and technology, and parcel them out to Third World dictators to support themselves in the lavish style to which they would like to become accustomed.
The treaty even gives the Authority something U.N. bureaucrats have lusted after for years: the authority to impose international taxes (disguised by euphemisms such as fees and royalties).

WARNING: Asinine-Argument Alert (First Class):

The Bush administration argues that the United States needs the treaty to protect U.S. interests in the world's oceans and to ensure that the U.S. Navy can go where it needs to go. The problem with that argument is that if the U.S. signs and ratifies the treaty, America will be bound to abide by its decisions.

Based on U.S. experience in other international organizations such as the World Trade Organization, decisions will usually be contrary to U.S. security and economic interests. The U.S. Navy can already go wherever it needs to go, and it should remain that way.

How in the Hell GWB can argue that "we need it so that the Navy can go where it needs to..." is beyond me. Maybe that was actually Biden's yappaflappa...

Time for another burial at sea. Maybe this time it won't pop out again.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Oil Up, Dollar Down

The Canadian dollar is now at par with the USD.

Oil up to $83.30

Nothing like a 50-basis-point rate cut to save the day for banks and bond-houses---

Priest Makes Ass of Self in Floriduh

Taken from an account of a meeting concerning the Motu Proprio. "Fr. Willis" is the Diocesan Director of Liturgy for the Diocese of St. Augustine, FL.

Fr. Willis followed this comment up by making the most shocking comment that he made all night. It was a study from Creighton University saying that people who have ADD can focus better at the Latin Mass with all the silence than at the Novus Ordo where there is more "active participation".

To say that "Creighton University Studies" are suspicious is redundant.

Can you say "Jesuit-run"?

HT: Fr. Z

New Jersey "Leads" the Way

Unfortunately, the leadership is precisely toward the sewers.

For the first time, a religious organization in New Jersey is being punished by the government because it refused to permit same-sex civil union ceremonies on its property.

Despite its historic nature, this officially sanctioned discrimination against a religious group did not require a special act of the legislature or ruling of the court to accomplish. A state bureaucrat, one Lisa Jackson (the state commissioner on environmental protection), quietly sent a letter informing the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization, that the pavilion it owns on the beach is no longer eligible for exemption from state real estate taxes. (The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association also remains the target of a state investigation into whether it has violated the state's anti-discrimination laws by refusing to permit same-sex ceremonies on its property.)

In a way, I'm both surprised and gratified at the Methodists' stand here.

HT: Paul

Kathy Saile: The USCCB's Emerging Problem

HT: Gerald, who obtained the info from another blogger.

Saile's own words:

My first thoughts were of celebratory moments - a victory at the legislature, a liturgy to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, breaking bread with a new friend during a worthy campaign.

Nothing wrong with petitioning God for justice for all. But MLK was not a Catholic--sorry, guys, we have St. Peter Claver to talk about.

"U.S. policy on immigration is so harsh that once they are here, it's too risky to go back to Mexico," Saile said. "We say we are a society with family-based values, but our policy is destroying that."

If "family-based values" don't include respect for the law, you're in the wrong family, honey.

NON-Embryonic Stem Cells--Another Triumph

This is another piece of good news, although some men may hesitate:

"It is an idea that may make many men cross their legs. But researchers in the United States say stem cells harvested from a man's testicles could one day be used to repair his damaged heart, kidneys or even his brain.

The scientists have found a way to easily identify stem cells in the testicles of adult mice, and to coax them to become brain cells, muscle cells, heart cells, blood cells and even blood vessels. The next step is to see if they can do the same thing in humans.

And yes, my legs crossed as I posted this...

HT: The Shepherd

Litigators With Chutzpah

"Chutzpah" is perhaps the least offensive term for these clowns.

Lakin Law Firm attorneys who have carried on a class action for three years with a dead plaintiff have figured out how to find a live one.

They think the defendant, American Family Insurance, should hand over a plaintiff on a platter.

Along with their manhood?

HT: Overlawyered

Mayor Tommy's "Research" Pals

Well, Mayor Tommy spent another day in Washington DC. According to the report here, he was a lonesome figure--railing about "guns" and a Clinton program which was discontinued.

(Not that ANYONE would guess that the program was pure pandering and window-dressing. Bubba NEVER did that...)

At any rate, Mayor Tommy cites "research" from the Int'l Ass'n of Chiefs of Police.

We learned something about them.

A while back, the antigun Joyce Foundation made a hefty grant to fund a gun summit meeting by some members of the International Assn of Chiefs of Police. Here's the pdf file.

Surprise! It concludes we need lots and lots of gun control. Ban "assault weapons," repeal the Tihart Amendment, ban .50 BMG, outlaw possession by anyone with a violent misdemeanor record, ban armor piercing using a standard of actual ability to penetrate body armor (which would encompass virtually any rifle round), outlaw private gun transfers, increase ATF's budget, etc., etc.

But the interesting part is that the International apparently let Joyce staffers write the report:

"We are grateful to several key staff at the Joyce Foundation; President Ellen Alberding for her leadership, passionate concern for quality of life in our communities, and particularly for her interest in partnering with the IACP to address gun violence, Program Officer Roseanna Ander for her dedication to reducing gun violence in the Great Lake States and the nation, and her relentless enthusiasm as she worked with IACP staff to make the summit a reality and Communications Director Mary O’Connell, who has aided in highlighting and supporting the vision of our summit participants through her editing, writing and consistent work to produce this report. "

Sort of like letting Dan Rather write a report on CBS executives' policy and protocols.

Half-Measure on MATC Board

It's a start--but not the best 'start.'

A hearing has been scheduled on a bill being pushed by suburban Milwaukee lawmakers to change the makeup of the Milwaukee Area Technical College board.

The hearing will be before the state Assembly's Committee on Colleges and Universities at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Room 225NW of the state Capitol.

Sponsored by Rep. Mark Gottlieb (R-Port Washington) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), the bill requires that at least one of the nine members of the MATC board be a resident of a county other than Milwaukee County.

The word "ELECTED" does not appear in the brief story.

So Taxation Without Representation will continue, for the time being.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More on "Energizing Vibrancy"

Yesterday we mentioned Terry's comments on an Archdiocesan "planning" thing...

Terry's mention went national, and Welborn picked it up.

A couple of incisive comments regarding the Elmbrook/Willow Creek phenomenon:

The answer is not to attempt to simplistically and slavishly imitate the apparent success of these rapidly growing church plants, as tempting as it might be, since they are, indeed, growing, and so much of their growth comes from now-unchurched Catholics.

... don’t think the growth is going to bear lasting fruit, and reading in some of their own literature, you are starting to hear worrisome noises about this, too - concerns about lasting church committment or lifestyle change, concerns about young people, and so on. It’s definitely there. These rapidly-growing places are very “contemporary” in their feel (whatever that means - one person’s contemporary is another person’s “er…lame”), so where does that leave those who grow out of the desire to have worship that’s centered on that type of music and pop culture themes? They seem to be extraordinarly centered on the personalities of the leaders.

And harking back to a practice which is now, simply, NOT practiced:

Remember what parish boundaries are all about. They are not so much about where you have the responsibility to go to Mass. They are essentially about for whom the pastor (and others) have responsibility. That’s right. The pastor’s responsibility is to share Christ with the parish - which is not just the people who show up on Sundays - it’s every person who lives in those boundaries, Catholic or not. Yeah.

Not that long ago, the Pastor of a parish would personally conduct a census--by driving to a neighborhood and going door-to-door. They could either be seeing Catholic families, or "by accident," show up at a Lut'ran door.

Of course, there's "no time for that" these days, right?

...have planning meetings, chatting about vibrancy and diocesan wide-efforts to make everyone more aware of their Catholic identity actually borne much fruit? Or just more mission statements and information packets collecting dust in a bottom drawer?

Because, see, that’s not the Catholic way, either - the way of evaluating the health and future of the Church via schematics and diagrams and planning packets either. The Catholic way is to imitate the saints, it seems to me. To preach, to teach, to gather the lost, to heal the sick, to be with the poor - to plunge into it.

Terry's trenchant request for "failure analysis" echoes in the above...

Is it the Age of Madison Avenue?

Which happens, I usually find, because people are relying on New Things and New Ideas and Exciting Paradigms instead of thinking - just a little bit - about what tradition has to teach us.

Ummmnnnnhhhhh....the Liturgeists' Revenge has roosted, folks.

In point of fact, it's exactly the Liturgeist's Revenge. A local parish organized a meeting with unhappy members (many of which were "Elmbrooking" part of the time) and got exactly what anyone would expect: install "greeters" at the front door, go "big" with Liturgical Production Values, and above all, Make It "Relevant," (whatever in Hell that may be.)

The Church's teachings are relevant--and they are vitally so.

Of course, pastors have to actually TEACH those teachings once in a while, too.

FHA Enlargement: Banks or Homeowners' Help Bill?

You be the judge.

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed "The Expanding American Homeownership Act,” which will increase homeownership opportunities for millions of Americans by modernizing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and returning it to its traditional role as an important financing option in today’s housing market.

...1) Eliminate the current statutory three percent minimum down payment, reducing a significant barrier to homeownership (this includes "0 down")

2) Create a new, risk-based insurance premium structure for FHA that would match the premium amount with the credit profile of the borrower.

3) Increase and simplify FHA’s loan limits. FHA’s loan limit in high-cost areas would rise from 87 to 100 percent of the GSE conforming loan limit and in lower-cost areas from 48 to 65 percent of the conforming loan limit.

...up to $762,000!!! for a "moderate-income" mortgage in some parts of the country.

This will give some Banks and bond-packagers (not to mention bond-holders) an escape from carrying nuclear waste mortgages.

In other words, it's now the taxpayers' problem.