Wednesday, October 31, 2007

GWB v. The State of Texas--and vs. the 2A

Pay attention to The Decider's antics in the Medellin case. (Scroll to Kopel's 10/10 5:31 entry)

The short course: Texas decided to execute a slimeball for heinous offense. Mexico brought suit on behalf of the slimeball in the World Court, and won. GWB decided to back the World Court and his AG is now arguing before the Supremes that the World Court's decision is binding on the State of Texas, because of some technical issues AND because GWB has "foreign policy" primacy.

That's not all. Volokh has an even more chilling scenario which is entirely possible, maybe even probable. Should Medellin be decided favoring the President's argument, it's 'buh-bye Second Amendment'.

How can a guy who's so good on some things be SOOOOOO bad on others?

I cannot resist the temptation use appellations such as George Globaloney II.

HT: The Shark

Rhetoric 101

A very good piece 'On Rhetoric' as applied by the execrable notorious Notre Dame Prof. Fr. Richard McBrien.

As the HT comments, "can't do it justice with excerpts."

But if you don't know from rhetoric, this post will fill you in.

HT: Regular Guy

Top 10 Little-Known Essential Sacred Music Knowledge-Bits

Jeff Tucker posted these. He's right, of course--but for many people who read this (even the reasonably attentive Catholics) a majority of it will come as a complete surprise.

The music of the Mass is not of our choosing; it is not a matter of taste; it is not a glossy layer on top of a liturgy. Liturgical music is embedded within the structure of the liturgy itself: theologically, melodically, and historically. [That is why the phrase "pars integralis" is used to describe Sacred Music in the Document on the Liturgy.]

Hymns are not part of the structure of Mass. Nothing in the Mass says 'it is now time to sing a hymn of your choice'. Hymns are permitted as replacements for what should be sung but only with reservations.

The sung parts of the Mass can be divided into three parts: the ordinary chants (which are stable from week to week), the proper chants (which change according the day), and the priest's parts that include sung dialogues with the people.

The music of/for the Mass is found in three books: the Kyriale (for the people), the Graduale (for the schola), and the Missale (for the priest).

To advocate Gregorian chant is not merely to favor Latin hymns over English ones, because chant hymns make up only a small portion of chant repertoire. It is to favor a sung Mass over a spoken one, and to favor the music of the Mass itself against substitutes. [That is to say, what is specifically favored are the Ordinary, sung by the people, and the Propers, sung by the schola, and the priest's sung parts.]

Cognitive pedagogy is not the primary purpose of music, so, no, it is not important that all people gathered always and immediately "understand the words."

The music of Mass does not require an organist, pianist, guitar player, bongos, or microphones. It requires only the human voice, which is the primary liturgical instrument. [It is the instrument which God gave to everyone--OEM, so to speak. He requires no more than that.]

The Second Vatican Council was the first ecumenical council to decisively declare that chant has primacy of place: "Ecclesia cantum gregorianum agnoscit ut liturgiae romanae proprium: qui ideo in actionibus liturgicis, ceteris paribus, principem locum obtineat." (And ceteris paribus does not mean "unless you don't like it". It means even if chant cannot be sung because of poor skills or lack of resources, or whatever, it still remains an ideal.)

There is no contradiction between chant and participation. Vatican II hoped to see that vernacular hymnody would decrease and the sung [Chant] Mass would increase. Full, conscious, active participation in the Mass means that it is up to the people to do their part to [say or, ideally,] sing the parts of the Mass that belong to the people.

The first piece of papal legislation concerning music appeared in 95 AD, by Pope St. Clement. It forbade profane music in liturgy and emphasized that Church is the place for holy music. All successive legislation has been a variation on that theme.

If you re-phrased the above as a "test" and handed it out to the Liturgeist-Crowd at one of their meetings, my bet is that 95% of them would score less than 20% (2 of 10) correct.

And you could put LARGE dollars on that bet--maybe even pay off your home mortgage.

Poncho Ladies' Very Own Song!

From the Curt Jester.

I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™
I have no valid sacramental ordination in the least
I celebrate Diversity supremely superficially
Conjoining L-G-B-T couples controversially

I’m very well acquainted, too, with Eco-Cycle-Mania
I generate more laughter than O-BER-on and Titania
I feel a Call To Action is required by the Spirit, now
As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE Allow

As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE Allow
As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE Allow
As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE allow-alLOW-ALLOW-ALLOW-ALlow-allow

I’m very skilled at irritating stodgy old Conservatives
Prefer to buy All-Natural so I eschew preservatives
In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
She is the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

I know Mass rubrics well and I ignore them as traditional
I long for Inclusivity so I deplore Partitonal–
Division in the Worship Space or on a floating river craft
And had my feelings hurt when gentlemen like Father Rutler laughed

I practice Wiccan rituals like Harvesting the Springtime Mead
Don’t knock McBrien, Thomas Fox and other authors that I read
I advocate for Wymyn’s Health and Peace & Justices issues, too
And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II

And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II
And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II
And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II-tee-II-tee-II-tee-II-tee-II-tee-II

I tend to gossip with the girls; use caution when confessing “sin”
My scarfish-stoles are chosen for the color of the season w’r’in
In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
She is the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

I pretend that Mary was a priest but question Im-ma-CU-la-ty
“A Loving God/de won’t send to Hell” so fear no Reprobacity
I know Reiki better than a Buddhist Monk from Katmandu
Western Civ is Dominating: don’t believe it’s worth a Sou

I’m suspicious of the male, hierarchical autocracy
We believe our moral precepts should be churned out by democracy
And emasculate the NFL before the Y-chrom spreads some more
Being relegated to a convent just became an awful bore

Being relegated to a convent just became an awful bore
Being relegated to a convent just became an awful bore
Being relegated to a convent just became an awful awful awFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWful bore

Despite my lack of formatory wisdom to be Presbyter
The bishops who ordain us remain hiding with the stench of fear
But still, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

But still, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
She is the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

Sadly, those lyrics are not necessarily just for the PonchoLadies. There are plenty of, ah, who would ascribe to every single proposition above.

On Hallowe'en

G K Chesterton:

IF we ever get the English back on to the English land they will become again a religious people, if all goes well, a superstitious people. The absence from modern life of both the higher and the lower forms of faith is largely due to a divorce from nature and the trees and clouds. If we have no more turnip ghosts it is chiefly from the lack of turnips. --Heretics

Think about that, twice.

HT: VeniSancteSpiritus

"And We're Serious About This"--Signed, Rome

"He who has ears to hear..."

The Bishop of Breda (Netherlands) Martinus "Tiny" Muskens caught our attention earlier this year with a number of consciously provocative remarks, among them the suggestion that popes should have a term limit of ten to fifteen years. OTR modestly suggested that Tiny put his guilders where his dentures are by taking early retirement himself.

Today we read the glad news that the Holy Father has accepted Muskens's resignation three years ahead of his sell-by date under the Canon 401-dash-2 provision. We wish him a happy, healthy, and dolphin-safe senectitude.


Your Waiter/Waitress Is NOT Stupid


There continues to be a "severe compliance problem in the tip reporting area," Wendy Campbell, Senior Stakeholder Liaison, IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division, announced at the October 24th IRS phone forum on the Attributed Tip Income Program and the Code Sec. 45B credit. In addition to compliance statistics, Campbell discussed the various requirements for reporting tip income, as the well as the credit for taxes paid by employers with respect to tip income. --A Business Newsletter

Actually, Wendy, there is a "severe compliance problem in the Congressional Spending area."

I know that's not the IRS' fault.

But don't think that your wait-staffer is stupid. THEY don't feed the Beast.

The Definition of "Greed": the NFL

It's the money, honey.

Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fans are facing a quandary in the coming weeks: Important games won't be on television for some state residents.

That's because the Packers' Nov. 29 game against the Dallas Cowboys will be broadcast on the NFL Network, and this weekend's Badgers' game against Ohio State is scheduled for the Big Ten Network. Satellite providers have added the networks, but cable companies have said consumers should have to pay more for those networks and haven't been able to reach agreements to add them to their lineups.

In the case of the "NFL Network," it's simple greed on the part of the NFL. What they want from the cable operators for their network is more than the cable operators want to pay.

I'm not a lover of TimeWarner--but in this case, they are right and the NFL is....well...greedy.

Not to worry: your State Legislators will make it all better. They'll probably impose a TV tax.

"No Inflation" Dissembling, Part 2

The chart is the Goldman Sachs commodity-basket (agricultural prices).

November '05 the index was 171 plus change; by October '07 the number was 340.
For those in Rio Linda, that's a 100% increase (it doubled) in about 2 years.

The "No Inflation" Dissembling

Let's see how the "there's no inflation here!!!" crowd plays this in a couple of months:

Pressured by high commodity costs, Procter & Gamble Co. and Colgate-Palmolive Co. said they would raise prices on consumer staples .... P&G's price increases will be particularly extensive, between 3% and 12% on goods including diapers, fabric softener and pet food.

Not long ago, P&G products comprised about 50% of a grocery-store's offerings. That may be different now--regardless, this will be noticeable.

The post above has another clear indicator.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

State Senate Slaps DarthDoyle

Under new management, the State Senate has decided to punish the Governor.

A state Senate committee today scheduled a Nov. 14 vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would end the ability of governors to veto spending bills in ways that stitch letters and numbers together to create something never passed by the Legislature - the so-called Frankenstein veto.

The Senate Ethics Reform and Government Operations Committee will vote on a constitutional amendment to limit the veto power governors have wielded for decades on 1 p.m. Nov. 14, according to a meeting notice issued by Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison).

To go before voters, the amendment must be approved by the Senate before the Legislature adjourns next year. It has already been approved by the 2005-'06 session of the Legislature, and by the state Assembly earlier this year.

Risser scheduled the committee vote days after Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle used his Frankenstein veto authority twice when he rewrote parts of the 2007-'09 budget before he signed it into law.

Something tells me that Our Governor's Christmas-card list will be about 18 names shorter this year.

New Catholic Schools Super for Milwaukee Archdiocese; Is the Battle Joined?

This is interesting.

Former Arrowhead High School Superintendent Dave Lodes, who retired at the end of June, was named superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, overseeing its 13 secondary and 120 elementary schools in its 10-county area.

"This job is somewhat different. Unlike a school system, this is a system of schools," Lodes said.
Lodes described the leader of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, as an advocate of Catholic schools. Lodes' appointment fits in with the archdiocese's embarkation on the $105 million Faith In Our Future campaign to support Catholic education and faith formation in the archdiocese.

"The purpose of the campaign is, obviously, to continue the quality of Catholic schools and also to enhance facilities, curriculum, assessment and technology," Lodes said.

Lodes will report to the Director of Archdiocesan Schools, Chuck Allison IV.

He [Lodes] looks forward to promoting the Catholic education initiatives that are part of the $105 million Faith In Our Future capital campaign that the archdiocese launched last weekend. The one he mentioned most was the centers of excellence, scheduled to receive $6.85 million and which are designed to strengthen accreditation standards, enhance academic performance, provide professional development for teachers and to expand marketing of the schools.

The former Archbishop of Milwaukee did not have much use for Catholic parish schools, and was happy to force parishes to raise their tuition requirements (significantly, in some cases.)

There are implications here.

Over the last 10 years, at least four non-Archdiocesan, non-parochial Catholic schools have sprung up in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee, Menomonee Falls, and Pewaukee. All of them have emphasized two advantages in comparison to parochial grade-schools: 1) More rigorous and complete religious education, using Catechisms NOT used by parochial schools, supplemented by Papal documents; and 2) More rigorous academic standards, including teaching Latin and algebra in the upper grades.

Not only have these 'alternative Catholic' schools survived, they have flourished. The former Archbishop of Milwaukee studiously ignored them and even barred them from using the term "Catholic" in their titles. The current Archbishop has been much more friendly, visiting the schools and engaging in productive conversations.

But there's something a bit ...odd...about having an alternative 'Catholic' school system in place and doing well, when running an "official" Catholic school system which is shrinking.

Time to order some popcorn.

Rome Approves

Evidently Abp. Dolan has made sufficient progress with the Archdiocese; Rome has sent a new Auxiliary Bishop.

From my recollection, Fr. (soon-to-be-Bishop) Wm. P. Callahan, OFM Conv. is a solid Catholic man.

A native of Chicago, Callahan has served in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee as associate pastor of the Basilica of St. Josaphat Parish, from 1977 to 1978, and, again, as rector and pastor of St. Josaphat Parish, from 1994 to 2005. Callahan left the parish in 2005 and currently serves as Spiritual Director for the Pontifical North American College, the seminary for Americans, in Rome.

Which means, of course, that he will be subject to a vast, artful, and multi-faceted "neutering" campaign from all the usual suspects (and there are a LOT of them here.)

St. Michael, protect him!

"Gun Show Loophole"? Not Likely

Central American and Mexican drug-runners have a lot of money to spend, and they spend it on moving drugs--and protecting that movement with firepower.

The Washington Post reports on the situation and points the finger at US gun shows. The report fits neatly into the agenda which would stigmatize US gun shows and which would force all private gun transactions into a "dealer-only" channel. It also (handily enough) fits into a UN agenda item which would severely restrict small-arms manufacturing.

But is this the whole story?

Not likely.

The U.S. weapons -- as many as 2,000 enter Mexico each day, according to a Mexican government study -- are crucial tools in an astoundingly barbaric war between rival cartels that has cost 4,000 lives in the past 18 months and sent law enforcement agencies in Washington and Mexico City into crisis mode.

First off, that's a helluvalotta guns per day. A reasonable man could concede that there is illicit gun-trafficking from the US into Mexico--but 2,000/day? That's 750,000 guns/year.


Then the story reveals Part Two--Mexican corruption:

Corrupt customs officials help smuggle weapons into Mexico, earning as much as $1 million for large shipments, police here say. ...

...and plays fast-and-loose with rhetoric:

The arms traffickers have left Mexico awash in AK-47s, pistols, telescope sighting devices, grenades, grenade launchers and high-powered ammunition, such as the so-called cop-killer bullets believed to be able to penetrate bulletproof vests.

Umnnnhhh....people..."cop-killer" bullets are regular AK-47 and AR-15 ammunition. They are high-powered rifles, and although there are vests which can stop them, those vests are not commonly issued, nor used, by civilian police agencies.

In addition, that stuff about "grenades and grenade launchers" is....ummmm...interesting. You can attend a lot of gun shows and never see live grenades for sale. enforcement officers on both sides of the border have never seen anything like the flood of guns now surging into Mexico. The increase has been stoked by the cartel war and by the ease of buying high-powered weapons since the U.S. assault weapons ban was not renewed in 2004, William Newell, a special agent in charge of the ATF's Phoenix office, said in an interview.

Authorities have tracked smugglers who bought dozens of weapons at various shows in a single weekend.

That's where the numbers just don't add up. Earlier, the report says "2,000 guns per day." Most gun shows run only for 3 days--Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Multiply, folks: that implies that 14,000 weapons are purchased--just under 5,000 PER DAY--at "gun shows."

I don't think so.

So what else is at play here? How about major-league gun-running--supplied by PRChina (which has already been caught shipping AK-47's to Los Angeles), or Eastern European small-arms exporters?

Or maybe from South America? Central America?

Mexican government arms-seizure figures show a dramatic shift in the final destination of smuggled weapons. Once largely centered in border states, the arms market appears to be concentrating in Michoacan, the home state of Mexican President Felipe Calderon and a favorite of tourists who flock there for the annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies. In the first 10 months of 2007, more than 1,200 weapons were seized in Michoacan, four times as many as were seized in border states such as Baja California and Chihuahua.

Michoacan is a lot closer to Central America than to the US, which means it's a lot closer to the homes of most large drug cartels. The Post's article implies that the guns found here are from "US gun shows," but the implication is not the same as the documentation.

So it's a nice article. There are problems.

But Mexico's corruption (which is legendary, not just anecdotal), and the alleged volume of weapons, do not irrefutably pin the tail on the "gun show" monkey.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Just a Reminder

In case you forgot, DarthDoyle has privileges that we pay for...

But WE can't have them.

Why the Electoral College?

Because Fred Thompson is right and the Hildebeeste is wrong.

...Clinton’s conclusion is affected by the fact that she desires the power of a national chief executive, not a mere federal president.

What is the difference between "national" and "federal," and why should you care? In short, a national government is, theoretically, a completely centralized one. If it has local subdivisions, those subdivisions (provinces) exist solely for the convenience of the center. This is the kind of regime that France has had since the French Revolution.

On the other hand, a federal regime is one in which the central government’s power is limited, with most power remaining in the local units (in America, the states). The United States Constitution was sold to the states during the ratification process as a federal one. It could not have been ratified on any other basis, since the Revolution had been fought in the name of the federal model outlined by Thomas Jefferson in A Summary View of the Rights of British America (1774). The national model, in which a central government was sovereign (that is, possessed of unlimited power), was the one the British Parliament adopted in the hated Declaratory Act (1766).

In that act of 1766, the British Parliament claimed to be the kind of national government adored by such as Mrs. Clinton and Professor Levinson. In such a system, it makes sense that a national poll should be taken and the candidate with the most votes should be elected. Where the electorate is understood as made up of distinct communities, of different states that preexisted the federal constitution, however, it makes sense that those communities should have equal voices in making the ultimate decision.

We're still a Federalist union (albeit "history" since the War of Northern Aggression has been laced with erroneous but seductive "nationalist" perfume.) If one takes the Constitution and its amendments seriously (see particularly the 12th Amendment) then one cannot take the Hildebeeste's position seriously at all.

At the same time, the underlying-but-not-loudly-played theme of the Ruuuudeeeee!!! campaign has had the same odor as the position endorsed by HRC--because that odor is most seductive when "national security" is emphasized.

Beware the 'savior-President' candidates.


License Oligopoly, Part 3: "What Local Control?"

We've mentioned the "license-oligopoly" bunch before.

Those are the folks who want the State (or some subdivision thereof) to protect their incomes.

We forgot to mention the Tavern League of Wisconsin, arguably the grand-daddy of piggies.

The Tavern League purchased a Legislative majority years ago--and that majority has done whatever the Tavern League wants, beginning with arrogating powers to the State that should belong to municipalities.

In effect, the State of Wisconsin tells local governments how many establishments may serve liquor, and what KIND of establishments those may be.

Nice, hey? Saves the Tavern League folks a lot of money--they only have to purchase the majorities in the Legislature and Senate, rather than run all over the State purchasing majorities of aldermen and supervisors.

...the Tavern League of Wisconsin will oppose the exemption to liquor license limits, said Peter Madland, executive director of the organization.

"Historically we've always been opposed to anything that creates more licenses," he said.

"Obviously, the more licenses there are, the more it decreases the value of existing licenses."

Sure wouldn't want more competitors. That might actually require better customer service, or something.

Memo to Legislators: dump the State controls altogether. You shouldn't have them.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some Laws Are Meant to be Busted

The Party-In-Government (PIG) bunch writes its own rules. You, working-stiff taxpayers--just STFU and pay the bill. After all, the State has the guns and the Capitol Police will make certain that you don't cause trouble... legislator will admit to inserting certain provisions into a state budget, and public records don't give clues as to who pushed for them. Legislative files detailing who wrote some of those measures will forever remain secret under state law, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau.

Read that bold/red again.

So we have millions of tax dollars going into asinine "projects," and YOU cannot find out who is spending the money which YOU have to send to Madistan?

Sometimes it is appropriate to physically abuse Legislators. This would be one of those times.

Maybe the CIA can send a few extra water-boards?

JS Headlines "Nazi"; Gould's Teapot-Mind Boils Over

Whitney Gould has earned derision from common-sense individuals as a Dilettante-de-Butt-Ugly-Dumb, promoting orange/green/brown-painted buildings in the 3rd Ward and the infamous "Blue Shirt" hanging on an airport building, among other atrocious projects.

It is also clear that when she's been told to 'butt out,' she can haul out the poison pen and has no compunctions about waving the "Nazi" flag.

As its name implies, the new Man at Work museum at the Milwaukee School of Engineering is designed to celebrate the nobility of physical labor through the ages. But the engineer and the industrialist who run the museum have included artworks made to glorify the construction projects of the Nazi regime, art historians say.

A couple of things jump out of that lede. First off, the Dilettante is displeased that 'an engineer and an industrialist' are 'running' a museum. That sort of endeavor is reserved to "polite company," NOT 'engineers and industrialists.'

She found somebody to carp:

Another concern of critics is that neither Kopmeier nor Grohmann has professional expertise in art or art history, and there is no professional curator on the museum's staff. Kopmeier's background is in engineering and manufacturing. Grohmann, a native of Silesia (now Poland), whose family was in the marble business, is president of Aluminum Casting & Engineering Co.

Gott in Himmel!!!! No "professional curator?" No "professional expertise"? You mean to tell me that these guys, who have dirty shoes from tramping around in a FOUNDRY, have the nerve to open a museum? Heaven forfend! Clearly, it is the End of the (oh-so-Civilized) World!!

With wine-dark hot estrogen flowing through her pen, Gould works her Dudgeon to a Really Significant High Point:

The Grohmann Museum features a 700-piece trove of paintings and sculptures, some dating from the 16th century, that were collected by Milwaukee industrialist Eckhart G. Grohmann and donated to the school. To most eyes, the peasant scenes and industrial landscapes will not appear overtly political or sinister.

Ah, but to the Enlightened One--(that is, the self-appointed Enlightened One), there's a problem:

...the most represented artist in the collection, Erich Mercker (1891-1973), was commissioned directly by Hitler's government to create images of the Third Reich's expanding infrastructure.
One of the 81 Mercker works in the collection shows laborers cutting stone bound for the Chancellery in Berlin, the Reich's seat of power, and others depicting bridges of the Autobahn, one of Hitler's proudest achievements

Some guy took a job painting pictures of another bunch of guys cutting stone. 11.57% of the pictures in the collection came from that artist's brush; the pix were paid for by the Third Reich.


Here we have the "Man at Work" museum with pictures of men at work in Germany. The pictures were donated by a generous soul. They are directly on-point. Further, the museum is a private enterprise/exhibition site.

Frankly, only the Dilettante-du-Butt-Ugly Dumb cares about who signed some artist's paycheck:

Aaron Breitbart, a senior researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, said there was a difference between artists like the filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, who openly glorified the Nazi regime with propaganda films, and artists who joined the Nazi party or did officially sanctioned work "just to get a job."

"They're not necessarily bad guys," he said of artists in the latter category. "There's a lot of gray in this area."

For a hint of how this "controversy" was fueled, see this:

Ischi Grohmann, Eckhart Grohmann's wife, told a reporter that the museum was "a private collection of a private man who gave this as a gift to a private school. The public has nothing to do with it."

She said she saw no need to disclose more information about the paintings, which are predominantly German and Northern European and by mostly little known artists.

"Aspects of history can be read in books," she said. "You see what you see - a quarry or a bridge or whatever."

In other words, Mrs. Grohmann told Ms. Gould to "buzz off." Someday I'd like to meet Mrs. Grohmann and thank her for her contribution to the betterment of Milwaukee. Too bad that The Enlightened One--the Dilletante-du-Butt-Ugly-Dumb-- didn't do what she was asked...

But I'll re-iterate what Mrs. Grohmann implied:

I think that Ms. Gould should spray some Raid where she has a bug and spend more time staring at the Blue Shirt. You know, the Blue Shirt which symbolizes men at work.

Think about that, Whitney.

Homeland Security Fails Again, Again, Again, Again,...

Key senators said a Mexican national infected with a highly contagious form of tuberculosis did not use a fake name to enter the country 76 times and take numerous flights, as Homeland Security spokesmen had previously stated.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and the panel's ranking member, said that Customs and Border Protection officials had the name and a corrected date of birth by mid-April but that the man continued to cross the border unfettered 21 more times.

"He wasn't using an alias," Miss Collins said.
Did we re-hire "Brownie" in a new capacity at the border?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Diplomacy With an Edge

From an interview of Mgr. Guido Marini, the new Papal Master of Ceremonies:

Q.) So it goes from one another: what do you say to Piero, your predecessor?

A) "I thank him from my heart. He gave so much to the Church, he served two Popes, and I find myself only at the beginning of my path."

That's the 'diplomatic' part.

Here's the 'edgy' part:

Q) Many have claimed that you were called because [you are] liturgically more traditionalist and sober than Archbishop Piero Marini. But what is your conception of the liturgy?

A) "[It is] as the Church wishes and teaches, not more and not less. I am not the kind of person who looks for inventions and oddities. I may even seem banal, but the liturgy is respect to the rules laid down by the Church, and I see no reason for which I should disobey it."

Q) It is said precisely that in Genoa, where you worked up to now, the liturgy was well cared for, sober and elegant, without bizarre adornments...

A) "But liturgy is naturally thus. I repeat: no one can act against the liturgical laws of the Church. The Mass is a gift, a grace, not a show. Therefore, no invention, but absolute respect for liturgical rules."

And now, a combination of both:

Q) In your opinion, have there been liturgical abuses recently?

A) "You know, the Church is large. But, as the Pontiff himself recognized in the accompanying letter to the Motu Proprio 'Summorum Pontificum', there have been abuses and extravagant interpretations. What I can say is that certainly I will not be the author of any fabrication, I will limit myself to scrupulously apply the existing rules."

Shouldn't be too hard to notice the difference.

The other Marini? What was his name, again?

HT: Rorate Coeli

The Poverty of the "Readings Cycle"

Some thoughts from Peter Kwasniewski on the ballyhooed "cycle of readings" used in the Pauline Rite are ....thought-provoking.

..the proper chants for [Therese of Liesieux'] feastday, in the new Graduale Romanum, are, in some cases (like the Alleluia verse) irrelevant, and in other cases barely relevant -- that is, bearing no special relation to Saint Thérèse. A comparison with the propers of the old rite for Thérèse's feastday will make apparent the magnitude of the loss suffered by the faithful when the ancient liturgy and its organic development were cast aside.

The Graduale Romanum (the Novus Ordo) offers the following propers for Saint Thérèse:

Introit (Ps. 30:7-8,2) -- I however have hoped in the Lord: I shall exult and rejoice in Thy mercy, because Thou hast looked upon my humility. V: In Thee, O Lord, I have put my hope, I shall not be confounded for ever; in Thy justice free me. I however have hoped in the Lord: I shall exult and rejoice in Thy mercy, because Thou hast looked upon my humility.

Gradual (Ps. 26:4) -- One thing I have asked of the Lord, this I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord. V. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and be protected by His holy temple.

Alleluia (Ps. 116:1) -- Praise the Lord, all ye nations, and rejoice in Him, all ye peoples. Alleluia.

Offertory (Ps. 102:2,5) -- Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all of His gifts: and thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.

Communion (Ps. 9:2,3) -- I shall tell of all Thy wonders: I shall rejoice and exult in Thee: I shall sing Thy name, O most High.1

(N.B. Kwasniewski did not use the execrable ICEL translations---these are real translations of the Latin originals.)

Now, consider the Propers appointed in the old rite for the feast of Saint Thérèse. In stark contrast to the sad situation that obtains with the new rite, in the old rite the Propers were always recited or sung, because they are, and were treated as, an integral part of the liturgy. (When was the last time you actually SAW the Gradual and Offertory propers for a Sunday or daily Mass, much less read it--or had it sung by your choir? At least one can find the Introit, Alleluia, and Communion propers in the usual missalettes, albeit only the Alleluia versicle is usually sung.) Moreover, people often had their handheld missals with them, so that everyone who cared to pay attention -- and this was certainly an ever-growing number right up to the eve of the Council -- was nourished by these verses from Scripture, beautifully applied to the Little Flower:

Introit (Cant. 4:8-9) -- Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come; thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart. V. (Ps. 112:1) Praise the Lord, ye children; praise ye the name of the Lord. Glory be. Come from Libanus, my spouse, etc.

Gradual (Mt. 11:25) -- I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones. V. (Ps. 70.5) [Thou hast been] my hope, O Lord, from my youth.

Alleluia (Ecclus. 39:17-19) -- Bud forth as the rose planted by the brooks of waters: Give ye a sweet odor as frankincense. Send forth flowers as the lily, and yield a smell, and bring forth leaves in grace, and praise with canticles and bless the Lord in His works. Alleluia.

Offertory (Lk. 1:46,48-49) -- My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior: because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid. He that is mighty hath done great things to me.

Communion (Deut. 32:10,12) -- He led her about and taught her, and He kept her as the apple of His eye. As an eagle He has spread His wings and hath taken her on His shoulder. The Lord alone was her leader.

You don't have to be a scholar to notice the difference in text/feastday unity. In fact, the argument could be made that only a blithering idiot would have substituted the NO Propers for those from the Old Rite. But then, we're dealing with ICEL...

Kwasniewski then takes on the more general case: the exaltation of "quantity" found in the 3-year cycle of the Pauline Rite.

...There is no liturgy in existence that privileges a rationalistically-conceived march through books of the Old and New Testaments. All liturgies, Eastern and Western, look to the mysteries of Christ and of His Mother, and to the lives and virtues of that bright "cloud of witnesses" who incarnate, so to speak, the reality of Jesus again and again throughout history. Recitation of the text of Scripture is made decisively subordinate to the historical embodiment of Scripture's message in holy persons. The readings serve, in other words, to frame, adorn, and bring to light the face of Christ and the faces of all His imitators. The use of Scripture is iconic, not homiletic...

In other words, what's first is the Season, or the Feast, not some concept of "reading the whole Bible." That 'read-the-whole-Bible-during-Liturgy' thing, practiced at the expense of the Advent-through-Pentecost seasonality (and the feasts of various Saints) is an 'enthusiasm,' and is more than vaguely non-Catholic.

The new lectionary, in contrast, is a failure, for three fundamental reasons.

First, the guiding principles were Cartesian, that is to say, mathematical order, a technical completeness (we have to "get through" the Scriptures), and a typically materialistic disregard for the organic unity of the soul-body complex which is the liturgy -- its soul being the Eucharistic sacrifice-sacrament, the dual motion of offering to the Father and receiving in communion, while its body is the surrounding prayers, readings, and chants.

Second, there is the basic human problem of having more than one year's worth of readings. A single year is a natural period of time; it is healthy, pedagogically superior, and deeply consoling to come back, year after year, to the same readings for a given Sunday or weekday.

Third, the men who chose the readings were a committee of "experts," biblical scholars with sociological leanings,...

Alright, maybe the third objection is a bit snarky. On the other hand, were 'scholar/sociologists' responsible for the Propers and readings of the Joannine Rite?


There's more at the link.

Randi Rhodes Recovers from Fall, Divines Fire's Origin

Perhaps Ms. Rhodes is able to walk and talk. But it seems that her crazed right-wing attacker mis-step has left other permanent damage.

I started just doing Google searches to try and figure out. You know, arson, arson, it was like crazy trying to figure out why is that being downplayed? Why is that, you know, just a small part of the story? And you know, every time I look for it what comes up, believe it or not, is that Blackwater wants to move to San Diego and build this giant complex in San Diego right where most of the evacuations are taking place and you know.

...And then you find out that some of the guys that used to work for Blackwater are now in Schwarzenegger’s administration.

Ummmnnnnhhhh, yah.

Psssst....Randi: I heard that Blackwater did 9/11, too.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Illegals Practicing?.....What, Exactly?.....Here?

As usual, Jessica has an interesting tidbit:

It turns out the state Department of Regulation and Licensing recently ran a check of state license holders' social security numbers and found that a number of them were invalid, prompting the request for the above-mentioned legal opinion. The news reporters didn't ask a key question, however: How many and which professions?

Barbers? CPA's? Lawyers? Surgeons?

Chesterton on Psychology

In brief, he's not sold:

Our fathers did not talk about psychology; they talked about a knowledge of Human Nature. But they had it, and we have not. They knew by instinct all that we have ignored by the help of information. For it is exactly the first facts of human nature that are now being ignored by humanity.

HT: Happy Catholic

Barbers, Liquor Distributors, RoadBuilders...the Oligopoly Gang

Yah, sure, it's all about "protecting" the consumers.

A proposed change in regulating Wisconsin's brew pubs would hamper growth of two Milwaukee-based businesses and should be vetoed by Gov. Jim Doyle

(He didn't. After all, WOW Distributing has a LOT of money.)

...the bill should have been considered as stand-alone legislation, which would provide a chance for debate and discussion. He said it was added to the budget "at the behest of beer wholesalers."

IIRC, those "non-budget" items don't stand up very well to Court scrutiny.

Wholesalers buy beer from breweries and sell it to retailers, including restaurants and taverns. Brew pubs, however, sell primarily their own brands of beer, which are brewed on-site - a process that bypasses wholesalers.

"There's no public policy rationale for this," Grothman said. "This is pure power politics."

So are State Budget items requiring RoadBuilders and General Contractors to build State stuff, regardless of need or the screwing of the taxpayers.

What's new, Glenn?

Doyle Vetoes--Spend and Tax, Spend and Tax AND Zipperer's Take

(Note: Page-number references correspond with the PDF document's pagination.)

Among other things, DarthDoyle's veto will allow technical colleges to increase their tax levies at any rate they want. (P. 28, #5) This, because a limit would "restrict economic development...and hinder educational achievement and job training."

It would also hinder MATC from paying the highest salaries in the Universe to its faculty.

He also allows a forever-and-ever Hunt for Nasties, (or Full Employment for DNR types). (P. 30 #2)

He also allows DNR to spend whatever they want on CWD and allows DNR to "pursue alternative methods" of financing the wildlife damage program. (P 31/2, #3)

Doyle vetoes stiffened reporting and standards-establishment for IT projects at UW and within State agencies, including vetoing a provision which requires sourcing commercially-available packages for proposed system-change implementations. (P.33, #1.)

That would be the "full-employment for State IT workers" provision.

Think that the Department of Family Services should actually tell the Legislature about its Implementation Plans for BadgerCare?

Naaaah. (P. 36, #1)

The City of Racine will receive an endless $250K annual grant to "identify, develop, and promote models of care to address and improve services and birth outcomes for high-risk pregnancies." (P.37, #5)

'Scuse me. A FOREVER grant? Racine? Who are we kidding here, Jimbo?

He vetoes parts of the Liquor Distributors' Guaranteed-Profits language (thankfully.) (P. 40, #1)

He vetoes a requirement for "Value Engineering" DOT projects over $5 million in estimated costs. (P. 43, #6.)

Who needs all that work when the RoadBuilders want to sell pavement? Screw that!!

Doyle lifts his skirt and reveals (duhhhh....) that only State DOT bureaucrats know anything--that the locals are (after all) just rubes who have to live with Busalacchi's Boyzzzzz Decisions. (P. 44, #8) Screw you, local authorities, residents, and taxpayers!!!

He (thankfully) takes the "do it NOW" language out of the Hy. 23 Developer's Dream Act (P. 44, #10.)

Finally, he mandates spending $800,000.00 on "preliminary studies" of the KRM Collossal Waste of Money Project--the one which will serve Roundy's CEO and other folks who collect paychecks in Wisconsin but would rather pay property- and income-taxes in Illinois. (P. 45, #11.)

Not the worst set of possibilities; but overall, it's Spend and Tax (now or later...)

Rep. Zipperer noticed a few other things:

“Apparently a deal isn’t really a deal with this Governor. With one stroke of his pen today, he doubled the tax increase property taxpayers will see for 2007. This Governor’s disregard for the taxpayer is astonishing.”

Some of today’s more egregious vetoes include:

Increase property tax levy limit to 3.86% in 2007. Under the budget negotiated with Doyle, there was a 2% cap.

Eliminate phase-out of the PECFA program. This program places an additional tax on each gallon of gasoline.

Eliminate a requirement that the UW-System let students know at the time of class registration who the daily teacher would be and what their credentials are.

Eliminates legislative oversight of DNR Stewardship land acquisitions, meaning the Legislature will not have oversight on $85 million of DNR expenditures each year.

Eliminate a ‘lock box’ on the Transportation Fund, leaving the fund open for future abuses and raids.

Eliminate a requirement that the DOT annually submit to the Legislature a ten-year plan on future bonding.

Eliminate a requirement that the DOT submit a plan to the Legislature on how to eliminate a $30,000,000 structural deficit within the Transportation Fund

To update the term 'double-dealing,' we now have "Doyle-Dealing."

What a guy.

The LawDog's Art: Mr. Johnson Found at Home

Seems that all I've done today is post links.

But if you don't read this one, you'll have missed Mr. Johnson's life....and death.

Told in the way only LawDog can tell it.

Double-Dog-Dare you. You'll have to find a Kleenex.

Go here, NOW.

Women in Management & Politics

Kathy Stepp has some valuable insights.

REALLY valuable insights.

HT: Phelony

In Other GOOD News...

Planet Moron is back.

You can gain a greater understanding of Federal Disaster Area rules.

Or Housing Trends.

Of course, you can also order the Maxim Calendar for 2008 (right sidebar.)


More PC Inanity

You can't make this up, folks.

What book could be more P.C. than To Kill a Mockingbird, the tear-jerking tale of racial heroism that reportedly has been ranked second only to the Bible in terms of social impact? Yet to make her point, author Harper Lee had to use the "N-word," now considered by liberals to be a blasphemy more horrific than the darkest passage in the Necronomicon.

Okaloosa County, Florida educrats ruled that the unspeakable word be censored from a production of Mockingbird at Fort Walton Beach High School, in accordance with local black militants' demands.

The fact is that 'the word' is a part of history. It existed, and still exists (ask any rapper...) Like other bad stuff, one cannot simply erase it. In the context, (Mockingbird) just as in Huckleberry Finn, it's ....there.

Killing Mockingbird to be PC? That's a horrible price to pay.

HT: Moonbattery

WackoLefty Anti-Gun Hypocrisy Exposed

That lady over at Modern Commentaries gets to the heart of it, quickly.


College students across the country have been strapping empty holsters around their waists this week to protest laws that prohibit concealed weapons on campus, citing concerns over campus shootings


others believe college is no place for firearms.

"You don't like the fact that you can't have a gun on your college campus? Drop out of school," said Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Not the right thing to say, Peter. Amy rips your eyeballs out:

Can you imagine if someone had said to Muslim students, "You don't like the fact that you can't have footbaths on your college campus? Drop out of school."

Or if someone said to homosexuals on campus, "You don't like the fact that you can't have a GLBT group on your college campus? Drop out of school."

Or if someone said to an atheist on campus, "You don't like the fact that you have a chapel on your college campus? Drop out of school."

And, of course, 'bearing arms' is a Constitutional right--unlike footbaths.

Where's the MONEY? Reporters Fail to Get Answers

The Company Line emerges in the JS article...

Documents released Thursday under the state open records law reveal detailed plans to shut down state government partially for the first time in Wisconsin history ...

Which, of course, is exactly what DarthDoyle wanted in print, along with this description of The Apocalypse:

...the layoffs eventually would have led to the shutdown of the state's consumer protection hotline; ended enforcement of the no-call list; stopped the inspection of fuel pumps; limited the hours at motor vehicle stations; and suspended the registry that tracks child immunizations, along with several other programs.

Well, maybe, kinda, sorta:

The documents do not spell out how soon those actions would have been taken

Of course, there's the qualification-line:

...state government has been operating under the terms of the previous budget.

But HERE'S the one which raises a question (never answered by the intrepid reporter):

Schooff said that wasn't enough because of rising costs for salaries, benefits, fuel and utilities.

Instead, there's just this remark from the Senate (R) leader, who presumably knows something about the State's financial condition:

Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said that without a new budget, the state would have been "flush with cash" until the spring.

Sure would be nice to know the State's revenue numbers (and expense numbers) from 7/1 through 9/30, eh?

Rudy Rockefeller

Mark Levin wrote about the "New York-DC Axis" which was pumping for Ruuuuudeeeee! and we noted that here.

Now PJBuchanan mentions a few things that adduce similar thoughts:

And Rudy? A McGovernite in 1972, he boasted in the campaign of 1993 that he would "rekindle the Rockefeller, Javits, Lefkowitz tradition" of New York's GOP and "produce the kind of change New York City saw with ... John Lindsay." He ran on the Liberal Party line and supported Mario Cuomo in 1994.

I suppose everyone makes a few mistakes, but ...

It's not Rudy, per se. But what Rudy is is an East Coast Pubbie. There's just no way around it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

...and Some GOOD News!

The Win Model 70 is back!!!!

The Winchester Model 70 is one of the most respected bolt-action rifle designs in the world. Winchester Repeating Arms is excited to announce the return of the Model 70 for 2008.

The All-American Model 70s will be built by American craftsmen in Columbia, South Carolina, at the same state-of-the-art factory (FN Manufacturing) as the rifles and machine guns used by America’s Armed Forces. They are made to the exact ISO 9001 standard of quality that the U.S. Government insists upon for military firearms.

For 2008 the new Model 70 has the all new M.O.A.™ Trigger System, improved fit and finish and enhanced accuracy to go along with its classic Pre-64 Controlled Round Feeding, Three-Position safety and solid, sure handling.

This was the rifle most commonly used as the sniper-rifle during Vietnam (and afterwards.)

It'll be chambered for .30-06 and .300 WinMag. About $1000.00 list.

HT: Arms and the Law

Planned Parenthood Meets the Unstoppable Force Kansas, of all places...

Robert Novak noticed, too.

On Oct. 16, Kansas District Judge James F. Vano in suburban Kansas City spent eight hours reviewing a 107-count grand jury indictment against Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Inc. and decided there was "probable cause" to proceed. Allegations of unlawful late-term abortions and other abortion-connected crimes were brought by Johnson County District Atty. Phill Kline,...

His 107 charges against Planned Parenthood include allegations of "unlawful late-term abortions," "unlawful failure to determine viability for late-term abortion," "making false information" and "unlawful failure to maintain records."

While the Democratic-controlled Congress surely will not defund Planned Parenthood, it will be pressed to fulfill its oversight mission with congressional hearings. The socially conservative Family Research Council Wednesday called for a Justice Department investigation. And Republican presidential candidates -- who proceed gingerly on abortion -- will be called to combat in this war.

And "war" it is, indeed.

Jay Leno's Right: Jurors Are the Weak Link

It's a running joke with Leno, and there's plenty of material in Hollywood: the juries who acquitted OJ, Spector, etc., etc.,

But sometimes juries screw up on important stuff, like terrorism-funding schemes such as the "Holy Land Foundation."

"She looked at the judge and said she was confused. He just looked at her. There's not much you can say to that. Ignorance is a formidable weapon. You can't attack it."

Then there's this one:

The forewoman of the jury wrote at the beginning of deliberations, "Who were the expert witnesses?" -- this, after having listened to two months of testimony.


HT: Dreher

The Myth: That the MPD Can Reduce Crime

All this chatter about who will be selected, what they will "do" about crime, yada yada yada....

The link is to a very-insightful post by Greg Borowski, but here's the flawed statement:

"The pressure that exists is to find a police chief who will reduce crime and make Milwaukee feel like a safe place." (Jeff Fleming, spinmeister)

It just ain't going to happen that way, folks.

The cop-shop is largely re-active. When they have been pro-active, one of two things happens:

1) Crime goes elsewhere for the time being;
2) Commanders get busted and/or fired/"resigned."

Far more important, (even E. Kane gets it, mostly) it's the disintegration of the black family which is the root-cause.

But that's a topic which is NOT mentioned in polite, liberal, society. Not even in churches.

Too bad.

Stupid SWAT Stories

Good ol' Radley has a few here, along with a trenchant observation:

This sort of case also emphasis [sic] the inherent contradiction in the way police justify these raids. You'll notice in the article that the police say they conducted the no-knock, middle-of-the-night raid to catch the suspect and his family off-guard. They then turn around and say the woman who fired the gun should have known they were police officers (she's in jail on attempted capital murder charges). You can't have it both ways. You can't say nighttime SWAT raids are necessary to catch people unaware while they're sleeping, then say they "should have known" that the men invading their homes were police.

And as his first example in the link demonstrates, just living within a mile or so of a drug-dealer is "cause" for some SWAT raids by nincompoop cop-shops.

If you give the police more and more power, you better have better-and-better cops.

Housing Still Has Problems

Big Picture gives the quick rundown:

Unit sales dropped 8% in September; this is the lowest level in eight years;
Sales of existing homes were down 19.1% year over year;
• Sales of existing homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million;
• Inventories of single-family rose to a 20-year high;
Sales fell in all four regions.
• Median sales price for homes and condos was $211,700, down 4.2% in the past year.
Median sales prices have fallen in 13 of the past 14 months, pressured by a decline in jumbo mortgage lending (> $417,000).

Some are now pressuring the Fed to drop its rate to 3.75% by mid-2008 (read: Lehmann Bros.)

S'pose the "Free Markets" people are going to advocate just letting the market adjust housing prices downward for the next 5 years?

My Libertarian/Wacko Chicago attorney-commenter may or may not. Depends on if he owns a home which is, ah, leveraged...

Laws? Not for Lawyers!!

Probably stupidity, but the irony is huge.

When emailing invitations to Louis Butler fundraisers to friends and colleagues, do NOT send to public employees at their official public email addresses. It’s against the law.

(That was free advice to someone at a Janesville law firm...(!!) from Brian Fraley)

But hey, those laws, found in the Wisconsin statute-books? They just apply to 'little people.'

HT: Fraley

Manufacturing a Controversy on JB VanHollen

Wonder who was the source of this story?

J.B. Van Hollen says he's a true-blue Republican. But his bridges with the GOP faithful could be smoldering.

Just nine months into his term as the state's attorney general, Van Hollen has taken a number of stances that run counter to traditional Republican philosophy.

He's bagged an investigation into Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's fundraising. He's issued legal opinions that say Wisconsin's ban on partial-birth abortion is probably toothless and the University of Wisconsin System can legally use race in admissions

So happens that Wisconsin's ban on p-b-a IS toothless, and that per SCOTUS, the UW may use race (inter alia) for admissions.

So those two items are crap.

Personally, I'd love to see DarthDoyle visit Club Waupun for 10-20 plus probation--but that's a matter of law, not personal opinion, too.

Just last month the Justice Department canceled plans for a prayer at a state Capitol service for murder victims after the Freedom From Religion Foundation objected.

Here, JB folded his cards too early. Let Annie sue. The cost burden would be her problem, and the issue wouldn't be settled until 2012, anyway.

Just get the Crime Lab up to speed, and take a hard look at Russ Decker's budget-negotiation tactics, JB. After another 12 months, DarthDoyle's boyzzzz will make another fund-raising mistake, and it will be worth pursuing.

Indian Gambling Lesson

One wonders if Wisconsin is as impotent as New Mexico, given DarthDoyle's signature on some documents.

Hoffman, a retired Albuquerque city employee, was playing a "Mystical Mermaid" slot machine on the morning of Aug. 16, 2006, when he thought he hit it big.

The nickel slot said he'd won $1,597,244.10. Patrons and casino employees came to congratulate him. He even got a marriage proposal, Hoffman said. But, soon he was asked to come to an executive conference room, where he says he was told
the casino refused to pay

The Captain 'splains it for us:

New Mexico does not have the legal authority to give standing for a lawsuit against an Indian casino. Its sovereignty does not reach into the reservations, one reason why casinos can exist there in the first place. Even federal courts would be loathe to intrude on a contract dispute, which leaves Hoffman few choices to remedy his loss.

Something to think about...

St Crispin's Day

Charlie Sykes loves this clip for good reason. Agincourt, Balaclava, and Leyte Gulf were all won by the good guys on this feast-day.

Next year in Madison!!

HT: Betsy

$200 Million Later, the Fund is Bankrupt


How the $200 million transfer will affect the fund's financial condition is unknown.
The fund had $746.4 million in assets and $686.5 million in liabilities, including projected claims, as of June 30, 2006. That gave it a net worth of $59.9 million.

A report by the Legislative Audit Bureau in March found that pulling $175 million from the fund would leave it with an accounting deficit. But the report also noted that the fund's actuary has regularly lowered its estimate of future liabilities.

So our Governor and Legislature take $200 million from a fund worth $59 million.

Wish I could do that!

P I Attorneys Get a Pass

Read the story here. I double-dog-dare you to find the REAL problem, which is "Ridiculous Monetary Awards."

MD's fume about what is arguably theft-by-Legislation, and our Governor and his compliant Spend-a-Holic legislature pals go home having taken $200 million from those MD's, which was part of a backup fund for malpractice settlements.

But the underlying cause is never mentioned: malpractice awards.

So next time you or your spouse want to visit an OB-GYN, or need anaesthesia, you may have to wait, or drive quite a distance.

Or you could call a P.I. attorney--or the Governor--or a Democrat legislator.

Do You Keep the Soccer Team's Email List?

If so, you damn well better keep it up to date.

An East Rockaway soccer mom angered over being dropped from the team e-mail list for game-day directions was arrested after slamming a metal folding chair across the face of her daughter's coach, police said yesterday.

Alicia Vigil, 33, of 168 Main St., was charged Monday with second-degree reckless endangerment in the 2:45 p.m. attack Sunday in Elmont.

She could have hit him with the mini-van; he should count his blessings.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Feingold, Kohl (D-Anarchy) Vote Wrong, But Fail

DREAM is dead.

No thanks to our Senators of the Amnesty Party.

Planned Parenthood's Numbers-Massage

From a source meeting the full approval of Owen, no less...

Recently, the Guttmacher Institute (a research wing of Planned Parenthood), released a study with some stats I thought sounded fishy (read the summary report here) Of course the media just spit the press release out as fact.

48% of all abortions worldwide were unsafe
more than 97% of all unsafe abortions were in developing countries
There were 31 abortions for every 100 livebirths worldwide in 2003

Asked to comment, a Ph.D. Texas A&M stats guy offered the following: is what I see (note that I defer to their definitions):

-If an abortion takes place in a polity where induced abortion is illegal (or severely restricted), it is deemed as unsafe, even if done so by trained providers.

-The researchers "corrected" some data for under-reporting. The correction inflation was usually about 140%. The US correction factor was 105%; Bangladesh was 300%. Therefore, for countries where abortions are illegal, the total number of abortions was estimated, then inflated, and then all of these were considered unsafe.

Lots more at the link.

No wonder Planned Parenthood/Milwaukee likes Dan Maguire so much. Birds of a feather...

G K Chesterton on Truth and Fiction

Think of it this way:

TRUTH must necessarily be stranger than fiction; for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it.

Works better, no?

HT: Chesterton Day by Day

"Religion of Peace" Followers Rioting in Holland

Didn't hear about that in the MSM?

Oh, well.

China Is Our Friend!! Part 23,574

Jib points out that the PRC dictators are very serious about space-war technology.

A Chinese submarine will send test signals that could change the course of a satellite when China launches its first moon orbiter, as part of the country's effort to develop space war technology, a human rights watchdog said Tuesday

For those of you who don't recall (or who prefer NOT to recall), Bubba Clinton's best pals were the ChiComs. Not only did they provide financial support to his campaign (illegally,) they were "honored guests" at a number of US defense facilities--getting a far closer look at our capabilities than even ordinary US citizens are allowed to have.

Should we bring up The Hildebeeste's China-money problem again?

Romney's Rudeeee!!! Moment

The Second Amendment is a dead letter to both Mitt and Ruuuuuuudeeee!--here's Mitt's statement:

I firmly believe in the importance of responsible gun ownership and sales. As a member of the National Rifle Association, I do not believe that we need any more federal gun control laws. I also recognize that some types of extreme weapons, those which were not meant for hunting, sport, or self-defense, have no business being on the streets.

Uh, Mitt--here's the reality check: the 2A was written to keep Government in line. So .50Cals (and, yes, machine guns) are perfectly fine in the hands of citizens.

Never know when we might need them.

HT: ClayCramer

The MSM's Utter Failure re: Jena

This is interesting because it simply, flatly, contradicts the MSM's take on the affair.

Myth 1: The Whites-Only Tree. There has never been a "whites-only" tree at Jena High School. Students of all races sat underneath this tree

Myth 2: Nooses a Signal to Black Students. An investigation by school officials, police, and an FBI agent revealed the true motivation behind the placing of two nooses in the tree the day after the assembly. According to the expulsion committee, the crudely constructed nooses were not aimed at black students. Instead, they were understood to be a prank by three white students aimed at their fellow white friends, members of the school rodeo team.

Myth 3: Nooses Were a Hate Crime. Although many believe the three white students should have been prosecuted for a hate crime for hanging the nooses, the incident did not meet the legal criteria for a federal hate crime

The following Myth invites speculation:

Myth 9: Mychal Bell's All-White Jury. While it is true that Mychal Bell was convicted as an adult by an all-white jury in June (a conviction that was later overturned with his case sent to juvenile court), the jury selection process was completely legal and withstood an investigation by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. Court officials insist that several black residents were summoned for jury duty, but did not appear.

The piece was written by a Jena newspaper reporter whose wife teaches at Jena HS.

Think he might actually know more than the MSM 'fly-bys'?

Sadly, this is a model for much of the "reporting" from Iraq, too...

HT: AnkleBitingPundits

Shed Tears for Illegals?

The usual weepies from G. Pabst, the usual suspect at the JSOnline.

Ana had planned to attend Marquette University on a four-year, $20,000 scholarship to pursue her dream of becoming a mechanical engineer.

She was a good student, too. And Marquette admitted her.

With some help, she said, she applied for the scholarship using a temporary Social Security number and was awarded a four-year, $20,000 scholarship.

After she attended her first class, school officials told her that because of her illegal immigrant status, she would not be able to continue

Natch, there's a solution:

Now she and others like her are hoping that the proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act - commonly called the DREAM Act - introduced by U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and supported by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) will pass.

To qualify, a person would have to be here at least five years and would have had to come to the U.S. by age 16. The person would have to graduate from high school, be of good moral character and not have committed any crimes. The age limit is 30.

Such students would be eligible for federal student loan and work-study programs. They would have to be in college for two years or enlist in the military.
Within six years they could be eligible for permanent residency.

The fact remains that these children will displace US citizens. The appeal is Weepy, not rational.

Choice: Not the Magic Bullet


While I am a proponent of "Choice" schools, my advocacy was never founded on the idea that having a parallel system of schools would "improve" MPS.

And it doesn't.

Or at least, it doesn't when you eliminate private schools or charter schools from the study-base.

The new report ...does not discuss parents who select private schools in the publicly funded voucher program or charter schools that are not affiliated with MPS.

...and THOSE are the "choices"--voucher schools and perhaps charter schools--which offer a real "choice."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Zipperer to Vote "NO" on Spend-a-Thon Budget

Got the email.

Rich Zipperer, (R) will vote "no" on the Doyle-and-Huebsch Spend-a-Thon budget.

One down!

USCC on the Wrong Side of the Discussion--Again

From an email....

Open-borders Senators have plummeted to a new low in advocating amnesty by aiding, abetting and harboring a group of illegal aliens in our United States Capitol today!

Sen. Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Lugar (R-Ind.) and Sen. Hagel (R-Neb.) have invited Senators and their staffers to a meeting at 3 p.m. today to learn why they need to pass the DREAM Act amnesty on Wednesday.

Briefing the Senators in the Capitol will be:

"Several students who would benefit from the DREAM Act"

Angela Kelley, Director, Immigration Policy Center

Melissa Lazarin, Director of Education Policy, First Focus

Alfred Campos, Federal Lobbyist, National Education Association

Stephanie Grosser, Outreach & Program Coordinator, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Kevin Appleby, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

In case that isn't clear enough, anybody who "would benefit from the DREAM Act" is an illegal alien.

The Bishop responsible for this position is from some Floriduh(!) diocese. Probably a very nice fellow personally--but he doesn't seem to understand the concept behind "LEGAL immigration."

He should look it up someday. There are a LOT of LEGAL immigrants whose children need an education, too...

ADM, Tyson, IBP: Big Ag vs. Farmers and Families

Remember the "spinach problem" of early this year? All that spinach was USDA-approved...

Makes you feel good, eh?

...They raise free-range beef, pork, turkey, veal, lamb, goat, duck, and chicken -- without jacking the animals up with hormones and antibiotics, as is common practice at factory farms. Their meat goes through a USDA processing facility, as government regulations require -- all except the poultry. And because of those chickens, the Peaceful Pastures have been troubled

..."The state says no bird in Tennessee can be sold without USDA inspection of the processing facilities," says Drake. "Here's what kills all of us small poultry farmers: There are no USDA custom-kill processing plants in the entire Southeast."

Wanna build a USDA-acceptable processing plant? Think again.

Drake says she looked into building a small processing facility on her farm, but the cost of meeting government standards made it impossible. If all she had to do were to construct facilities strictly for meat processing, Drake figures she could have done so for $20,000; but as the law stands now, a building that met minimal federal guidelines would cost about $150,000.

"The Americans with Disabilities Act, for example, means a small producer has to put in restrooms that are handicapped-accessible," Drake says. "I'd have to build an office for the inspector. That office has to have its own phone line. I'd have to put in a paved parking lot. We have to meet the same physical standards as a Tyson's, and we just can't do it.

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Joel Salatin and his family run Polyface Farms...

"The code said we had to have bathrooms for our employees. I told them we were 50 feet away from two houses with bathrooms, and besides, we're a family operation: We don't have employees. It didn't matter to them. Then they said we had to have twelve changing-lockers for employees -- even if we didn't have employees.

"See, this is bureaucracy in action," he says. "It has nothing to do with the quality of our meat. They just want to follow the code. This is happening all over the country. A lot of it is being done under the guise of protecting the general welfare and guaranteeing clean food. But what it really does is protect big agribusiness from rural independent competition."

Of course, since Big Ag controls Congress, but smaller farmers are the more numerous votes, the sop was "Corn-a-Hole," allowing smaller farmers to make money (and starve Mexicans) while Big Ag and its tax-loophole "farmers" keep small producers out of other parts of the business.

HT: Dreher

Michael Yon: It's a LOT Better in Iraq

This is a lengthy piece--worth the read--but here are a couple of excerpts:

...The situation in Iraq has drastically changed, but the inertia of bad news leaves many convinced that the mission has failed beyond recovery, that all Iraqis are engaged in sectarian violence, or are waiting for us to leave so they can crush their neighbors. This view allows our soldiers two possible roles: either “victim caught in the crossfire” or “referee between warring parties.” Neither, rightly, is tolerable to the American or British public.

Though the local leadership picture in downtown Basra is fuzzier now that British forces have pulled further back to begin performing their long-planned overwatch phase, it is clear that this natural progression in turning Basra over to Iraqi control has not catapulted the city into chaos. wasn’t until I spent that week back in the States that I realized how bad things have gotten. I believe we are witnessing a conspiracy of coincidences conflating to exert an incomprehensibly destructive force on the free press system that we largely take for granted.

Yon has offered his reporting FREE OF CHARGE to newspaper-members of the National Newspaper Association.

S'pose the JS wants to join?