Monday, October 31, 2005

Mom Alito Turns It Over

Yes, Senator Schumer, this is all his "early Work" that I could find.

HT: Bonfire of the Vanities

Whose Employees ARE They?

A number of bloggers, here and here, for example, are beginning to worry about the lack of integrity showing at the CIA (and the NSA.)

Not only are some of these bozos making errors, a pardonable thing in intelligence, but they are lying about it, or covering their mistakes with "secret" stamps.

Worse, it seems that there's a political agenda at work--and regardless of your Party affiliation, that's not tolerable. At this time, the Democrats think that the CIA was creating excuses for the war in Iraq.

Last time, it was the NSA creating excuses to send troops into Vietnam.

Porter Goss is going to need prayers.

My Kinda Judge!

Here's all you need to know:

Applying the logic of the Constitution in Exile for all it's worth, Alito insisted that the private possession of machine guns was not an economic activity, and there was no empirical evidence that private gun possession increased violent crime in a way that substantially affected commerce--therefore, Congress has no right to regulate it.

Well, he was out-voted on that one--but his head is in the right place.

HT: John Lott

ATTABOY, Fr. Malloy!!

A Catholic school in Waukesha County is the first non-profit group in the nation to cancel a coveted American Girl Fashion Show amid concerns that the Wisconsin-based doll company behind the show gives money to a national girls organization that presents abortion, contraception and a lesbian sexual orientation as acceptable.

News of the decision by parent volunteers and the pastor at St. Luke School in Brookfield is being reported in bulletins at Masses this weekend.


Formerly known for decades as the Girls Clubs of America, Girls Inc. has more than 1,500 centers across the country. Most serve minorities in low-income neighborhoods.

On its Web site and at the centers, it offers a wide range of programs, resources and advocacy positions to help educate and encourage girls in everything from science and athletics to health and sexuality. That includes support of abortion and contraception along with sexual abstinence as acceptable choices for girls. It also includes affirmation of lesbian sexual orientations.
[Kinda. Girls, Inc. also actively campaigned against the Istook Amendment]:

Rep. Istook sought to increase funding for "abstinence until marriage"
programs by $33 million, taking the money from the Centers for Disease Control
and the Child Care Development Block Grant. Abstinence funding was already
slated to increase by $20 million in FY 2002, which is $10 million more than the
President requested. In a report released in June, the U.S. Surgeon General
found insufficient evidence that "abstinence until marriage" works.Girls Inc.
opposed this amendment.

Fr. Malloy is right. Integrity is priceless.

High-Priced Hospitals vs. WEAC

This should be fun.

WEAC, which runs its own health-insurance company, is cutting Aurora out of their coverage. The union finds Aurora to be high-priced in comparison to other systems, (like ProHealthCare/Waukesha Memorial,) and is steering teachers away from Aurora as a result.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Half-Lies from Parish Priests

From a local parish bulletin:

"The bishops (sic) of your nation have decided that at this time, many people seem to feel the need of some soft of reverence during the communion procession. They have voted, and decided, that this reverence should be a simple, devout, Head (sic) bow. They expect that everyone will follow these liturgical and pastoral directives. The importance is this: it is not just a private devotion, but communal worship and a sacrament; the same rites draw us together, much like no meat on Friday during Lent; and we experience a holy solidarity with rich and poor, young and old, powerful and ordinary alike. And, may I point out there is a certain holy obedience in moving on from what your mother or sister/teacher or catechism taught you half a century ago.

This would mean a simple, generous, Head (sic) bow, no rosary, no genuflections, no stops at side altar shrines, no reverences to a crucifix or the tabernacle, and no signs of the cross (sic) before, during, or after. These very worthy private devotions are more appropriately observed outside of the prescribed public worship.

Yeah, sorta. First, here's the official language and a paragraph which is important (at the end):

As adapted for the United States, IGMR 160 now reads:

The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

When receiving Holy Communion standing, the communicant bows his or her head before the sacrament as a gesture of reverence and receives the Body of the Lord from the minister. The consecrated host may be received either on the tongue or in the hand at the discretion of each communicant. When Holy Communion is received under both kinds, the sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

NOTE: Before giving the required "recognitio" to this adaptation of the US bishops' conference, the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments required that "communicants who choose to kneel are not be denied Communion on these grounds". The same letter stated, "the practice of kneeling for Holy Communion has in its favor a centuries-old tradition, and it is a particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species". (see CDW letter dated July 2002, in AB Dec 02-Jan 03 - p 15)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church has a few items on the Eucharist, too:

1396 The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church. Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ. Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church. Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism. In Baptism we have been called to form but one body. The Eucharist fulfills this call: "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:"

1285 Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded.

The plain meaning of #1285 is clear: these three sacraments are received INDIVIDUALLY.

Thus, Father X's scrivening, while persuasive, is not accurate. The Eucharist is most assuredly the "sacrament of unity," but it is not so by virtue of its method of reception, as Father X would have it.

The "individuality" of reception is buttressed further:

1395 By the same charity that it enkindles in us, the Eucharist preserves us from future mortal sins. The more we share the life of Christ and progress in his friendship, the more difficult it is to break away from him by mortal sin.

Certainly, the 'congregation' is not preserved from mortal sin--rather, individuals are.

Oh, yes, there's more:

1394 As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins. By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:

"Corporate" wiping away of venial sins? Not likely.

It is notable that Father X's parish has about 75 people present for one of its two Sunday Masses, on average. Reliable reports are that the other Mass has a few more people present.
There's a cause-and-effect here...

Finally, as to "moving on from......the catechism...of 50 years ago"--well, let's just say that Fr. X opened his word-processor and removed any doubt. Not one jot, nor tittle, from a "50-year-old" catechism has changed. Not one. Never will, either.

"Scooter Who?"

Powerline's take on this is about right:

Having now read fifteen or twenty news stories about what a devastating blow the Lewis Libby indictment was to the administration, about how President Bush is "reeling" and the administration is "in turmoil," even "in crisis," and how Libby was a key and irreplaceable figure in the administration, whose departure is a serious blow because he played such a vital role, I couldn't help wondering: does anyone remember who Al Gore's chief of staff was when he was vice-president?

My guess is that the large majority of people who read these stories are asking themselves, "Scooter who?"

I will add that one of my college-student daughters also asked me "Harriet Who?" this weekend. That's OK--her current assignment is to graduate from college, not to waste time reading the MSM.

BagManJim Doyle a National Visionary?

Those Spice Boys have a lot of fun with BagManJim. The latest: BagMan's trip to Connecticut (of all places) to pick up a few thousand from the Mohegans. (Evidently the "last" Mohican was not really the last one...)

In any case, when the SpiceBoyzzz asked BagManJim's mouthpiece 'why Connecticut?' the response was downright hilarious:

"The Governor is recognized as a national leader on many issues (stem cell research, re-importation of drugs from Canada, etc) and he is certainly highly regarded in the various tribal communities for the leadership and respect that he has shown on issues of tribal sovereignty,"

Yeah. Cha-Ching!!!---about $12K into the BagMan's bag.

But Connecticut is hardly the Big Prize.

On Tuesday, Doyle, who will face either U.S. Rep. Mark Green or County Executive Scott Walker next year, attended a Green Bay fund-raiser sponsored by the Oneida tribe at its hotel near its profitable casino.

Oneida officials said the tribe played host to about a half-dozen Wisconsin tribes, including officials from the Ho-Chunk, Stockbridge-Munsee, St. Croix Chippewa and Potawatomi, a vehement opponent of the Kenosha casino proposal.

Judge declined to say how much was raised at the one-hour event, but he said, "We were very pleased."

Kevin Cornelius, the Oneidas' political honcho, played down the fund-raising aspect, but acknowledged that Doyle brought along his campaign finance chief to bag the checks.

"It was a private reception," Cornelius said. "But I understand that in the normal process of business, people will give checks, and they were given to the campaign (aide)."

Even so, you can't help but wonder: Should the Democratic governor be collecting cash from tribal types while his team is in the midst of contentious compact negotiations with the tribes? The new compacts - only the Potawatomi have a signed deal - will lay out the rules for Indian gaming for years to come.

"The governor doesn't negotiate the compacts," Judge said.

But his staff does, and he signs them.

Following which, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has to nullify them because they are blatantly illegal, cutting the Legislature out of the process.

At some point in time, it will be recognized that BagManJim is perhaps more corrupt than Inmate Chuck Chvala.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Actually, Arabs Bailed and Iraqis Died

This stunning revelation courtesy of Captain's Quarters:

A news report from The Australian and Al-Arabiya indicates that the United States had negotiated a peaceful exit for Saddam Hussein from Iraq -- but that the Arab League torpedoed the deal, leading to the Iraq War in March 2003 (h/t: Daily Scorecard):

Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had secretly accepted a last-minute
plan to go into exile to avert the 2003 Iraq war, but Arab leaders shot the
proposal down, Al Arabiya television reported today. UAE President Sheikh Zayed
bin Sultan al-Nahayan made the proposal for Saddam to go into exile at an
emergency Arab summit just weeks before the US-led war began in March 2003.

But the 22-member Arab League, led by Secretary-General Amr Moussa,
refused to consider the initiative.

"We had got the final agreement from the different parties, the main
players in the world and the person concerned – Saddam Hussein – within 24
hours," Mohammed bin Zayed, deputy head of the UAE armed forces and crown prince of Abu Dhabi, told the UAE-based channel in a documentary.

The Al-Arabiya documentary includes remarks from Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak that indicates the Bush Administration would have accepted a permanent exile for Saddam's government in exchange for a peaceful transition. The Arab nations apparently refused to accept Saddam's exile, and for some reason that sank the agreement at the last moment.

The Captain goes on to speculate as to WHY the Shieks of Araby nixed the deal...

Neighboring Bloggers

One delightful aspect of blogging is the occasional "meet the blogger" event. I had the chance to meet Provincial Emails the other day; it was enjoyable. Provincial and I share a number of similiarities; not too many--just enough for productive conversation.

Provincial is also a source of more than a few excellent references, like this one. A few posts down, I mentioned the 'unwed mother' problem, which is growing. The link takes you to someone who is DOING something about it.

Home-grown, too!

Union Thugs, Again

Michelle Malkin reports on California Government-union roughing up a demonstrator who favors Arnold's reform initiative.

Malkin also reminds us of other similar recent events, including the "occupation" of a Pubbie office in Wisconsin (2004 campaign)--and the beating in Philadelphia.

She doesn't mention the Manitowoc Firefighters' Union roughing-up a pro-life demonstrator in Green Bay at an AlGore event.

Union leaders who read and understand history have to be concerned about this stuff. It was Government and industrialist-thuggery which (in effect) birthed the Union movement, a very good thing at the time.

Reversing the thuggery is NOT a good tactic, nor part of any intelligent strategy.

Sykes is a Generous Guy

You have to agree that Charlie Sykes is a very nice fellow. Here's his description of the Pimentel/JS editorial which (surprise, surprise) says that the Libby indictment means that "Bush Lied/People Died" on Iraq:

For the spin/rationalization, check out Ricardo Pimentel's editorial page

As I said, Charlie is very kind.

IMHO, the JS company line is not "spin" and not "rationalization." It's evidence of deracination.

Welcome A Slam-Slash Blogger!!

If you haven't read the EggMan's blog, you haven't had any fun.

The post which is linked above makes me think about the cold-start problems we have with our 1991 Taurus six-banger. Despite a lot of time with some good diagnosticians, the problem has never been resolved.

Maybe a little too much corn-a-hole in a tankful, now and then?

No question that the stuff makes my 2-cycle snowblower croak, inexplicably, now and then.

But hey!! Archer-Daniels-Midland, a textbook example of "buy your local/national legislator," tells us that THEIR monopolistic-practice is better than BP's monopolistic practice.


The State of Wisconsin vs. Subsidiarity

One of the "old-fashioned" maxims espoused by the Catholic Church was the Principle of Subsidiarity. Under this principle, a dispute or concern was resolved at the lowest-possible level. Two neighbors would sit down with a third party and resolve a "barking dog" complaint, rather than take it to the Supreme Court, for example. The principle is based on the supposition that the closer one is to the problem, the better the solution will be.

A corollary is that decisions on purchasing (e.g.) should be made 'where the rubber meets the road,' rather than in Washington DC, or in Madistan.

Thus, the very good reporting of Jessica McBride on BagManJimbo's "ACE" initiative, which forces State buyers to shop at only one or two outlets, violates the Principle, and (as one might suspect) also winds up costing more money.

The question, of course, is WHY BagManJimbo initiated the program. As McBride reports, Bill Bablitch already eviscerated the policy (at least in the case of travel) by advising State employees that they could take "best price" offers even if they were NOT from Adelman Travel. This action gives credence to those who tell us that "the system was not broken--so why the Hell did someone 'fix' it?" A very good question, indeed, especially since $20K flowed into BagMan's election fund in the Adelman case.

In the MRO-supplies case which McBride details, the game is simple. WWGrainger, who won the MRO contract with the State, simply used the State's aggregate expenditure numbers and bid an overall reduction in purchase-cost. In order to do that, they undoubtedly cut prices on SOME items---but in order to maintain profitability, raised the prices on OTHER items. By demonstrating an overall price-reduction, WWGrainger won the 'exclusive' contract.

Unless you happen to be shopping for one of the items on which WWGrainger RAISED its price for the sake of profitability.

And the prices are only the beginning. In the case of WWGrainger and UW-Platteville, there's another problem: the UW people simply will have to wait a day (or two, or five) for WW Grainger to deliver their order; there's no Grainger outlet in Platteville.

Ever hear of manpower-planning, BagMan?

Or in the case where (God forbid) a particular bolt is absolutely, positively the ONLY solution to a leaking pump in the heating system--should we wait a couple of days for delivery?

Yes, there's always some 'slop' in local purchasing. But single-source mandates are rarely the solution. It's a lot more sensible to have a sharp auditor or Controller at the local level who notices exceptions and who utilizes 'benchmarks,' calling a few similarly-placed pals at other State facilities to get comparable-purchase price numbers.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Fatherless Children

Nearly 1.5 million babies, a record, were born to unmarried women in the United States last year, the government reported Friday. And it isn't just teenagers any more.

But last year teens accounted for just 24 percent of unwed births, down from 50 percent in 1970, she commented.

The increases in unmarried births have been among women in their 20s, she said, particularly those 25 to 29.

There were 1,470,152 babies born to single women in 2004, 35.7 percent of all births in the country, NCHS said. That was up from 1,415,995 a year earlier.

"Baby as furniture" in the Acquisition Society.

There are a large number of pathologies which arise from single parenthood, none of them particulary encouraging--and college funding is tough even for two-income parent families...

The Dem's Plans for the USA

Separately, Clinton administration secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright delivered a report to top Democratic congressional leaders calling for a 50 percent increase in federal spending on homeland security, the creation of a domestic intelligence agency, and a Cabinet-level ranking for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

From Little Green Footballs' Quote of the Day.

What's the FBI doing if not 'domestic intelligence'? Patty-cake?

Ms. Albright's separation of the FBI from "domestic intelligence" is not exactly a heartwarming concept. But there are people who could help set it up. Many of them speak German and their business cards are from Stasi. Others speak Russian, and come from the KGB.

Maybe Gorbachev is looking for a new job.

It Ain't Just Smoke Signals Any More

Kevin provides an interesting perspective:

If its proposed 2006 budget is any indication, the Forest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) is preparing to dramatically increase the amount of dollars it spends on politics and campaigns, budgeting $7.2 million for the 2006 cycle, internal tribal documents reveal.

The tribe’s executive council approved the political spending and overall budget and sent it to a meeting of the general council, which also approved it, sources within the tribe have told The Lakeland Times. The newspaper could not independently verify the general council vote by press time.

The new budget would represent a 75 percent increase over the $4 million the tribe set aside for politics, public relations and lobbying this year and dwarf the amount of money the tribe spent on campaigns in 2004 and 2002.


If the tribe comes anywhere close to spending its $7.2 million political budget next year, the impact could be enormous and certainly record-breaking.
Of course, not all that money would be slated for direct contributions to candidates or party committees. Substantial amounts go for independent issue ads, and much goes to political consultants.

Of the $4 million budgeted in 2004, for example, $1.377 million was budgeted for consultants, the lion’s share to Schreiber [Former Democratic Governor and Tribal Political Consultant Martin Schreiber] . The tribe also budgeted $260,000 for media and public relations, $620,000 for lobbying, $900,000 for compact litigation, $375,000 for a line item called intergovernment agreement, and $490,000 for direct contributions to candidates.

Offhand, I'd say Marty Schreiber won't have to worry about his retirement, nor will the Tribe's lawyers.

Nor BagManJimbo Doyle, who will certainly get a few helping hands...

The REAL Problem with Harriet

Contrary to the bloviations, recriminations, and other fatuities posted regarding the Miers nomination, the Washington Post says the following:

For Harriet Miers, the "murder boards" were aptly named. Day after day in a room in the White House complex, colleagues from the Bush administration grilled her on constitutional law, her legal background and her past speeches in practice sessions meant to mimic Senate hearings.
Her uncertain, underwhelming responses left her confirmation managers so disturbed they decided not to open up the sessions to the friendly outside lawyers they usually invite to participate in prepping key nominees.

...By nearly all accounts, the 24 days of the Miers nomination was hobbled by a succession of miscalculations. President Bush bypassed his own selection process to pick Miers, his onetime personal lawyer and White House counsel since February. His aides ignored warnings by some of the administration's closest conservative allies that she would prove difficult to confirm, and took for granted that its base would ultimately stick with the president.

Captain's Quarters pins the tail on the right suspect:

The White House selection process that produced Miers can be boiled down to one sentence: Bush liked her, and no one bothered to check her out properly.

...This failure started at the top, and as more came out about Miers and her shifting positions on potentially important Constitutional issues and legal scholarship, that failure became more obvious.

For what it's worth, the management error Bush made is not uncommon, and often has no ill effects.

Not this time.

Frankly, Charlie, I Don't Give a Damn!

Sykes is disappointed in the local MSM outlet's utter failure to discover the candidacy of Diane Sykes for the SCOTUS vacancy. He's kind of beat that drum with at least three blog entries on the topic.

and so forth...
My response is the title to this entry.
The local MSM does an excellent job with death notices, but hasn't been 'first on my to-read' list' for YEARS. You want national news? Go to Drudge. You want local news? Check the blogs or listen to Sykes and Belling.

BagManJimbo Will Fix It!!

Our beloved Governor has declared that 'there was NO shortage of gasoline' post-Katrina, and thus Wisconsinites were 'gouged' by the predatory oil companies.

We, here in tax-PAYER land, argue that there is NO shortage of money in the Wisconsin DOT, and that Wisconsinites are 'gouged' by the predatory gasoline tax.

Somehow, we don't get WTMJ-TV to cover our pronouncements...

The Sky Did NOT Fall!!

Pace Sens. Feinstein, Schumer, and the other nutball-gun-control types (who have a personal fleet of armed guards that YOU don't have...)

Gun-control advocates seemed so certain. When the federal assault-weapons ban expired on Sept. 13, 2004, gun crimes would surge dramatically. Sarah Brady, a leading gun-control advocate, warned it would "arm our kids with Uzis and AK-47s" and "fill" our streets with the weapons. Sen. Charles Schumer ratcheted up the rhetoric, labeling the banned guns "the weapons of choice for terrorists."

Not only would murder rise, but especially firearm murders. Murder and robbery rates should have gone up faster than other violent-crime rates since they are the crimes in which guns are most frequently used. Only states with their own assault-weapon bans would escape some of the coming bloodshed.

Well, what happened? On Oct. 18, the FBI released the final data for 2004. It shows clearly that in the months after the law sunset, crime went down. During 2004 the murder rate nationwide fell by 3 percent, the first drop since 2000, with firearm deaths dropping by 4.4 percent.

The new data show the monthly crime rate for the United States as a whole during 2004, and the monthly murder rate plummeted 14 percent from August through December. By contrast, during the same months in 2003 the murder rate fell only 1 percent.

Courtesy John Lott.

Firefighter Costs in Brookfield Are Blazing

Once again, the City of Brookfield's cost-of-firefighters is heating up.

For the fourth year in a row, Dahms is on pace to exceed the total Fire Department budget, which for 2005 is $6.3 million.

Last year, he exceeded the total $6.1 million budget by about $140,000, or 2.4%.

We've mentioned before that the City of Brookfield sends an engine company on each and every ambulance call, which is just plain silly. The excuse: 'the paramedics may need help.'

Yeah, well, the City has a police department chock-full of healthy officers who can be very helpful, too; and they are surprisingly mobile!! They can drive fast, use sirens, ALL that stuff, just like the fire department.

Chief Dahms should be looking hard at re-writing the "work rules" next contract.

Target Goes X-Rated

This is hard to believe:

While urging its supporters to continue voicing their opinion against Target for again banning Salvation Army bell ringers from outside its stores during the Christmas season, a traditional-values group is decrying the fact the retail chain has added vibrators to its feminine-care offerings.

Somehow I don't think that the founders of Dayton's imagined this...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Volcker's List

Listed in Volker’s Report under “Actual and Projected Illicit Payments on Contracts for Humanitarian Goods, Summary by Supplier:

Here are a few familiar names:

Atlas Copco, Marc Rich (Friend of X42) , Siemens, Texaco, Taurus Petroleum, Total (Fina),Volvo Trucks, Weir Group, Peugot, Baker Oil Tool (India sub’y), Braun Medical, Beckton Dickonson (French sub’y), Boston Scientific (French sub’y), Cargill (Malaysian sub’y), Carl Zeiss (optics), Carrier (Middle East sub’y), J I Case (French sub’y), Norinco, Cincinnati Extrusion (Russia and Austria sub’y), Daewoo Daimler-Chrysler, David Brown, Babcock (Boilers—German sub’y), Dow Chemical (French sub’y), Dresser (French sub’y), Exide (UAE Sub’y) ,Fiat Flow-Serve (Formerly Ingersoll-Dresser) , (French sub’y), FMC (French sub’y), Hilti, Ingersoll-Rand (Italian sub’y), KIA Motors, Lever Bros (Egyptian sub’y), Liebherr, Marquette Electronics (Austrian sub’y), New Holland (Italian sub’y), Philips Lighting, Renault, Rexnord (Belgian Sub’y), Saab, Scania, Schneider Electric, Smith & Nephew (England) ,SmithKline, Solar Turbines (Belgian sub’y), Voith (Middle East sub’y), Detroit Diesel/Waterous (Canadian sub’y), York Air Conditioning (Various sub’ies)

Hollywood Hypocrites and Scumbags

You can sort out which ones are the scumbags--but MOST of these are just hypocrites.

PISTOL-packing Joe Mantegna is blasting a chink in the politically correct armor of some Hollywood heavyweights - he says they love to own and shoot guns. The "Joan of Arcadia" star says that such left-leaning showbiz types as Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and playwright David Mamet are all avid shooters. "Lots of guys in Hollywood love to shoot, " Mantegna, a longtime gunsportsman, tells Fade In magazine. "But they ain't gonna talk to you."

"Apocalypse Now" screenwriter John Milius agrees. "It's fascinating that Hollywood is so hypocritical," he says. "Many people own [guns], but consistently vote against them and never talk about them. I used to shoot with Spielberg and [Robert] Zemeckis and Robert Stack [Stack was an outstanding trap-shooter--and NOT a hypocrite--Ed.]. But no one else would admit they had any."

Producer/manager Jay Bernstein, who shepherded Farrah Fawcett and Linda Evans to fame, carries a gun in public and is prone to flashing it at Hollywood parties. But even he won't confirm that he has a Carry Concealed Weapons permit."

It's one of the most uncomfortable subjects," Bernstein says, "because'anti-gun' is more popular than 'gun' in Los Angeles." As if to illustrate Bernstein's point, well-known gun enthusiasts BenAffleck, Charlie Sheen, Tom Selleck [Not a hypocrite; Tom's on the NRA Board] and Steven Seagal wanted nothing to do with Fade In's story.

Even gung-ho action director Richard Donner ("Lethal Weapon"), who has a concealed weapon permit, was reluctant to talk. "I am anythingbut a gun enthusiast," he said in a terse statement. "The only reason I would ever own a gun is for the protection of my home, my environment or my family under the circumstances in which I am forced to live."

Fade In says Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, music mogul Tommy Mottola and billionaire Kirk Kerkorian are among a mere 500 people licensed to carry a gun in public in Los Angeles County (pop. 9.8 million).

Meanwhile, those who can legally pack heat in New York include Donald Trump, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Seagram owner Edgar Bronfman, Howard Stern, Don Imus, State Senate Majority Leader JoeBruno, Bronx Supreme court judge Richard L. Price and defense lawyer Barry Slotnick. . . .

Donner, whose quote is in red above, does not necessarily believe that YOUR family should be protected....

HT: John Lott

Defense Production Capacity--We Should Keep It

Perhaps the strangest anomaly of the Bush Administration is its seeming lack of interest in such things as strategic defense-manufacturing protection. There are simply some things that the US should not "give away," and defense-manufacturing capabilities leads the list.

In the Administration's own words: In 2003, Undersecretary of Defense for Industrial Policy Suzanne Patrick told the Banking committee, “A strong domestic industrial and technology base is one of the cornerstones of our national security.... The authorities in this Act continue to be of vital importance to our national security.” Last spring, Patrick launched her own probe into how mergers and acquisitions are impacting the defense industry to make sure we are not "inadvertently giving away our capability.”

However, when [t]he GAO revealed its new study of CFIUS at the October 6 hearing, [i]ts main recommendation was to expand the time available to CFIUS to review and investigate acquisitions, from the standard 30 days to the full 75 days allowed under current law.

Yet even this modest reform was opposed by the usual suspects -- the Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, Business Roundtable, et al., objecting to any constraints on foreign commerce, even for reasons of national security. In a letter to the Senate committee, these special interest groups argued that “amendments are unnecessary” to the present CFIUS process. Since this coalition does not want the system to work, their endorsement of the status quo was the best evidence that the system has failed.

Concludes our source:

In a dangerous world, America cannot allow its defense industry or other high-tech productive assets to either wither away or become the prey of foreign rivals. CFIUS as it currently operates is not up to the task of protecting the economic base upon which U.S. military superiority depends, and it does not seem willing or able to reform itself. It is up to Congress then to strengthen the system, and it must act as soon as possible to do so.

Let us hope that GWB instructs Treasury and Defense to pay attention.

A Judge Who KNOWS the Constitution!!

Too bad the fellow's not here in Wisconsin, where the same violation of the Constitution is regularly enforced by the feeble-minded "judiciary," eh? You know: where's Kitty Brennan when you REALLY need a judge?

A Fairfax County judge who believes Virginia's drunken driving laws are unconstitutional has begun dismissing cases, including five DWI cases in a week, and has threatened to throw a veteran prosecutor in jail for arguing with him....

As it does in all states and the District, Virginia's drunken driving law states that, for anyone with a .08 or higher reading on a breath test, "it shall be presumed that the accused was under the influence of alcohol intoxicants at the time of the alleged offense." Prosecutors point out that Virginia's law creates a "rebuttable presumption," meaning the defendant has the opportunity to prove it wrong.

But O'Flaherty said that wrongly shifts the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defense.

"The Fifth Amendment," said O'Flaherty, 59, "is an absolute protection against requiring the defendant to say or do anything in the course of a trial. . . . The Fifth Amendment means the defendant can sit there, not say or do anything, and at the end of the case say, 'Can I go home now?'

" No other judge in Fairfax -- or elsewhere in Virginia, as far as can be determined -- has joined O'Flaherty. But the judge said some other jurists have told him they agree with him. "I had one judge tell me, 'I'd rule that way, but I don't have the guts to,' " O'Flaherty said. "I told him, 'You should be driving a truck.' " ...

Fr. Rutler on Vegetarians and Liturgists

Few have the sharp wit (and wittiness) of Fr. George Rutler.

In this letter, he takes on a dedicated vegetarian "Catholic" and demonstrates that the poor fellow is bereft of sanity--not to mention doctrinal formation:

I was delighted to read the Manichaean ramblings of Daniel Paden, director of the Catholic Vegetarian Society ("Letters," June 2003). It confirmed my theory that fanaticism in Western society alternates between nudism and vegetarianism, both of which contradict the order of grace.

As an optimist, I happily trust that Paden confines his extreme commitments to vegetarianism. Taste is one thing; it is another thing to condemn meat eating as "evil" and permissible only "in rare and unfortunate circumstances." Paden disagrees with no less an authority than God, Who forbids us to call any edible unworthy (Mark 7: 18-19), and Who enjoins St Peter to eat pork chops and lobster in one of my favorite revelations (Acts 10: 9-16).

Does the Catholic Vegetarian Society think that our Lord was wrong to have served up fish to the 5,000, or should He have refrained from eating the Passover Lamb? When He rose from the dead and appeared in the Upper Room, He did not ask for a bowl of Cheerios, nor did He whip up a meatless omelette on the shore of Galilee.

Man was made to eat flesh (Genesis 1: 26-31; 9: 1-6), with the exception of human flesh. I stand on record against cannibalism, whether it be inflicted upon the Mbuti Pygmies by the Congolese Army or on larger people by a maniac in Milwaukee. But I am also grateful that the benevolent father in the parable did not welcome his prodigal son home with a bowl of radishes.

Vegetarians assume an unedifying posture of detachment from the sufferings of vegetables that are mashed, stewed, diced, and shredded. In expensive restaurants, cherries are publicly burned in brandy to the applause of diners. It is not uncommon for people to submerge olives in iced gin and twist the peels of lemons. Be indignant, vegetarian, but not so selectively indignant that the bleat of the lamb and the plaintive moo of the cow drown out the whine of our brother the bean and the quiet sigh of the cauliflower. Vegetables have reactive impulses.

Were we to confine our diet to creatures that lacked sense and do not even respond to light, we could only eat liturgists and liberal Democrats.

HT: The Paragraph Farmer

Jess Likes Michels

Jessica McBride advises that the R Senatorial Committee is wooing Tim Michels to run against Nobody's Senator, Herb Kohl.


Michels' last campaign was vigorous, but there are some warning signs: he did not secure as many votes as did Bush (at the top of the ticket,) and his "I'm Military--What Else Counts?" campaign was, ah, one-note.

While Kohl simply is not as vicious and self-important as Feingold, (nor as hypocritical about "campaign finance,") Michels never really developed a platform which engaged Wisconsin voters.

There's a great deal to be said about being a "maverick" in Wisconsin. Michels' campaign was joined at the hip to Bush's campaign last time around--and it most likely cost him the election.

This time around, should Michels succumb to the Pubbie overtures, he can at least be independent of the Bush wagon--and in a lot of areas, he SHOULD be.

School Daze

Look for more of this:

Faced with a school board that decided against giving all students in Hillsborough County, Florida holidays for Yom Kippur, Good Friday or Eid ul-Fitr, Ahmed Bedier, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, unsurprisingly concluded that this was of course "just an excuse to hide bias against the Muslims."

The ACLU has made great strides in erasing religion from school calendars; the Muslims should have no complaints.

Of course, Christians and Jews who observe Easter/Passover have been "de-calendared" with "Spring Holidays" which more often than not have no relationship to the dates on which these feasts fall.

Maybe the ACLU is really a Puritan plot.

Frank Gimbel vs. Taxpayers

We all know about Frankie Gimbel's sterling record in pissing tax revenue down the drain over at the Wisconsin Center. For most of next year, the Wisconsin Center buildings will be heated empty space--and a LOT of it.

Well, Frankie latched onto another "spend it, what the Hell" program: the Milwaukee County Courts!

Supervisors heard Brennan and several prominent attorneys, including Franklyn Gimbel, plead for funding at this year's level to preserve access to justice. Brennan sympathized with the county's tight financial situation but said the judiciary should be given priority as an independent branch of government with a critical role in people's lives.

"If your family budget is reduced, what do you cut - dinner or the movies?" she said. If the third branch of government falls, she said, "the structure of the government falls."

Gimbel, a former State Bar of Wisconsin chief and current chairman of the Wisconsin Center District board, warned supervisors that Walker's "Draconian" cuts would spark a public backlash.

Frankie always used to wear silly little hats; maybe the headband was a little tight.

On the other hand, there could be some potential in keeping the Courts open: the hot air emanating from the Intellectualoids would certainly serve to reduce heating costs...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Need Priests? Try Orthodoxy


According to the Official Catholic Directory of 2005, the authoritative guide to the Catholic Church in the U.S., there are 121 active diocesan priests in Lincoln and 89,236 Catholics.
Those numbers indicate there is one priest for every 737 Catholics, which is far greater than the total national statistic of one priest for every 4,723 Catholics.

The New York Times reported Oct. 7 that in 2003, there was nationally one priest for every 2,677 Catholics, meaning the U.S. priest shortage has nearly doubled in the last two years.

In Omaha, with one priest for every 1,755 Catholics, the diocese is slightly behind Lincoln but still far above the national average.

This from the Daily Nebraskan.

In Milwaukee (2003 stats) there were 694,000 Catholics and 401 Diocesan priests; one priest for every 1,730 Catholics, meaning that we're about on a par with Omaha--i.e., HALF as "priested" as Lincoln.

And while the number of Catholics in this Archdiocese has increased since 2003, the number of active Diocesan priests has decreased....

Wellington Mara RIP

Why a Packer fan (married to a lovely girl from DePere) would offer a eulogy for the New York Giants' owner? Simple. Mara and his family were VERY close to Vince Lombardi. Maybe this short essay from Fr. Rutler will explain why:

All I could add is that in the more than twenty years that I knew Wellington and his wife Ann as friends, I never heard him utter an untoward or unkind word or attract any attention to himself.

Whether under the trying circumstances of my own mother’s funeral or at happy occasions like my recent birthday party, he was the same consistent personality, the father of a large and devoted family, not to mention being the chief architect of the modern National Football League.

The archetypical Catholic gentleman distinguished himself in his pro-life work, very practically engaging football stars in his “Athletes for Life” which helped the moral formation of young boys in our morally desolate culture. I saw him shortly before he died and he never ceased to smile in spite of his discomfort.

We used to joke that we got on so well because of my disdain for professional football, fleeing the slightest prospect of free tickets. He was a faithful penitent and communicant and I think he converted many in his raucous profession by his example.

If you haven't read it, Maraniss' bio of Lombardi, When Pride Still Mattered, is an excellent read and is a revelation to those who think Vince was "just" a football-strategist par excellence.

No Glasses, Bad Brakes

The very sad story of the Chippewa Falls band gets even worse.

News reports tell us that the 78-year-old driver of the bus was not wearing his glasses at the time of the accident, and that the bus' brake system was seriously deficient--that the bus SHOULD have been "grounded" for repairs.

Maybe the accident was not preventable under the best of circumstances--but these revelations tell us that the circumstances were not even CLOSE to "best."

That bus contractor should be out of business soon. Too bad, but they brought it on themselves.

Whither the US Bishops?

A Catholic theologian who opposes Church teaching on divorce and supports creating a betrothal ceremony for cohabitating couples just led a colloquium to assist US bishops with writing a pastoral letter on marriage.

The colloquium, which ended yesterday, was sponsored by the US Bishops' Committee on Marriage and Family and hosted by the Center for Marriage and Family at Creighton University in Omaha. It featured theologians and social scientist and had as its theme, "Promoting and Sustaining Marriage as a Community of Life and Love." According to a press release, the colloquium was a "major step" toward developing "a pastoral letter on marriage" and was "intended for the current and incoming members and advisors of the Marriage and Family Committee."

The director of Creighton's Center on Marriage and Family, Michael J. Lawler, served as the colloquium's chief facilitator. Lawler is well known for his heterodox views on divorce and cohabitation. A review of Lawler's book, "Marriage and the Catholic Church: Disputed Questions," in the left-of-center Catholic magazine "America", explains Lawler's take on divorce: "The governing agenda is to show how divorce and remarriage can be justified historically, canonically and theologically. Lawler argues that the sacramental character of marriage depends on personal faith. Therefore (contrary to canon law and current official teaching), sacramentality cannot attend the union of two persons, even two baptized persons, who do not intend, or who cease to experience, a mutual love that in faith makes God and Christ present." According to the review, Lawler also "proposes a formal betrothal ceremony to recognize and legitimize [cohabitation] and to provide an opportunity for marriage preparation."

Courtesy Culture of Life Foundation, NYC, Newsletter

We have remarked that the USCC seems to have lost the Faith due to lackadaisical management from the current President (Bp. Skylstad), and to the untimely loss of an excellent staffer. Bp. Gregory has declared the ephebophilia problem to be "history," as well.


UPDATE!!!! 87 to Steal Honor

As of this moment, 87 people have signed up to hold candles and sing KumBaYah in the Milwaukee area tonight. That was this morning. Now it's 190. Wow. 190 of approx. 1.3 million in Milwaukee metro.

Expect some real fun at the War Memorial Center as the WTMJ radio people leave at the same time as the opportunists arrive (about 1830 hours)

Here's the website with info:

HT: Xoff. Whatta guy, heh?

One Achilles' Heel

From The Counterterrorism Blog:

There are alarming signs that Nigeria, West Africa's leader, one of the world's leading oil producers and is on the brink of chaos. In an unusual admission for a tight-lipped government, a senior security official publicly acknowledged the presence of up to 10,000 illegal armed men in a variety of militias in the Niger Delta, where almost all of Nigeria's 2.5 million barrels a day of light, sweet crude, are pumped. Many of these groups, according to the director general of the National Intelligence Agency, have ties to al Qaeda linked groups such as the Algerian Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). The full interview with Uche Okeke by Nigeria's Vanguard newspaper can be read here.

Okeke also stated a truth that is often forgotten in dealing with West Africa's ties to radical Islamist terrorist: Nigeria was listed by Osama bin Laden as on of the five "apostate states" ripe for Islamic revolution, and the only one of the five not to suffer a major al Qaeda attack. Nigerians have shown up in Afghanistan, Iraq, and with the GSPC. Both wahhbis from Saudi Arabia and Shi'ites from Iran are vying to set up radical mosques in the north. Sharia law is already the law of the land in almost one-third of the country.

Nigeria's situation is complicated and delicate. A weak elected government, trying to root out the legacy of decades of ruthless and blindingly corrupt military rule while at the same time balancing the needs of an increasingly militant Islamic majority in the north, Christians in the south, ethnic unrest and entrenched political bosses who steal far more than the state takes in. Weapons in the Niger Delta, including sophisticated and new weapons from the former Soviet bloc are, are cheap and easily available.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Raid That Failed

Yesterday's 10PM news included clips of a bomb blast in Baghdad outside a hotel. You saw them--again and again. Too bad--the raid was really a failure, except in PR value.

This from a US officer in Baghdad:

The media sources I have seen breathlessly point out the spectacular nature of the attack and show the video clip over and over. They do not seem, however, to be pointing out that the Iraqi Police were instrumental in repelling the assault. They did receive some assistance from the US quick reaction force that arrived later, but the real story here is that the Islamic terrorists in Iraq are incapable of even seizing, let alone holding, a hotel full of journalists. Meanwhile, the Iraqi security forces continue to get stronger and more capable by the day.

During my last couple of months in theater, I interacted with various US units that have been working more and more closely with the Iraqis in order to bring about the transition of military responsibility from the coalition. Across the board, the US troops are impressed with the progress being made by their Iraqi counterparts. That progress was demonstrated under fire during successful operations in Tall Afar last month, where a majority of the troops that defeated the terrorists in that area and destroyed their operational safe havens were Iraqi.

Thanks to Powerline

Brewers: GIMME!!!

Not Surprising News file:

"Everybody ELSE Has One"
The question of the day: will Scott Walker FIRE the bozo he appointed before the bozo votes to tax us more?
Walker said last week that he had asked his appointees - Perfecto Rivera and Jack McKeithan - to vote against the plan.

Rivera, who sits on the Finance Committee, said he planned to vote in favor of the project because more than 75% of baseball franchises have or plan to install the boards by opening day next year.

McKeithan, who is not on the Finance Committee, had backed the plan as a member of the Operations Committee. He said he planned to meet with Walker on the matter.
At this point, Rivera should be looking for a new job.

Chvala, (D-Convict)

Finally, the lowest form of life found in Madison admits he has no chance and cops a plea.

Monday, October 24, 2005

What the Synod ACTUALLY Said

There are reports from various MSM sources that the Synod of Bishops is 'pleased' with the liturgical reforms which began at the end of the Second Vatican Council.

But that's not exactly what the Synod's document said:

Forty years after the Second Vatican Council we wanted to examine to what extent the mysteries of the faith are adequately expressed and celebrated in our liturgical assemblies. The Synod reaffirms that the Second Vatican Council provided the necessary basis for an authentic liturgical renewal. It is necessary now to cultivate the positive fruits of this reform, and to correct abuses that have crept into liturgical practice. We are convinced that respect for the sacred character of the liturgy is transmitted by genuine fidelity to liturgical norms of legitimate authority. No one should consider himself master of the Church’s liturgy. Living faith that recognizes the presence of the Lord is the first condition for beautiful liturgical celebrations, which give a genuine “Amen” to the glory of God.

The part bolded here is Rome-speak for "we are not really pleased."

HT: Musica Sacra Blog

ChurchLady Blues

Sykes is "no." Belling is "no." Powerline, Southern Appeal, Coulter--all "no."

But Fr. Richard Neuhaus, loyal to the end (we know not why,) thinks Miers ought to be a Supreme--or at least that George Will should not say such nasty things, or something.

Frankly, Father, to argue that conclusions which are right, although lacking rational foundation, are good things is, well, irrational. For then, conclusions which are WRONG, arrived at while bereft of the use of reason, are also "good things."

The predicate matters.

Nothing will destroy the Rule of Law faster than Law without Rules.

People Who Really Need a Life

Two easy nominations for the above award:

1) Fr. John Dear, SJ, who declares that the US Government is "far worse than Hitler."

2) The Lefty Gaggle of Morons who convened at the election fraud hearings in Milwaukee to voice disapproval of Common Sense.

We have no idea what Fr. Dear does for a living. We have some idea that the Gaggle does NOTHING for a living.

Tenacity, not "Rigidity"

The Catholic World News blog makes an excellent point, demonstrating once again that he who defines the terms determines the 'winner' in debate.

But beyond terminology, there's a solid reality:

The Church in the West has enjoyed a half-century of comparative ease, in which the agenda has largely been set by professorial Catholic clergy -- men who dress, dine, recreate, and vote in ways indistinguishable from their heathen faculty colleagues, men who have had almost no price to pay for their highly adaptive Catholicism. It's not surprising that they should be alarmed by "rigidity" in their juniors. It's not surprising to read Fr. Richard McBrien lamenting a survey of seminarians that finds "many students resist 'the learning enterprise' because it threatens their 'preconceived ideas about theology.'" Yet, with some few exceptions, it's the professoriate, not the students, that feel threatened, and the source of the threat is not the students' inflexible ideas about theology (indicating rigidity), but their stubborn adherence to Catholic doctrine (indicating tenacity). These aren't 18-year-olds arriving dewy-eyed from a 1950s high school sodality; they tend to be college grads, sometimes converts, with personal experience of the false promises of the secular world, who have made an existential alignment with Catholic teaching. Regardless of theological maturity or naiveté, they know what they're saying No to.

What McBrien and his cohort don't understand is that little passage from St Paul: "....hold fast to what is good..." The new seminarians simply cannot hold fast to ephemera, or chimeras.

Brazilians Are Right, 2 to 1

Common sense is a 2-to-1 winner in Brazil; citizens there have voted NOT to ban guns.

All it took was a few ads to make them understand that 'dial 911' is not the answer.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Why Gregorian Chant SHOULD Be Sung--II

The proper Offertory for the 33rd Sunday of the (NO) year and for today in the Tridentine Rite is De Profundis (Out of the Depths.)

The setting is haunting--the incipit is in a minor key; the first phrase is really a 'moan,' similar to the "groan" of the orchestra in the very first few notes of Britten's War Requiem. The clamavi is 'double-topped,' with a halting rhythm and the ending of the second phrase, Domine, is barely higher than the first note.

We repeat Domine, now more insistent, followed by exaudi, even higher-pitched and again, insistent--then orationem meam--and meam lasts almost forever, again with the halting rhythm. Our prayer "from the depths" SHOULD last a long time--"pray always."

The first line repeats. Rare in Chant; the last word is Domine; fitting, eh?

Spit Out the Kofi

Corrupt on a scale unimagined by most 3rd-world bozos, and protected (indirectly) by the US military due to his location, Kofi Annan just keeps rolling up reasons for his immediate exile.

The latest:

THE United Nations withheld some of the most damaging allegations against Syria in its report on the murder of Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, it emerged yesterday.
The names of the brother of Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, and other members of his inner circle, were dropped from the report that was sent to the Security Council.
The confidential changes were revealed by an extraordinary computer gaffe because an electronic version distributed by UN officials on Thursday night allowed recipients to track editing changes.
[T]he furore over the doctoring of the report threatened to overshadow its damaging findings. It raised questions about political interference by Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary- General, who had promised not to make any changes in the report.

One crucial change, apparently made after the report was submitted to the UN chief, removed the name of President al-Assad’s brother, Maher, his brother-in-law, Assef al-Shawkat, and other high-ranking Syrian officials.

The final, edited version quoted a witness as saying that the plot to kill Mr Hariri was hatched by unnamed “senior Lebanese and Syrian officials”. But the undoctored version named those officials as “Maher al-Assad, Assef Shawkat, Hassan Khalil, Bahjat Suleyman and Jamal al-Sayyed”.

The deleted names represent the inner core of the Syrian regime.

Kofi's Kozy Korner welcomed such slime as Saddam (when he had money,) the current Murder King in Zimbabwe, and equally-murderous-but-more-subtle types as the International Planned Parenthood/Abort ALL Those Babies crowd. This at the same time he is actively ignoring the Muslim/Red Chinese slaughter in Sudan.

He oversees rape squads of "peacekeepers," and "three-monkey" morons in Bosnia/Herzegovina.

At the very least, the US should simply withhold its dues, using Kofi as grounds. A better solution would be to take him captive and ship his sorry ass back to Africa.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Does Hallowe'en Scare You?

Sykes has noted that there's a movement which wishes to dump the observance of Hallowe'en (the Eve of All Hallows.) He correctly surmises that there's something afoot. Yup.

A little history:

The celebration of the day is Celtic and Christian. It is the dying time of the year, with the harvest almost all in now, and even the green leaves of summer suddenly blazing into brilliant color and then dropping to the ground. The days are growing notably colder and shorter. It is the appropriate time to recall our dead, to think about, and to pray for the all the dead. The merry season of Christmas lies ahead. But, as the liturgical year winds down over the next 5 weeks, let us pause to recall death. It is the first of the Four Last Things, after all.

If part of thinking about it is reading old gothic ghost stories over a mug of mulled cider by candlelight in the privacy of one's study, or watching movies about ghosts, witches, vampires, werewolves, and monsters, or impressing the imagination of children by decorating a "haunted house" and handing out enough candy to make them spit out teeth the next day, or carving pumpkins in imitation of the Irish custom of the carved turnip of Jack of the Lantern, or burning leaves at night, there is no harm in it.

But the experience is made richer by remembering the saints of the Church on All Hallows' Day itself, and by praying for the dead, our dead, and the forgotten, unknown poor souls in Purgatory throughout November. And if dressing up as ghosts in bedsheets (I used the "Charlie Brown" costume once or twice as a kid) and going door to door like the people in Celtic villages who dressed up as those who had died during the year did to seek propitiary offerings, or those who, in Christian times, performed the luck-visit ritual of going a'souling, then it is a start. The important thing is to get people to start to remember the dead. Then build on that foundation. Just getting them to think of the dead as something other than inventory for a graveyard and an object of horror is a necessary start. We will all die, and will want to be remembered and prayed for. Purgatory is no easy thing, if we are lucky enough to get there. So remember the dead, and pray for them, because in time you may be that poor forgotten soul in Purgatory.

I would quibble: the celebration is CATHOLIC.

Those who would denude ghosts and goblins from Hallowe'en are doing exactly what the Puritan/Whig "Reformers" did in the days of Elizabeth I--stripping the world of symbol. Those little ghosts and goblins remind us of the souls in Purgatory.

For that matter, the self-proclaimed "witches" and "warlocks" who are attempting to claim the day as their own would seem to have a better grasp of the history: the Devil is perfectly happy to transform these days into his own, as he is perfectly happy to ask of you only one thing: your soul.

The fact that this date has become Hershey's best day is mildly disturbing, yes. But not nearly so disturbing as the attempt to deprive us of remembrance of the dead--commemorated on November 1st (All Saints' (Hallows) Day) and November 2nd, All Souls' Day.

It's "For the Fans," Eh?

The Milwaukee Brewers now want the taxpayers to bend over, grab ankles, shut up, and enjoy it while contributing another $3.25 million toy for the Brewers' sandbox. The Brewers' mouthpiece:

Rick Schlesinger, a Brewers executive vice president, said the district and the team were obligated to maintain the stadium as a state-of-the-art facility. "The LED boards are a great fan enhancement, and frankly, based on our research, are fast becoming the standard for first-class facilities," Schlesinger said. "We think this is a legitimate and proper use of segregated reserve funds. We think the fans will find value from this expenditure."

That's cute, Rick.

But we'll play your game. If it's really "For the Fans," then you can have your videoboards--if and only if all the revenue from the boards goes to pay off the bonds.

THAT would be "fan support", Rick.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Kansas Supremes Do Legislation Tricks

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that a Kansas law requiring more punishment for underage homosexual acts than for underage heterosexual acts, offers obiter dicta that is reprehensible and, frankly, stupid:

"The statute inflicts immediate, continuing and real injuries that outrun and belie any legitimate justification that may be claimed for it," Justice Marla Luckert wrote for the court. "Moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate state interest."

"Moral disapproval " is the ONLY State interest in criminal or misdemeanor cases. The Judge-ette has confused civil with criminal jurisprudence, proving reasoning ability has little to do with her office.

Pigs 82, Taxpayers 15

Yesterday the US Senate defeated Sen. Coburn's amendment, which would have eliminated $445 MILLION to build a bridge to a small island in Alaska. The same amount of money could have been used to purchase a LearJet for every inhabitant of the island, by the way.

One vote against the Pigs was Feingold.

Missing in action, by the way, was Senator John McCain, who did not vote.

The Solution to War

From BlameBush:

After the infamous genital-mocking incidents at Abu Ghraib prison, and the rampant Quran-mishandling atrocities at Gitmo, one would think that the U.S. military would be a little more careful not to offend radical muslim clerics and Democrat senators. While human decency requires that we mock and ridicule barbaric Christian traditions like monogamy and pre-marital abstinence, Islam is a rich tapestry of religious customs that must be respected and preserved. It's not too much to ask that troops take a little time out from their oh-so-busy schedule to sponge-bathe the bodies of those they've viciously slaughtered, bury them facing Mecca, and then dance around the sacred yak while a licensed union imam screeches like a wounded hyena through a ceremonial bullhorn. If soldiers would simply educate themselves about the Religion of Peace, then perhaps they'll come to respect other Muslim traditions as well - such as flying planes into buildings and sawing the heads off infidels.

It isn't rocket science, folks.

Bye-Bye Circus

Our guy in DC., Jim Sensenbrenner, has introduced legislation to create a new Court of Appeals, splitting the current (and immense) 9th Circus' territory.

A good man doing the right thing. The Dimowits, of course, will stop this at any cost.

Perhaps ChurchLady Miers will serve on the new 12th, or the newly-constituted 9th. Then again, perhaps not.

HT: Betsy's Page

Why Fix The System?

BagmanJim Doyle, on his way to being defeated in the next election, has imposed a change in the State of Wisconsin's travel policy which will benefit Adelman Travel of Milwaukee. The fact that a couple of $10K contributions were made to Doyle by the Adelman President and a member of the Adelman Board of Directors may or may not have had some influence.

But Jessica McBride, an acute observer, noticed that the old travel policy empowered State employees to find and use the cheapest available fares. The NEW policy does not do so.


You Damn PARENTS!!

In the Brave New World, you parents can be brainwahsed:

Conclusions. This study identifies that almost one third of the parents who presented to these adolescent medicine clinics had negative opinions about some privacy practices. The 2 main issues were teens' seeing a provider alone and providers' keeping information confidential. Education was effective in teaching parents about privacy issues and produced a significant improvement in parental opinion about confidentiality. Simultaneously, an overwhelming majority of parents support the idea that teens should speak with a provider alone if the teen so desires, suggesting that parents acknowledge a need for independence. Providing confidential services is an essential part of adolescent health care that works best with the alliance of parents. This study supports the continued need to assess parental attitudes about privacy issues and to provide parents with education.

Now you may ask: who the Hell came up with this study on how to keep parents out of the medical records of their own children?

Jeffrey W. Hutchinson, MD and Elisabeth M. Stafford, MD
Department of Adolescent Medicine, Brooke Army Medical Center, Ft Sam, Houston, Texas

Personally, I kinda wish the Army would stick to breaking things and killing the enemy...

HT: Mark Shea

Aurora Raises the Costs, Again

Just when you thought that hospitalization costs couldn't get higher in SE Wisconsin (after all, we're 5th in the USA)--Aurora's massive ego and concomitant appetite for revenues overcomes restraint.

But don't you DARE ask where all these advertising dollars are coming from, or you'll get a whine and a non-sequitur response from the 800-pound canary:

"That's a curious comment from an organization that has spent millions in efforts to preserve its monopoly. The resulting lack of competition has hurt health care consumers in Waukesha County, many of whom have few options for care close to home."

Actually, Mr. Squire, "hurting consumers" comes from gouging them on health-care costs, not from driving 5 miles further.

From a local official:

Summit Town Chairman Len Susa has heard the radio ad and agrees with it. "I was in favor of the hospital. ... It's another health care provider, so it's another choice. It's free enterprise. Aurora has just as much of a right to be here as another gas station or another bank."

Of course, banks and gas stations don't cost $700 million apiece; and last I checked, the SuperAmerica attendant was not paid $65K/year to administer gasoline to cars.

Susa's "free enterprise" argument is flawed. He picked up this line from the Aurora folks, who managed to convince one of the local Radio Guys (Sykes) that "free enterprise" is the model.

Not quite. If it were "free enterprise," then anybody could buy health insurance which excludes Aurora's cost structure (after Children's Hospital, it's the most expensive in the area.) That would allow the consumer to make a "free choice."

The reality is that hospitals, and health-care in general, are really quasi-public utilities, paid for by the vast majority of the public, whether they use it or not, just like roads. Therefore, your health insurance costs could be considered a tax, just like the gasoline tax.

So when the Waukesha County Board decided that this is a public-policy matter, not "free enterprise," they were correct.

Mr. Howe could always choose to run McDonald's if he wants a building on every corner. At that time, he would find out what "Free Enterprise" is really all about--because McDonalds can only recover its costs from voluntary consumers--not involuntary rate-payers.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Why Gregorian Chant SHOULD Be Sung

Found courtesy of the Recovering Choir Director, a medidation on the Introit from last Sunday (Tridentine Rite.) Just having sung this myself, I have to admit that these insights are worthwhile. Shoulda known the first one myself, drat it!

Si i-, two separate syllables, the vowel so tricky to make distinctly audible, both times. See. Glottal stop. Ee. And quickly, because this is only the beginning.

I tell the choir : this tiny detail is the beginning of our faults laid bare. The little stop we have to put there, to articulate both words, makes us stumble. We have to get through "Si i-" to reach the piercing arch of "iniquitates," our faults thrown high, too visible, too garish ; and then the suddenly soaring podatus of "Domine," the Lord, right there in the notes themselves, reaching higher than our sins. Beyond us.

And yet - Quia apud te propitiatio est, Deus Israel. Despite our faults, despite our climbing that falls so short of where we should be, where God wants us, He is forgiving, He is all forgiveness. The question in the first half of the Introït a panicked cry : the second half, a reassurance, the neumes descending gently. And then the Psalmodie : De profundis clamavi ... I call from the depths to Thee, O Lord, hear my prayer. It is the structure of the piece itself, the story of the world. All we ask is answered. All we sing, our need, is calmed.

Jeff Wagner Gets Spun

This morning, WTMJ-radio ran some sort of advertisement (???) for Froedtert Hospital. It's hard to tell exactly what the spot was--

Wagner was interviewing Steve Hargarten, MD, who practices emergency medicine at Froedtert. Hargarten proceeded to tell Wagner that gun violence is a "disease." Wagner was obviously either comatose OR had been instructed to keep his mouth shut, because this "disease" stuff is a re-run of Clinton baloney--with the objective of placing gun regulation under the domain of Centers for Disease Control (!!!)--facilitating a lot of onerous regs which are "for the children," you know...

Hargarten then did NOT answer Wagner's followup question--rather, the good doc-in-the-box chose to talk about the number of times that a gunshot victim is in the hospital and tells the doc that "the gun went off...."

Guns do NOT "go off." Somebody pulls the trigger.

But there was no objection from Jeff. Ah well. Such is the nature of propaganda from Froedtert Hospital.

Ann on the ChurchLady, Miers

There are some phrases so good that only Ann Coulter could have written them:

The sickness of what liberals have done to America is that so many citizens – even conservative citizens – seem to believe the job of a Supreme Court justice entails nothing more than "voting" on public-policy issues.


.....but what we're really in the market for is a constitutional scholar who can forcefully say, "No – that's not my job."

We've been waiting 30 years to end the lunacy of nine demigods on the Supreme Court deciding every burning social issue of the day for us, loyal subjects in a judicial theocracy.

There's more at the link. Bravo, Ann!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The USCCB At Play: AIDS on the Calendar

Although most of you gentle readers are not aware of it, a key watchdog left the Bishops' Conference in the recent past.

Thus, with the burden of positive cash-flow just DYING to go somewhere, the mice on USCCB staff have the opportunity and means which which to play.

For Advent, you get the above postcard, and an Activity Calendar!!!

Whether you knew it or not, "We Are ALL At Risk!!!!"

Of course, this ridiculous propaganda blast is not true, for those who are not practitioners of anal sex, or who are not users of needle-administered illegal drugs, or who maintain either celibacy or fidelity within marriage.

Still think that the USCCB collection is worthwhile?


The Bishop is NOT God!

A most interesting argument:

The Catholic faithful should not have to depend on the managerial and leadership skills of a particular bishop nor have to guess at his orthodoxy. Neither should they have to put up with priests and pastors whose personal adherence to the liturgical law depends on whether the bishop is cracking down on them.

It's actually part of an argument advanced 'in the negative' from another blog, and is a compelling argument to delete the "Ordinary's escape clauses" from the GIRM. While Bettinelli does not say so, the argument is equally valid with regard to "Bishops' Conference Escape Clauses." After all, she's either a Universal Church or not...

Read more here.

Campaign Donations--Online?

One who is curious about the donors to the Vrakas or Dwyer campaign war-chests must do more than a little driving, digging, and pencil-and-paper work to come up with 'who did what to whom.'

It's a little easier for Statewide and National contests--there are good websites which are happy to name names and amounts.

But for local contests there's no easy way to get the records.

This should change. As long as the Legislature is in session, perhaps one of those fine folks could draft a bill requiring that ALL candidates for elective office in Wisconsin MUST maintain Web-accessible campaign donation records, updated not less than every other business day.

The Wisconsin Election Commission could even provide the webpage.

In addition, the Election Commission should maintain a webpage which lists ALL "outside group" activity--and those "outside groups," whether PAC's or other, must list their officers and directors, under criminal penalty.

Should be interesting to see if BagManJimbo vetoes this, too.

Hollywood Goes to Texas

JunkYardBlog usually presents a wealth of information on topics of interest. So, interested in the DeLay "indictment," JYB did a little nosing around regarding the Dallas DA and his "film-maker" pal, a guy named Schermbeck.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke via phone with Harold Green, formerly of TXI in Midlothian, Texas. TXI is a cement manufacturing plant; Green was from 1995 to 2000 its director of corporate communications. Schermbeck has spent the past ten years harassing TXI over a permit it sought from the state to burn waste in its kilns. Termed hazardous waste, TXI sought to burn inks and other flammables as fuel in order to manufacture cement. Schermbeck fought against the permit to burn, but on behalf of the hazardous waste disposal industries. Their purpose, according to Green, was to force TXI into paying them to remove the waste from TXI's plant and then burn it--for fuel--themselves. Schermbeck was merely their paid activist foil to force TXI to pay them for services TXI didn't need, and would have had no impact on the environment at all, since the waste would have been burned either way.

About Schermbeck, Green was unequivocal:

"First of all, he's not a filmmaker. Jim is a paid political activist, pro-Democrat, anti-Republican, anti-business liberal activist. Jim will manipulate the truth in order to make it do what he wants it to do."

Paid by whom? By Downwinders at Risk, an environmental advocacy group based in the Dallas area. Schermbeck is the group's only paid staff.

There's much more to the story, and I'm still working on it and am aware of another reporter who is as well,

I happen to think that DeLay could be indicted for Crimes Against Responsible Budgeting in Congress. Of course, if we had such a law, we'd only have about 40 people left in Congress....


Third World Turkey?

Some want Turkey to become part of the EU. The US relies on Turkey as an "ally."

Well, some allies are just a little 'different'. Here's an interesting little survey taken in Turkey:

It questioned 430 people, most of them men. When asked the appropriate punishment for a woman who has committed adultery, 37% replied she should be killed.

Twenty-five percent said that she deserved divorce, and 21% that her nose or ears should be cut off.

The survey group was small but the results are a reminder that "honour killing" - a practice where women are murdered for allegedly bringing shame on their family - still has significant support in parts of Turkey.

HT: DhimmiWatch

You're FIRED!!

Here's a good news piece:

Teacher fired for work at clinic

By Todd Milbourn and Cameron Jahn -- Bee Staff Writers Published 2:15 am PDT Saturday, October 15, 2005

A drama teacher at a Catholic high school in Sacramento was fired Thursday after church officials learned she had previously volunteered at an abortion clinic, school officials said Friday.

Marie Bain, 50, of Sacramento, who had taught at Loretto High School since August, was dismissed after a student's parent obtained pictures showing Bain escorting people into a Planned Parenthood clinic last spring.

The pictures were delivered to Bishop William K. Weigand, head of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, who outlined the decision to terminate Bain in an Oct. 5 letter to the president of the all-female school.

"Obviously, the very public nature of Ms. Bain's previous volunteer activity at a Planned Parenthood Clinic is inconsistent with her position as a teacher at a Catholic high school and her role as a collaborator in the formation of Catholic women," Weigand wrote. "Abortion is gravely immoral and Ms. Bain's active and public participation in the procurement of abortions is morally inappropriate and unacceptable with regard to her work as a teacher at Loretto."

Of course, the rest of the article is essentially a love-paean to the murder-helper-teacher.

But Bp. Wiegand did his job, well. Congratulations!

Guess the Critter Game

They're ornery. They're ugly. They're hungry.


And their numbers are growing in Wisconsin.


Feral pigs - a shaggy, sharp-tusked, mean-spirited version of domestic porkers - are becoming a problem in the state. They are now found in at least 29 counties here, and wildlife officials are hoping that hunters heading into the woods this fall to capture more common game will take aim at wild pigs.

The Department of Natural Resources has printed up wanted posters featuring a photo of a sauntering, scruffy looking wild pig so those venturing into the outdoors will know what to look for.

"Seeing as how they're not from Wisconsin, we'd like to keep them out," DNR wildlife biologist Eric Mark said Tuesday.

It could be worse. The critters COULD be politicians or lobbyists--or the even more dreaded TRIAL LAWYERS!!!