Friday, March 31, 2006

OK--So What's Rome's View on Immigration?

Here it is, from the Catechism:

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

This is prudential, not dogmatic--the Church doesn't deal with numbers, or specific conditions, for obvious reasons. But that second paragraph should be read, aloud, often, in the barrios.

HT: Ipsissima Verba

Massachusetts' Gay Marriage Decision

Some seem to think that a Mass Supreme Court decision means that Wisconsin (e.g.) will not have to accept fictional same-sex "marriages" of Massachusetts in the future.

Maybe so--and maybe not so.

The decision is far more limited, pertaining only to 'sham' residency in Massachusetts.

A Federal Court, however, could enforce the "full faith and credit" clause of the USConstitution, should Mass 'gay marriage' actually become law.

Mexico NEEDS to Push Their People Here...

Here's a viewpoint which does Root Cause Analysis:

First of all, the Mexican socio-poli-economic system has failed.

Not "ill", not "ailing", FAILED.

The only reason that Mexico is still a country, is that the Mexican government has been using the United States as a safety valve.

You've all seen the reports about how illegal immigrants in this nation are in the tens of millions, if not hundred million.

It is a preferable state of affairs for the Mexican Government for those tens or hundreds of millions of Mexicans to be employed in the United States, rather than UN-employed in Mexico.

Tens of millions (or hundreds of millions) of your citizens sitting in your country starving tends to wind up with the Great Unwashed Masses grabbing torches, pitchforks, ropes and the occasional guillotine before storming the castles.

So what's GWB kissing Fox's butt for?

There are a couple of options.

The first is to put off the oncoming collapse of the Mexican government as long as possible. We keep safety-valving their workers, and we keep propping up their monetary system until it is Someone Elses Problem.

Perusing the border solutions proposed by Congress, this seems to be the route favored by the current U.S. government.

It is the cowards way out. It makes the false assertion that We Are Doing Something without actually doing anything -- except guaranteeing our children or grandchildren will have to deal with a WORSE mess.

In other words, like Clinton, Bush I, Carter, and Nixon, we'll just sorta quietly provide for the subsidization of the Mexican Ruling Class--because the alternative is likely another Mexican Revolution.


From John Frum/NRO:

In 2005, Mexicans in the United States remitted some $20 billion home. That's 3% of Mexico's entire national income.

Remittances have surpassed tourism, oil, and the maquiladora assembly industry to emerge as the country's top single source of foreign exchange. For the 6% of Mexican households that receive remittances, these funds can mean the difference between extreme poverty and an income roughly in line with the Mexican average.

And as Mexico's economy has malperformed since 2000, remittances have become more essential than ever - not only economically, but politically.

...Mexico desperately needs foreign investment in its energy industry, a rationalization of its tax system, and free-market reform of its labor laws. Vicente Fox has done none of these things, and has in fact barely tried. He has instead pinned all his country's hopes on the export of its population to the United States.

Today, almost one-fifth of all living Mexican-born people now make their homes in the United States. You have to go back to the Irish potato famine to find a parallel. But Mexico is not suffering famine: It is suffering from a comprehensive failure of political and economic leadership.

...the US should of course help Mexico find substitutes for any reductions in remittance income. One good place to start would be the energy industry, which could contribute much more to Mexican wealth if Mexico abandoned its 75-year-old protectionist policies. Of course, Mexicans will say that such changes are politically impossible for them.

Then they turn around and ask George Bush to lay waste to Republican political prospects to save them from a fate from which they will not save themselves.

Trenchant Observation

Victor Davis Hanson on the marchers for Illegal Immigration Rights:

When schools were dismissed due to student walkouts and traffic disrupted, Americans began to see the wages of their own indifference to the problems of illegal immigration. Insidiously over the last 30 years we have allowed an entire apartheid community to grow up in enclaves in the American Southwest and occasionally beyond--one by language and psyche that may well feel more romantically attached to the Mexico it left and won't return to the United States it sought out and must stay in.

In an earlier post, I mentioned "inculturation," precisely what Hanson (much more elegantly) addresses here.

HT: PowerLine

Pocan vs. Free Speech

A Madison-insider blogger advises that Mark Pocan (D-Fascism and ALSO a Madison-insider blogger) is making noises about finding ways to suppress 'anonymous' free speech (read: anonymous Madison-insider bloggers.)

Well, Ragnar, if Pocan finds a way to track your URL to your PC, and then finds a way to shut you down, this offer will stand: come on over here! Bring a wireless laptop and you can blog away to your heart's content.

However, I will not supply donuts and you WILL be subject to second-hand smoke. On the other hand, I'll also offer a couple of free lessons on How To Use A Handgun...

Legislature Pumps Up The Gas Prices

Like gas prices? Notice all the shiny new gas stations?

It's easy to build new buildings and fix/paint/repair the old ones when you're guaranteed 12 to 15 cents pre-tax on every gallon of gas you pump.

And the distributors of that gasoline? They're guaranteed about half that profit. Nice racket.

So Tom Reynolds (R-West Allis) is trying to do something about it, but for some strange reason, is having a problem getting the attention of our Legislative leadership--think "Sergeant" Shultz and John (I'm Running For Congress) Gard...

The Bill is stuck in Committee. Members include: Senator Brown, chairperson, and
Senators Zien, Kanavas, Breske, and Wirch.

A little reminder will do fine.

Powershifting VS. Manufacturers: Another State Victory over Common Sense

Don't spend the money, boys:

In what is believed to be the largest damages award concerning a defective car in the history of the state's lemon law, a judge has ordered DaimlerChrysler Corp. to pay two business partners and their attorneys more than $385,000.

How did THAT happen?

On Aug. 1, 2003, according to court records, 71 miles after the 500-mile break-in period, the differential broke for the first time. It was repaired, but just 13 days later, with the odometer reading 686 miles, the differential broke again, court records say.

Over the next six months, the differential broke four more times, each time while being shifted from first to second gear at around 50 mph.

When the Viper was running like it was designed to, Mortle reached 122 mph in a quarter mile on a drag strip, he said. But after the differential broke for the sixth time, the manufacturer refused to cover any more repairs, records show.

Hmmmmmmm.....first-to-second, 'drag strip,' differential breakage, 6 times?

Mortle asked for a replacement Viper under the state's lemon law, according to the lawsuit, but the manufacturer refused, contending that he and Kiriaki abused the car.

Abuse? No problem. Wisconsin state law says that Daimler must pay!!

In a similar case, Mazda was forced to shell out beaucoup bucks because the car's owner violated the express provisions of the warranty--she was towing a trailer with the car. She claimed otherwise, of course...

More Money, Honey

Looks as though the estimate was short a few bucks:

The Bush administration said yesterday that the cost of rebuilding New Orleans's levees to federal standards has nearly tripled to $10 billion and that there may not be enough money to fully protect the entire region.

Donald E. Powell, the administration's rebuilding coordinator, said some areas may be left without the protection of levees strong enough to meet requirements of the national flood insurance program. Those areas probably would face enormous obstacles in attracting home buyers and investors willing to build there.

Some politicians are really, really, really unhappy:

"This monumental miscalculation is an outrage," said Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D).

"Every time we turn around, there's a new obstacle," said Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.)

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said the announcement confirmed his warnings since November that Washington is "stonewalling" and seeking "way too little money" for levee repairs.

Some US taxpayers who do NOT live in NOLA may be unhappy, too, if we ship another $10 billion or so to a city built below sea level.

The REST of the Immigration-Law Story

If you think that the problem with illegals is the only story on Immigration Reform, you're wrong. The other part has to do with "H1B," which allows immigrants to come to the USA and work in technical fields while obtaining citizenship.

If anything, the "cheap labor" thesis is bolstered by the H1B situation--that is, the Chamber of Commerce/Nat'l Ass'n of Manufacturers gang is simply interested in hiring for less, whether for their yard and garden work, or for engineering.

There's lotsa foofoo dust spread around about "best and brightest," and how the US produces no home-grown talent, and how all the really smart people come from other countries (read: India and China,) and how there are simply not enough Masters' qualified prospects.


If there were such a shortage of MS-degreed graduates, then prices would go up, no?

Here's the real situation:

I decided to do the corresponding analysis for Master's degrees. This is important, because the industry has been insisting that it has a dire shortage of engineers with postgraduate degrees. As a result of the industry's claim, the Senate bill (actually, two bills, by Specter and Frist, which are very similar in this aspect) would create a new F-4 visa for foreign students who get Master's degrees and PhDs in tech fields at U.S. universities, leading to essentially automatic green cards for the students.

Here is what I found for average starting salaries for new Master's graduates in Fall 2005, compared to Fall 2001:

Computer Science -6.6
Computer Engineering -13.7
Electrical Engineering -9.4
Again, this is flatly antithetical to the "shortage" premise of the proposed F-4 visa.
(Source: Norm Matloff newsletter, 3/31/06)

So maybe the foreign students/professionals have MS degrees. But more important: they are CHEAP.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sensenbrenner Makes Sense

OK. Since I didn't have to do the work, here's a fine and short analysis of Jim's bill.

The "criminal" stuff was put there by the 'crats (surprise!!)--all the rest is tinkering.

But now, the illegal-alien lobby has gone bonkers.

Ah, well.

Symbols Eliminated, History to the Memory-Hole

Blosser posts an excellent excerpt:

... Those of us who are now elderly remember vividly that priests were identifiable not only because of their Roman collars and dark suits, but also because of their tonsure. The latter had a clear symbolic meaning: the fact that part of the priest's hair was shaved indicated his total donation to God. After Vatican II, this longstanding tradition was abolished. I do not recall that a convincing reason was given for this change, but somehow the special dignity of the priesthood was no longer honored by a visible sign.

Before ascending to the altar for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, priests had to don 7 pieces of clothing, each one of which symbolized a step in a particular scene of Christ's ascent to Golgotha, where the ultimate sacrifice of the God-man for our redemption took place. These symbols have been powerfully highlighted in [Martin] von Cochem's book, The Amazing Catholic Mass [i.e., The Incredible Catholic Mass] (TAN). Today many of them have been eliminated. It is most unlikely that young priests know either their names or their symbolic meanings. What is particularly regrettable is that priests are likely to be much less conscious of the fact that Holy Mass is essentially a non bloody re-enactment of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, a fact of which the priestly vestments they were wearing physically and forcefully reminded them.

Whereas in the so-called Tridentine liturgy the priest stood first at the foot of the altar -- once again symbolizing the way of the Cross toward the hill of Calvary -- in the Novus Ordo he immediately faces the congregation. The steps have been eliminated. And yet, how deeply meaningful and symbolic were these "steps" -- powerful expressions of the virtue of discretio, which teaches us that before reaching a noble goal, we should beware of rushing to it without proper preparation.

Another significant change is the abolition of minor orders: up to Vatican II, there were seven steps leading to the priesthood: porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte, and then subdeacon, deacon, and finally the holy sacrament of the priesthood, in which a human creature is granted the unfathomable privilege of representing Christ, and of changing bread and wind into the holy Body and Blood of the Savior of the world. These seven steps had a deep meaning: inspired by a sentiment of sacred discretio, the Church in her wisdom reminded the candidate to the priesthood of the awesomeness of the step he was about to take. Whether in universities or in the military, we note grades of dignity. It was thus highly appropriate that the ascension to the highest dignity ever given to man should be marked by several degrees, each one of them granting the seminarian a more intimate participation in the mystery of Holy Mass. Once again, this tradition rich in symbolic meaning has been eliminated.

It is also regrettable that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is now celebrated on a table, the piece of furniture used for meals. An altar, on the contrary, was exclusively used for sacrifices, as clearly stated in the Old Testament.

Another important change is that priests now face their congregations, whereas for centuries they were facing east, and Christ is called the sol justitiae. He is the light -- the lumen Christi. Once again, a profound symbol was discarded.

Still another break with tradition is the elimination of the altar rails in catholic churches. For centuries, people knelt while receiving Holy Communion, and kneeling in our culture is the most perfect expression of an adoring posture -- that is, a bodily duplication of the proper posture of the soul. Why this change was introduced (at great financial cost) is difficult to understand, by unfortunately it is not the only case in which symbolism has been eliminated. --Alice von Hildebrand.

The "prayers at the foot of the altar," and the steps leading to the altar, were part of an integral schema resembling the schema of the church building itself--which reflected "progression," as it were, from back to front. Stepping closer to the tabernacle, the presence of Christ, was an incarnation of the mind's thinking pattern: forward or up is 'progressing.'

Now there's no "progress," nothing (or little) to indicate motion. It's the triumph of 'horizontal' liturgical thinking, also shown in the 'horizontalization' of the texts.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Who's Jeff Montoya?

From Catholic World News:

How likely would it be for Jeff Montoya, a Milwaukee Catholic layman, to be:

a) A parish youth minister?
b) Pictured with Archbishop Dolan (and kids) at World Youth Day?
c) A gay apologist and national board member of Dignity?
d) A campus minister and "diversity director" for a Franciscan college?
e) A Ratzinger trasher ("he has a tarnished record of opposing gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics")?
f) A vocation director for the Pallottine religious order?
g) All of the above?

You rotten cynics already KNOW the answer, or you can go to the link above...

Election Season: the Nuts are Loose

Sort of a hothead, eh?

Dean Marquardt, [Brookfield] city director of administration, said Kilkenny removed her shoe and threw it at him, hitting him in the chest, during a disagreement in his office in fall of 2003. He then was director of inspections and facilities.

Kilkenny said she doesn't remember throwing a shoe and said that her message must be striking a chord with residents if her critics are turning to mudslinging.

Well, it's not exactly a first:

...on June 24, 2003, Kilkenny called 911 at 6:16 a.m. to complain about noisy trucks unloading at the Pick 'n Save behind Kilkenny's home.

Kilkenny's neighborhood had had troubles with the grocery store for years. On this Tuesday morning, she called 911 and then parked her minivan in the loading driveway to keep the trucks from leaving until police arrived. An officer said she became "argumentative."

Marquardt often leaves the impression that he's an arrogant stuffed shirt with a "rules are rules, no exceptions" mentality forged in the heat of City bureaucracy. It's possible that Kilkenny was motivated to assault Marquardt.

But blocking trucks delivering bakery? Now THAT'S a problem...

What's Missing From This Story?

The flow of federal aid to help educate low-income children in Wisconsin will be reduced for next year, federal education officials say, and that has state and Milwaukee school leaders concerned.

Funding under what is called Title I grew substantially in the first several years of the Bush administration, but it is flat in the budget that has been approved for the 2006-'07 school year and, under the formulas used to distribute the money, Wisconsin does not fare as well as it did in 2005-'06.

The upshot is that Title I spending statewide will be reduced from just under $162 million this year to under $155 million next year, a 4.4% reduction, said Charles Hokanson, a deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education.

Parse 101: If the "funding...grew substantially in the first several years...'

Then what WAS the funding at the end of the Clinton Administration? Hmmmmm??? Less than $155 million? How much less?

And, by the way, what was the aid/student ratio in, say, 2001? 2002? 2004?

Another unexplained mystery:

the allocations were set by a formula spelled out by law, and there was no avenue to change the amounts for next year. He said the Wisconsin decline was largely due to such factors as faster growth in the number of children from low-income homes elsewhere in the United States.

WHERE "elsewhere?" Southern California? Arizona? Florida? North Carolina? Virginia?

Yah--that's where the illegals concentrate...

The SKY Is Falling!!!

No more cops. No more snowplows. Close the parks. Fire the firemen.


That's how it will look in these towns: Germantown, Racine, Madison, Eau Claire, Marinette, Rhinelander, West Bend and Wauwatosa.

There's more:, emergency responders, road maintenance, child protection services, meals-on-wheels, library access, public health, and sanitation services

One notes that Mayors, Aldertwits, and most bureaucrats are NOT listed above.

Vrakas "Disappointed."

Newly-elected County Executive Dan Vrakas was "disappointed" that the County Board turned down its own move to reduce its size from a whopping 35 members to an inflated 25.

Sort of.

County Executive Dan Vrakas, who proposed switching to a 25- or 19-member board, issued a statement expressing disappointment with the board's decision but calling for the debate to continue.

"Ultimately this delay will allow more citizens to weigh in on the downsizing of the County Board by contacting their county supervisor or by participating in the petition drive."

So, Danny boy: are you "disappointed" that there will be more citizen input? Or are you "disappointed" that the Board turned down your PERSONAL "magic number"?

Well-Organized "Spontaneous" Demonstrations

Yah. We knew this instinctively, but here's the documentation:

Many of the 500,000 people who crammed downtown Los Angeles on Saturday to protest legislation that would make criminals out of illegal immigrants learned where, when and even how to demonstrate from the Spanish-language media.

For English-speaking America, the mass protests in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities over the past few days have been surprising for their size and seeming spontaneity. But they were organized, promoted or publicized for weeks by Spanish-language radio hosts and TV anchors as a demonstration of Hispanic pride and power.

In Milwaukee, where at least 10,000 people rallied last week, one radio station manager called some employers to ask that they not fire protesters for skipping work.

In Chicago, a demonstration that drew 100,000 people received coverage on local television more than a week in advance.

"This was a much bigger story for the Latino media," said Felix Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. "If the mainstream media had been paying better attention, there would not have been the surprise about the turnout."


In Milwaukee, the Spanish-language station WDDW 104.7 made a point of publicizing the House legislation and the protest against it on its morning and drive-time shows two weeks ahead of time. Operations manager Armando Ulloa said his goal was at least 10,000 people -- and police estimated that was what the rally attracted. After the march, Ulloa said, he called some employers and asked them to be lenient on protesters who missed their shifts.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Maundy Thursday--UPDATED

Well, here's the official word on washing the feet of MEN ONLY for the Roman Catholic church:

...there has been no change in the universal norm which reserves this rite to men as stated in the circular letter "Paschales Solemnitatis" (Jan. 16, 1988) and the rubrics of the 2002 Latin Roman Missal.

No. 51 of the circular letter states: "The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came 'not to be served, but to serve.' This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained."

About a year ago, however, the Holy See, while affirming that the men-only rule remains the norm, did permit a U.S. bishop to also wash women's feet if he considered it pastorally necessary in specific cases. This permission was for a particular case and from a strictly legal point of view has no value outside the diocese in question.

(Zenit ZE 060328)

If I recall correctly, that was Boston.

Anybody want to set up the line--over/under on how many Milwaukee-area parishes flat-out ignore the Instruction?

UPDATE: More on the non-liceity of 'wimmin-washing' here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Somebody Lied

OK, so here are the pertinent quotations:

Quant delivered the packet of affidavits to the archdiocese, and a meeting with Cousins was scheduled for May 9, 1974.

"We sat down in five or six chairs next to the archbishop," Conway recalled. "Father Murphy was sitting next to me. There were at least a dozen people in the room. Some were other staff from St. John's.

"Father Murphy was very sheepish during the meeting. He didn't say a word. He just looked down."

Conway said he was stunned when the archbishop began to explain that they had been aware of the problem for years.

And here's the next one:

One year later, Cousins testified he found nothing in his investigation to substantiate any of the complaints about Murphy. That testimony came in a 1975 sworn deposition in a civil lawsuit filed by a victim. Murphy "sacrificed himself for the school" after "harassments and threats," Cousins said under oath. The lawsuit was dropped.


The End of Roads--or The Sky Is Falling!!!!

Yup. In only 10 years or so, you'll have to walk to Green Bay:

If the overall funding problem isn't fixed, Gottlieb added, the Department of Transportation won't have enough cash to rebuild worn Milwaukee-area freeways - a project that could eventually cost up to $6 billion.

But legislators from rural areas also are worried.

"If government can't provide basic (transportation) services, what good is it?" said Sen. Russ Decker (D-Schofield), also a member of the new Committee on Transportation Needs and Financing.

But wait! A Knight in Shining Armor is Here!!

"There's a crisis," said state Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi. "The Legislature is going to have to come up with a way to pay for this; we'll tell them what the needs are."

DOT's lost its supply of heroin and now demands methadone.

A record $310 million from the transportation fund will be siphoned off in the current two-year budget to make payments on loans taken out to avoid cuts in spending on highways and public schools.

(That "public schools" line is sorta buried deep, eh?)

Doyle recommended raising registration fees for vehicles from $55 to $65 last year, but the Legislature rejected the idea. All of Wisconsin's neighbors have higher fees, according to figures compiled by the DOT last year. In Iowa, they can run nearly four times as much, according to the DOT figures.

Uh, yeah..but where's Iowa in TOTAL TAXES/CAPITA?

This is only the first of several End Of The World As We Know It stories which will emerge in the next several months. Busalacchi and the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Ass'n are now praying for a few potholes-which-swallowed-entire-school busses--makes great TV.

Keep your wallet securely fastened. Sharpen up the tines on your pitchfork.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Speaking of Fat Federal Budgets...

Here's your opportunity to cut some Federal expense which is not only distasteful, but also "sticks it in the face" of parents:

A nice, easy, and useful cause.

Wasn't Just Abp. Weakland

Fr. Murphy's horrific story appears in today's JS. This particular slime found a group of targets who were DEAF, for crying out loud.

And who ordained him? Archbishop Kiley.

Who was in charge during Murphy's reign of terror at St. John's School?

Abps. Meyer (5 years) and Cousins (18 years).

Abp. Weakland showed up at the very end--

It is interesting that Abp. Cousins' assignment prior to Milwaukee was as Bishop of Peoria, IL., which has a reputation, as well.

More nuanced coverage can be found at The Provincial Emails and The Provincial Emails (there are two items...)

Someday, someone who has the time and morbid curiosity will figure out who was running the Seminary during the years when the "problem boys" were in formation; not only this Murphy character, but all the rest, some of which are still around.

Belling/Boxer Alliance

Belling stated that 'hiring illegal aliens' is a "good" thing, following a cockeyed version of logic--that is, that 'working' illegal aliens are the kind of folks he wants in the country, and after all, they pay taxes. Just like Senator Boxer of California.

Boxer said a jobs program needs to be created for illegal immigrants that would help them receive proper documentation.

She said it is important to match undocumented workers with appropriate agricultural jobs.
"If they are clean and pay taxes, we need to get them on the path to legality," Boxer said.

Belling's semi-Libertarian leanings are showing again.

Other than asking Belling "What part of illegal don't you understand?" there is the argument from Jim Sensenbrenner, who thinks clearly on the issue:

"Those who hire large numbers of illegal aliens are the 21st-century slave masters. And in my opinion, that's just as immoral as the 19th-century slave masters we had to fight a civil war to get rid of," said Sensenbrenner, who wants the legal status of workers to be verified before they're hired.

Regarding the Hildebeeste/Mahony argument that the bill would "criminalize Jesus," --well, it's a theory--but of course, it's a theory born largely in feverswamps. Unfortunately, the Archbishop of Milwaukee is also buying into this line, which evidently comes from USCC lawyers. USCC lawyers' track record speaks for itself, by the way.

Sensenbrenner says his bill is not aimed at criminalizing good Samaritans coming to the aid of undocumented immigrants but at so-called coyotes who smuggle people across the border.

And he defends the idea of making illegal presence a crime. It is now a civil violation.
"The way to come to the United States is to obey the law. And illegal immigrants are violating the law," he said.

But Sensenbrenner is not committed to the 'criminalization' part of the legislation; on the other hand, the Hildebeeste Party IS:

Sensenbrenner, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, said he had tried to amend his bill to change the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor but Democrats helped vote down that move.

The stench of politics emerges...

This whole brouhaha can be laid at the feet of GWBush, who ALSO happens to be interested in gaining votes, but for Republicans. The Grand Master Strategy is to capture the Mexican-American vote en bloc for the Pubbies. The 'beeste is well aware of this (as are Mahony and Boxer) and will take every opportunity to demonize the Republicans.

The Pubbies figure that the Hispanic vote will be attracted to the 'family values' positions of Republicans. Maybe so; RNC stats seem to support that theory. The 'rats are feverishly working through their Hispanic activist groups (see Real Debate Wisconsin which mentions Voces de la Frontera) to counter the moves by GWB & Co.

As a result of the politics, Bush has been unable to fashion a policy which makes sense. He's pandering, just like the Democrats are pandering.

One Hell of a way to legislate, eh? Which, ah, prostitute do you prefer?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Poetry for Certain Bishops

Shamelessly Stolen from Catholic World News:

Petey the Parrot served twenty-one months
Of a rap for indecent exposure.
His Bishop paroled him and gave him a perch
On his pear-wood episcopal crosier.
He scolded the skeptics who labelled the bird
Unsuited for pastoral placement:
"I'm giving him charge of the CCD staff
And a suite in the chancery basement."

Hide the eggs, Gwendolyn, hide the eggs Tom!
Hide the eggs Kate and Kareem!
Petey the sinister Young Adult Minister's
back on the pastoral team!
With an aawk! and a squawwk!
twenty months and you walk,
back on the pastoral team!

Petey was therapized, pampered, prepared,
Pronounced cured by professional weasels
Who shortly thereafter were found to have died
From a sorrowful shortage of T-cells.
The cops nearly nabbed him at Cock-à-Two's Bar
But Petey was just enough quicker
To fly through the window, and home, where he found
He'd been named archdiocesan vicar.

Hide the eggs, Gwendolyn, hide the eggs Tom!
Hide the eggs Kate and Kareem!
Petey the sinister Young Adult Minister's
back on the pastoral team!
With an aawk! and a squawwk! twenty months and you walk,
back on the pastoral team!

When the parents complained that his ministry style
Included non-standard relations,
The kindly old bishop asked Petey to screen
First his phone calls, and then his vocations.
It didn't take long for the entering class
To grow from near thirty to -- zero.
Now Petey's a bishop himself, don't you know,
And described as "The NCR's hero."

Hide the eggs, Gwendolyn, hide the eggs Tom!
Hide the eggs Kate and Kareem!
Petey the sinister Young Adult Minister's
back on the pastoral team!
With an aawk! and a squawwk!
twenty months and you walk,
back on the pastoral team!

Oh, So Familiar, Kootchkins!

This is worth the read, if you're famliar with a certain self-inflated East Coast bloglodyte:

McGee, STILL Wacko

Jessica caught this one:

Ald. Michael McGee is actually proposing that killers of black victims get 10 years tacked on their prison sentences. that he can complain later on that "blacks are over-represented in the prison population??

"Hate crime" enhancers are the direct progenitor of this proposal. Note this well, because it actually has an impact on The Amendment.

Blogs: 1st Amendment Holds, for the Time Being

Captain's Quarters:

The Federal Election Commission last night released proposed new rules that leave almost all Internet political activity unregulated except for the purchase of campaign ads on Web sites.
"My key goal in this rule-making has been to make sure that the commission establish clear rules to exempt individuals who engage in online politics from campaign finance laws," said Chairman Michael E. Toner, a Republican.

"We tried to craft a regulation that would allow the maximum amount of freedom for people as possible," said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub, a Democrat.

Most bloggers, individual Web users, and such Web sites as Drudge Report and are exempted from regulation....


the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), still remains in force, and that this exemption exists at the pleasure of the FEC. We still need a solid commitment from Congress that will restrict the actions of later FECs in regulating free speech on the Internet. We need to support House bill 1606, which will make the blog exemption an act of Congress that the FEC cannot reverse.

Beyond that, we need to restore sanity to the electoral-campaign process by repealing the BCRA (aka the McCain-Feingold Act), forcing all political contributions to be handled alike and in the open, and quit attempting to stifle speech in a vain attempt to purify politics.

1606 will be tough, because it's not a partisan issue: it's a Party of Government issue. NO Congresscritter likes 'free speech' when they could be a target of unhappy bloggers.

Repealing McC/Feinie: even tougher. Another of GWB's utter failures, albeit he was pushed, hard, to sign this piece of crap.

Bush Boyzzz Are Nuts! Nuts! On Security

This Administration seems to have serious brain-deficiencies on the topic of "security:"

The senior Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee sought assurances Friday over a no-bid contract the Bush administration is finalizing with a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said he was concerned there will be inadequate oversight in the Bahamas, just 65 miles from Florida's coast. He cited a story published Thursday by The Associated Press describing the $6 million contract involving radiation-scanning at the largest seaport in the Bahamas.

The administration acknowledges its contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running sophisticated U.S. radiation-detection equipment at an overseas port without American customs agents present.

As Mark Levin points out: this case, the Chinese would be responsible for security, including scanning U.S. bound cargo for radiation that might be emitted by plutonium or a radiological weapon. And while the Chinese company (Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.) is a Hong Kong corporation, so what? Its chairman has close ties to top Communist dictators and the Chinese military. Like everything else in China, the company answers to the government. At one point, our government concluded that the company was a potential threat for illegal arms shipments. Today it claims otherwise.

Hutchison Whampoa was a Friend of Bill, too. Anyone who read the American Spectator during the days of Bill and The 'beeste has a visceral 'red flag' warning when encountering the name.

But hey--Globaloney has reigned in the Bush family for years--just ask the one-termer.

Friday, March 24, 2006

"Children's Books???"

Condensed from commentary from UW-Madison, about 2005 children's books reviewed:

1. We noted more than thirty titles, including over twenty novels, about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (GLBTQ) youth and gay- or lesbian-parented families.

2. We still have yet to see multicultural literature make up more than 10 percent of the total number of new books published annually. This percentage drops to less than 5 percent when it includes only titles written and/or illustrated by people of color.

3. We continue to see authors and editors pay closer and closer attention to the importance of documentation in books of information for youth, and more and more writers are including primary sources in their research.

4. Continuing the trend of the last few years, the number of newly published picture books, especially those of first-time authors and illustrators, was down in 2005 from recent all-time highs.

5. Edgy fiction for teenagers has been in the spotlight quite a bit in recent years, but a few notable books for younger audiences also nudged the envelope of what some think of as “acceptable” topics or treatments.

6. We have seen the number of beginning and transitional readers grow significantly over the past five years.

7. The phenomenal success of Harry Potter continues to exert a huge influence over the publication of fiction, as evidenced by the continued proliferation of fantasy trilogies, series, and stand-alone works.

8. One highly noticeable trend that is relatively recent and continued to grow in 2005 is the explosion in the number of original paperbacks published for young adult readers.

9. Five years ago, there were a mere handful of libraries collecting graphic novels. Today, graphic novels have become standard in many public library collections, and in many school libraries, too. And as educators become more attuned to the graphic novel format’s many potential classroom applications, these books are making their way into some classrooms as well.

10. Celebrity publishing gets way too much attention.

HT: Nancy Brown

Charlie Wants a Denunciation

Sykes on a close friend of Tom Reynolds:

Lest calling the pope a “minister of Satan” was too subtle, Ovadal declared that John Paul “was an accursed man who deceived millions...such a man is not a Christian, not a servant of God, and will not be a citizen of heaven.”

Several weeks ago, on my radio show, I asked Reynolds if he intended to continue his association with Ovadal's group. He said he would, although he claimed he was unaware of Ovadal's comments on the Catholic Church. Of course, it would be unfair to attribute any of Ovadal’s views to Reynolds, and he has every right to do print work for anyone he chooses. But since we spoke, Reynolds has said nothing in public about his ties to Ovadal. And most conservatives have simply averted their eyes.

Candidly, most of the reaction I have gotten is in the form of emails arguing that Ovadal is, in fact, right about the pope and that I need to read more Scripture.

But Christians cannot have it both ways: We can’t complain about the “war on Christmas” and turn a blind eye to a guy who condemns a great and good man to hell. Even if he is just the crazy uncle in the attic.

"Rev." Ovadal will not be on my Christmas-card list, although were JPII still around, it's possible that he'd give O. the same treatment he gave Ali Agca. THAT would be fun to watch.

Reynolds' support is political, not religious; on the other hand, losing a big chunk of believers will not be good for Tom. Something to think about, Senator...

And while I think that 'reading Scripture' is a good thing, Ovadal's eye should rest for a moment on Christ's mandate to Peter: "Feed My lambs. Feed My sheep." It wasn't meant to be a lecture on animal husbandry.

Hillary and the Gospel of Immigration

The Hildebeeste announced her exegesis:

It is certainly not in keeping with my understanding of the Scriptures, because this bill would literally criminalize the Good Samaritan and probably even Jesus himself.

This is to announce her opposition to Sensenbrenner's immigration-control bill.

Aside from the obvious unfamiliarity (shared with her housemate, Bill, and with John "Kill the Babies" Kerry,) with the nature of Christ's mission and the both Testaments, and the sheer political pandering, Hildebeeste's arrogation of theological competence is laughable.

The language of the bill in question merely criminalizes 'aid...given to illegal immigrants [with the intention] of furthering their stay in the US.' It presumes that the aid-giver knows the status of an 'aided' individual, and that the "aid" is not merely humanitarian. The bill simply makes criminal those knowing acts which further illegal residence--not providing water, a meal, or a bed. (Curious, no, that providing water and food to Terri Schiavo did not call forth the Righteous Indignation of Hildebeeste...)

Hildebeeste's draconian interpretation of the language is shared by another Hero of the Left, Roger Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles. Both err--perhaps for different reasons--but they are wrong.

Allowing immigration is, overall, a good thing. But the very nature of "allowing" means that there must be preconditions. In the case of the US, the general preconditions include "inculturation," a period of years during which the aspiring immigrant learns the language, laws, and customs of the country while working to support themselves and, perhaps, their family. The principle is the same as that of "education;" (which of itself is a reflection of "child-rearing;") it is a process aimed at producing reasonable homogeneity.

For about 50 years, the Federal Government has benignly neglected the border with Mexico, allowing a large number of people to illegally assume residence in the US. This has led to a number of problems in the practical order, such as wildly out-of-control costs for health and education in the South and Southwest.

But "cost," while a factor, should not be the priority determinant of immigration policy.

"Inculturation" SHOULD be the priority determinant, and Hildebeeste's ridiculous assertion of theological affirmation becomes even more laughable at this point.

Here again, we deal with 'natural law' and the limits of 'positive law.' For when Christ challenged the positive-law Pharisees with the mandate of the natural law in the Good Samaritan story, He pointed out the fiction of positive law when it countermands natural law.

Natural law presumes a brotherhood of mankind, but does not preclude civil governance. In fact, natural law promotes "subsidiarity," which was enshrined in the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution, the one which specifically delegates to "the States, or the people" those powers NOT specifically granted to the Federal Government.

This "subsidiarity" presumes civil governance; such civil governance presumes homogeneity in various States (and Nations,) for no civil governance is possible when cultural disparity is deep and divisive, as France is now learning to her sorrow.

Thus, maintaining a just and reasonable "inculturation" process to assure public order in a given State (or Nation) is entirely reasonable under natural law. If one chooses to argue with immigration law as currently written, one can argue with elements which are "unjust" or "unreasonable," and there is plenty to argue about in those regards.

But to attempt to position Christ as an opponent to civil order is ludicrous--as are the arguments made against Sensenbrenner's legislation.

"I Said It" Doesn't Make it So, Ann

Althouse, a lawprof at UW-Madison, commenting further on her campaign for 'gay marriage:'

....As you may remember, I said the solid basis for distinguishing gay marriage and polygamy is economic: those seeking gay marriage only want the same set of economic advantages that is available to heterosexual couples, but polygamous groups seek more than the traditional share.

Althouse seems to be ignoring the logic. While "A" does not necessarily lead to "B" it is true that the principles which allow "A" can (and in some cases, must) allow "B."

Of course the "economic equity" argument is also shaky, insofar as "economic remedies" are available through positive law.

But it is, as Gallagher remarks, NOT "economic equity" which is the core of the issue, or such remedies would have been pursued earlier and likely granted.

It's "blessing." And it is "blessing" of something (like polygamy, or polyandry,) which is contra naturam.

(By the way, Bill Tucker of the American Spectator has a short piece on the polygamy element of "Big Love," which ends with a ludicrous assertion.)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Cost of Health Care

OK, class, pay attention.

Aurora Health Care said Thursday it will appeal the decision by a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge to uphold an April 2005 Waukesha County board vote rejecting Aurora's proposed $85 million, 88-bed hospital in the town of Summit.


Jim Walden, co-chair of the Concerned Business for Responsible Health Care, a coalition established to fight the hospital development, said Gempeler's ruling reaffirmed "that the hospital is not wanted or needed." He said an appeal by Aurora and Summit would increase legal fees that would be passed to consumers.

"The question is: When is Aurora going to stop?" Walden said.

SOME people are happy:

To corporate lawyers, having a group of companies operating under a corporate umbrella means one thing:

More billing opportunities.

Consider Aurora Heath Care, the hospital conglomerate that is forever looking for ways to grow even bigger.

On Sunday, we reported that Aurora, which is fighting a multifront battle to gain a foothold in Waukesha County, spent about $30 million over four years for services provided by the suits at Foley & Lardner, including $10.7 million in 2004.

But records show, and Aurora spin doctor Jeff Squire confirms, the Foley gang collected another $2.9 million from the hospital giant's sister companies in 2004.

Bottom line: Foley took in a total of $13.6 million from Aurora in 2004.

Back in BCT, we learned a 'joy cadence' which will be abbreviated and paraphrased here:

....[We're] going to SUE [our] way to the Promised Land...(which, to Aurora, seems to be Oconomowoc or thereabouts.

Vocations in Milwaukee

Well, Dom Bet assembled a table, and the's not so hot.

Milwaukee is now 151st of 176 US Dioceses in terms of seminarians/Catholics, having one seminarian for every 33,000 Catholics. That's worse than last year's ranking of 148th.

Median: Toledo, with one seminarian for every 14,000 Catholics.

Best: Lincoln (surprise!!!) one seminarian for every 2500 Catholics.

Which brings to mind the question: what WILL the Seminary Commission, headed by Fr. Daniel Pakenham, conclude about the Sem? When he was the Rector, he had a full beard; on arrival in Elm Grove, he had shaven. Will he do a 180 on keeping the Seminary open, too?

Bird Flu Pandemic? Not Likely

Our own UW-Madison researchers hit the news, disappointing thousands of reporters for the MSM--they'll have to find a new "story"....

Although more than 100 people have been killed by the avian influenza virus, the fact that it does not spread easily to other humans has been a biomedical puzzle. Now, a study of cells in the human respiratory tract reveals a simple anatomical difference in the cells of the system that makes it difficult for the virus to jump from human to human.

A group led by University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist Prof Yoshihiro Kawaoka, showed that only cells deep within the respiratory system, rather than the nose or throat, have the surface molecule or receptor that is the key that permits the avian flu virus to enter a cell.

"Our findings provide a rational explanation for why H5N1 viruses rarely infect and spread from human to human," the authors report.

Back to "polls" about GWB, boys and girls.

Liturgeist, Unhinged

The local Liturgeist was publicly reflecting the other night...

At her parish, the holy water has been removed from the fonts for the season of Lent. As mentioned earlier in this blog, this inanity has been foisted on the Faithful by the PoofterLitWonk crowd in the very recent past--maybe three years ago. Church tradition has it that, indeed, the holy water is removed---AFTER the Mass on Holy Thursday night. It is then replaced AFTER the Vigil of Holy Saturday night.

But the Local Liturgeist declareth that the tradition described above is "only a recent" invention.

How recent, dear? 200 years? 500 years? 1,000 years?

There was also some oral spew on the topic of Moses and the Law, during which the 'geist declared that Moses (!!!) told the folks at Sinai that 'details of the law' were not too important; that "love one another" was the important part. Good thing Moses is resting out of earshot or there might be stone fragments all around the 'geist's office.

Seems that the 'geist is not "detail-oriented," and justifies her personal conscience problems with public displays of utter ignorance.

Remember, THIS 'geist has a Master's from St. Francis Major Seminary.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Blogging" What Is It?

My own personal theory, after reading a bunch of them for several months:

Blogs are the product of frustrated Newspaper Editors. They feature news stories that the BLOGGER wants to publish, and include that Blogger/Editor's opinion.

If you want to read a more, ah, inclusive newspaper, read blogs.

Crusades, MSM Agendas, and History

Here's an interesting little item:

THE Vatican has begun moves to rehabilitate the Crusaders by sponsoring a conference at the weekend that portrays the Crusades as wars fought with the “noble aim” of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity.

The Crusades are seen by many Muslims as acts of violence that have underpinned Western aggression towards the Arab world ever since. Followers of Osama bin Laden claim to be taking part in a latter-day “jihad against the Jews and Crusaders”.

The late Pope John Paul II sought to achieve Muslim- Christian reconciliation by asking “pardon” for the Crusades during the 2000 Millennium celebrations. But John Paul’s apologies for the past “errors of the Church” — including the Inquisition and anti-Semitism — irritated some Vatican conservatives. According to Vatican insiders, the dissenters included Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

The author of the article is, ah, not a fan of B-16, eh? Ah, well--those bloody Brits have had it in for the Church ever since Henry VIII, anyway.

Let's put this in perspective. The Crusades have been maligned by revisionist historians in the West for a long time. Obviously, the Muslims were not enthralled--but in the US, we do not read history books written by Muslims. They are written by "Enlightened" historians, and generally speaking, they gloss over the reason(s) for the Crusades:

At the conference, held at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University, Roberto De Mattei, an Italian historian, recalled that the Crusades were “a response to the Muslim invasion of Christian lands and the Muslim devastation of the Holy Places”.

“The debate has been reopened,” La Stampa said. Professor De Mattei noted that the desecration of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1009 had helped to provoke the First Crusade at the end of the 11th century, called by Pope Urban II.

That, my friends, calls for no apology. None, unless you are French, or unless you're Bill Clinton. In fact, the first Crusade has a vague resemblance to GWB's response after 9/11.

What DOES call for an apology?

[Cambridge Professor Riley-Smith] said that the Crusaders were sometimes undisciplined and capable of acts of great cruelty. But the same was true of Muslims and of troops in “all ideological wars”. Some of the Crusaders’ worst excesses were against Orthodox Christians or heretics — as in the sack of Constantinople in 1204.

To intimate, as does the author of this article, that B-16 was unhappy with JPII's apology, is a reach--likely an over-reach. For these sins, the Pope apologized, and it would seem that the reporter has set up a straw man.

But an agenda in the MSM? Come, now....

Whither the Pubbies re: Families?

Reports are telling us that childbearing is no longer fashionable in the US. That's not exactly news to any parents who have more than 3 little darlings.

Fr. Richard Neuhaus comments on an editorial by Allan Carlson (at one time, the major domo of the Rockford Institute.)

Allan Carlson has for years been leading the cause for the “family wage.” It is a cause that has deep roots in Catholic social doctrine and also in an older “progressive” tradition in American politics. Teddy Roosevelt is, in this connection, one of Carlson’s heroes. In this reflection in National Review Online, Carlson examines the ways in which corporate America conspires (for lack of a better term) to force women into the labor force, with the predictable consequence of sharply reducing the number of children married couples have.

Up until quite recently, Carlson notes, the Democrats were much more family-friendly than the Republicans. Then Reagan embraced the “family issues,” which contributed powerfully to producing “Reagan Democrats,” but neither he nor other Republican leaders have been prepared to follow through on the policy implications of that embrace. Carlson writes:

Moreover, when push comes to shove, social conservatives remain second
class citizens under the Republican tent. During the 2004 Republican convention,
they were virtually confined to the party’s attic, kept off the main stage,
treated like slightly lunatic children. Republican lobbyist Michael Scanlon’s
infamous candid comment–”The wackos get their information [from] the Christian
right [and] Christian radio”–suggests a common opinion among the dominant “K
Street” Republicans toward their coalition allies.

Contemporary Republican leaders need to do better–much
better–toward social conservatives. They must creatively address pressing new
family issues centered on debt burden. And they must learn to say “no” sometimes
to Wall Street, lest they squander the revolutionary political legacy of Ronald

I’m not persuaded that Carlson has the whole story. But he raises important questions about the politics and policies of those who purport to be “family friendly.”

It may or may not be the case that "corporate America" has persuaded the Pubbies to do their bidding on family issues--personally, I'm persuaded by the argument that "consumerism" is more to blame--but Carlson's nobody's fool. His grounding on the topic of families is deep and broad. And as to Pubbie twits and their relationship with social conservatives: a couple of elections with the social c's sitting on their hands may be very salutary.

Xoff Needs More Vacation

Xoff is jealous--Jessica has a sense of humor. He's taking the lead in the "snarkiest blogger" race.

But we have other "teachers" in this State--it's called "by example." Let's take Governor Jim (BagMan) Doyle, aka "Craps", "Diamond Jim" and "Wholly-Owned Subsidiary of WEAC, the Tribes, and PI Lawyers"

Doyle teaches a course called Pay For Play (400 level.) Prerequisite: must have taken Chuck Chvala's 100- and 200- level courses. Lectures on obtaining campaign contributions from parties who are interested in State contracts, before AND after the contracts are awarded. Materials required:

Doyle also teaches a course called Blinding the Public (400 level.) Prerequisite: completion of the 200-level course taught by (surprise!!) Chuck Chvala. While the 200 course merely shows how to move money to out-state "friendlies," the 400 course shows how to play with computer programs to frustrate State regulatory imperatives. Materials required: Excel and Word.

Doyle teaches "Standing in the Schoolhouse Door" (300 level.) This course demonstrates the legerdemain-based methodology and is a follow-on to courses taught by other Governors which use the "direct action" method. Recommended for those who have no convictions and no courage, either.

Other courses taught by BagMan may be offered after January 2007, when he will have much more free time.

BagMan's Latest Slimy Trick

Once again giving lawyers a worse name than they (perhaps) deserve, James Doyle, attorney-at-law and current slimeball-in-office has done his best to thwart the intention of right-minded citizens:

If you surf the SEB website, you’ll see that electronic campaign finance reports can be viewed and downloaded in an Excel spreadsheet format. This format allows you to sort the report by date of contribution, contributor name, occupation, employer and even conduit account name.

This is precisely the kind of unfettered access that electronic filing was intended to provide, but Diamond Jim Doyle doesn’t like it.

So Doyle’s campaign created a program that exports their campaign finance data to a Word file which can not be sorted or manipulated in any way, and they make sure to shuffle all the contributions before exporting the data.

That's been fixed, thanks to a lot of work. You can track and trace the "pay-for-play" here. Kudos to Deb Jordahl, and a Hat Tip to Charlie.

Culture Alert

This Friday night, the Milwaukee Symphony and its Chorus will perform the Brahms German Requiem.

As most of you know, this 'requiem' does not use the texts of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass; rather, it utilizes a group of biblical texts which directly or indirectly address death and the afterlife.

The piece, like all larger Brahms works, is jammed with shades of meaning and wonderful plays on harmony and melody; it also has two (TWO!!!) fugues which take Bach's personal fugue-fiefdom to the limit. The D major (key of joy) fugue in Movement 3 has various instruments holding "D" for 35 measures; and the C Major (key of affirmation) fugue in Movement 6 follows the conquest of Death. Further, the piece contains one of the finest musical representations of motherhood--combining the chorus' 'assurance' theme with that of a soloist using another variation of the same theme in a more declamatory manner.

But those little features are hardly the best reason to go. The BEST reason to go is to hear Andreas Delfs' interpretation. There are lots of conductors who "do" this piece, but only a very few who really understand the relationships between the text and the music--and the precisely correct tempo of each movement.

Delfs has this down pat, and it makes all the difference in the world.

Friday night, 8PM. Be There!!

Doncasters--the Next Dubai Deal

A company named Doncasters is based in England and owns several manufacturing plants in the US. These plants make components for military aircraft, such as the Joint Strike Force jet.

Doncasters is about to be purchased by Dubai interests.

Watch for the fireworks and fun on this one. Should Dubai (a proven home for people who are happy to sell ANYTHING to ANYBODY with money) have a peek at sensitive military designs?

The American Spectator blog has more.

McIlheran's Morality Tale

McIlheran draws the right conclusions from the evidence.

Since most of us know, or know OF, someone who is mentally ill, the JS series is interesting. Beyond that, and more pointed a lesson, is the ability of the BlackRobes to issue decisions which defy common sense, and make them stick.

And the Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again--at the vulnerable, which is usually the victim.

Viroqua Cancels "Diversity Day"

Not for the reason you think. Nope.

Last year's "Diversity Day" was cancelled by the Board of Education following a petition drive. But there were elections and a new Board is in place, so things were proceeding apace until:

This time, a fax from Liberty Counsel stated local pastor Don Greven of Bad Axe Lutheran Church and the grandfather of a senior at the high school raised concerns about no Christian, or formerly homosexual, viewpoint being included among the speakers, the Tribune reported.
Liberty Counsel argued a federal court in Michigan had ruled a similar exclusion unconstitutional.

"By excluding the Christian and ex-gay viewpoints, the (Viroqua) District violates the Establishment Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection," the group said.


Gregg Attleson, a teacher on the Diversity Day planning committee, told the LaCrosse paper the intent is to introduce students to minorities and people with alternative lifestyles.

Attleson said the homosexual couple scheduled to speak refused to be on the program alongside an "ex-gay" viewpoint, saying they would be uncomfortable.

Awwwwww. Toooooo bad. THEY would be "uncomfortable."

Feeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllings trump education, eh?

"We Just Bought Your Tax Info...Wanna Buy A Car?"

Seems IRS thinks you need even less privacy:

The Internal Revenue Service is quietly moving to loosen the once-inviolable privacy of federal income-tax returns: If it succeeds, accountants and other tax-return preparers will for the first time be able to sell information from individual returns — or even entire returns — to marketers and data brokers.

The change is raising alarm among consumer and privacy-rights advocates. It was included in a set of proposed rules that the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Dec. 8 Federal Register, where the official notice labeled them "not a significant regulatory action."


The proposed rules, which would become effective 30 days after a final version is published, would require a tax preparer to obtain written consent before selling tax information. Critics call the changes a dangerous new breach in personal and financial privacy.


IRS spokesman William M. Cressman defended the proposal in similar terms. "The heart of this proposed regulation is about the right of taxpayers to control their tax return information. The idea is to emphasize taxpayer consent and set clear boundaries on how tax return preparers can use or disclose tax return information," Cressman said in an e-mail response to questions.

Cressman said he was unable to explain "why this issue has come up at this time other than our effort to update regulations that date back to the 1970s and predate the electronic era."

On the other hand, IRS also included a reg change which would require your explicit permission to have your return processed overseas, a protection which would be new.

So in the future, you could get a call from "Julie" in Bangladesh who will not only offer to assist you with your Windows problem, but will also sell you a nice new set of windows.

Double pane...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Code and De-Coding

Stolen from The Ox Files:

Earlier today the Cardinal Newman Society announced that they had been able to capture an Enigma Machine form a dissenting Catholic group.

The Enigma machine, used by dissenting groups to code their communiqués and public statements, is commonly known as the D-Enigma.

A spokesman for the Cardinal Newman Society would not comment on exactly how his group came into possession of the machine, but it is understood that a dissenting group may have accidentally left the machine in a Diocesan Centre after one of their weekly meetings. [Ed: Perhaps in the rectory at St. John's Cathedral of Milwaukee--or of St. Sebastian's???]

The D-Enigma machine is almost identical to the famous Enigma machine used by the Germans during World War II and it is being used by dissenting groups to encode and decode their public statements about the Church and theology.

A basic dissenting message or teaching is typed up using the D-Enigma machine, which encodes the original message. When an encoded message is typed into the D-Enigma machine it is decoded to supply a copy of the original message content.

Some examples of actual messages that have been coded and decoded by the Cardinal Newman Society using the D-Enigma machine are…

Original coded Message:“The Church needs to focus on addressing issues of injustice”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“We want married, gay, and women priests”

Original coded Message:“We need a pastoral plan that focuses on the horizontal, as well as the vertical aspects of faith”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“We need to stop talking about divinity and salvation, and start focusing on feelings and hosting more wine and cheese evenings in the parish”

Original coded Message:“It’s a conscience issue”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“Whatever you do, don’t listen to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church!”

Original coded Message:“We are Church”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“We are Catholics who really want to be liberal Anglicans.”

Original coded Message:“That’s not my model of Church”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“I don’t like obeying the teachings of the Holy Spirit given through the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, so I’m going to make myself into my own personal Magisterium.”

Original coded Message:“God is found in the sacrament of the ordinary”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“I don’t believe in the divine, unless it’s new age”

Original coded Message:“The Church hierarchy needs to listen more to the stories of its people”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“We need to have more wine and cheese evenings to talk about our feelings and all the Church teachings we don’t like.”

Original coded Message:“The Church hierarchy are obsessed with sex and genital issues”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine:“I hate Humane Vitae, Evangelium Vitae, and Theology of the Body.”

Original coded Message:“The Church is not adhering to the Spirit of Vatican II”

Same message after decoding by the D-Enigma machine: “The actual documents of Vatican II don’t support my position so I’m going to appeal to something intangible like the feelings and emotions of dissenters who went to Vatican II and then later misrepresented it in the public arena.”

Original coded Message: "The Liturgy of today was prepared by Ms. X"

Same message after decoding: Who needs the GIRM/IG or a Missal? We have our own unique dance, our own unique Parish Band, and several copies of Robert Frost's works!

Even MORE from B-16

This Pope knows how to Pope:

In the inaugural catechesis, Benedict XVI defended the true essence of the Church from two “distortions.” The first is the individualistic distortion of liberal theology, which found its most famous representation in the Protestant scholar Adolf von Harnack, but has also influenced Catholic culture to a great extent. The second “distortion” is the one the pope summarized in “the slogan that was fashionable a few years ago, ‘Christ yes, the Church no’.”

Relevant text from ZENIT:

For this reason, the individualistic interpretation of Christ's proclamation of the Kingdom as proposed by liberal theology is unilateral and unfounded. Here is how the great liberal theologian Adolf von Harnack summarized this interpretation, in a series of lectures in 1900 entitled "What is Christianity?": "The Kingdom of God comes in the degree in which it comes to specific men, finds an opening into the soul and is accepted by them. The Kingdom of God is the 'lordship' of God, that is to say, the dominion of the Holy God in each different heart" (Third Lecture, 100ff).

Actually, this individualism of liberal theology is accentuated particularly in modern times. In the perspective of biblical tradition and in the realm of Judaism in which Jesus' work is classified despite all of its novelty, it remains evident that the entire mission of the Son made flesh has a communitarian finality: He came precisely to gather together a scattered humanity, he came precisely to gather together the people of God.

The twelve apostles are in this way the most evident sign of Jesus' will over the existence and mission of his Church, the guarantee that between Christ and the Church there is no opposition: They are inseparable, despite the sins of the people who make up the Church. Therefore, there is no way to reconcile Christ's intentions with the slogan that was fashionable a few years ago, "Christ yes, the Church no." The individualist Jesus is a fantasy. We cannot find Jesus without the reality that he created and through which he communicates himself. Between the Son of God, made man and his Church, there is a profound, inseparable continuity, in virtue of which Christ is present today in his people.

Back to Chiesa:

But the strongest passages of the catechesis were those in which the pope explained the relationship between the institution of the apostles – twelve in number, like the twelve Jewish tribes – and the people of Israel. The pope recalled Jesus’ intention “of founding the holy people again.” And then: “By their mere existence, the twelve – called from different backgrounds – have become a summons to all Israel to conversion and to allow themselves to be reunited in a new covenant, full and perfect accomplishment of the old.”

This appeal from the pope for the conversion of the Jews – stated as still valid today – will certainly provoke discussion. In any case, it is perfectly consistent with the view expressed by Benedict XVI when meeting the Jews in the synagogue of Cologne, on August 19, 2005. Jews and Christians – Ratzinger said on that occasion – remain joined by the one, eternal covenant established by God. And also therefore “in those areas in which, due to our profound convictions in faith, we diverge, and indeed precisely in those areas, we need to show respect and love for one another.”

This begins with the chief distinction: belief or lack of belief in Jesus as the Messiah and the son of God.

This will keep a few late lights burning in the offices of the membership of Catholic Theological Society of America...

B-16 to Arm the Missles

Reported, rumor only:

According to a Vatican source, the commission will approve “a proposal and a plan for liturgical reform,” which will be made public in the Apostolic Exhortation that the Holy Father will tentatively issue in October.

The Vatican source said that the exhortation would include an invitation to greater use of Latin in the daily prayer of the Church and in the Mass—with the exception of the Liturgy of the Word—as well as in large public and international Masses.

The document would also encourage a greater use of Gregorian chant and classical polyphonic music; the gradual elimination of the use of songs whose music or lyrics are secular in origin, as well as the elimination of instruments that are “inadequate for liturgical use,” such as the electric guitar or drums, although it is not likely that specific instruments will be mentioned.

Lastly, the Pope is expected to call for "more decorum and liturgical sobriety in the celebration of the Eucharist, excluding dance and, as much as possible, applause."

Well, why mention such things as electric guitar and drums? Why not mention finger-cymbals and chimes? Or tambourines? Does anyone in Rome actually think that devotees of NAPA(L)M actually have taste?

Archbishop Piero Marini, the master of ceremonies for papal liturgies, spoke to the Italian internet site on March 20, during a visist to Milan for the publication of his book, Liturgy and Beauty.

Archbishop Marini revealed that Pope Benedict XVI has been more demanding than his predecessor in watching plans for liturgical celebrations at the Vatican.

Oh, really?

"With John Paul II I had a bit more freedom," the Italian prelate told the web site, "We had an implicit pact, because he was a man of prayer and not a liturgist." With the new Pope, he continued, "I have to be a bit more attentive, because he is an expert on liturgy."

A BIT? A little, tiny bit? Mgr., you are prevaricating. You actually have to consult the IG now, not to mention years and years and years of Tradition. But not for long, God willing. Retirement awaits. CF: Bp. Gumbleton.

The master of papal ceremonies said that he and the Pope are now carrying out a re-examination of papal liturgical celebrations. He reported that he regularly sends his notes to the Pontiff, who returns them with corrections, suggestions, or a note of approval.

In what proportions?

March 21: Holyday

This is the birthday of J. S. Bach.

Nothing more need be said.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Alternative/"Reciprocal" Arrangements?

Well, Da Godfoddah asks, we must respond, right?

Apparently the State of Colorado is considering legislation which would allow people in a "civil union" to allow hospital visitations, estate-transfer privileges, and employee benefits/insurances to be applied for the benefit of the people in the "civil union."

The question: would the Second Sentence of The Amendment restrict such arrangements?

There's no language in front of me on the matter. And I am not encumbered with a Law degree. Read at your own risk.

Let's start from the top. As mentioned earlier, a Constitution and its supplementing positive law should affirm Natural Law, or at least should not derogate from that law. Thus my opposition to a positive-law-created "marriage" between persons of the same sex--and my support for a Constitutional amendment which makes such "marriage" impossible.

The Second Sentence of the proposed Wisconsin amendment does two things: first, it prevents other States from imposing their fictitious 'same-sex marriages' on Wisconsin under the Full Faith and Credit clause; secondly, it relieves Wisconsin subsidiary governments from being forced to provide "family benefits" insurances to unmarried "partners," whether a "civil union" or otherwise.

However, the Second Sentence does NOT prevent such arrangements from being made under contractual agreement. Thus, if a Wisconsin legislature and Governor were to enact positive law stating that privately-contracted arrangements for health insurance, survivor benefits, property-transfer, visitation rights, durable Power of Attorney (etc., etc.) were permissible OUTSIDE of marriage properly understood, it's no big deal.

Note that this hypothetical legislation does not re-define marriage; thus, tax and adoption issues are "off the table."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Unexpected Delight

Over the weekend, we did something which usually creates heart palpitations--attended Sunday Mass out of town. We were advised that for our purposes, St. Pius X parish in Appleton would be just fine and dandy.


The Mass was celebrated exactly as written in the IG, and the priest/celebrant even tossed in a Chant-esque Kyrie Eleison. It was Chant-esque because it was apparently based on the Kyrie from the Litany of the Saints--it was not one of the usual Ordinary melodies.

Nonetheless, this was an unexpected pleasure.

After Mass, we made it a point to greet the celebrant and confirmed our suspicions: he had been in the Parish for only 6 months. It was clear that there were some dissonances between his understanding of the Liturgy and that held by others surrounding him--the 'hold-hands-Kumbaya' routine at the Our Father bespoke a past age of flower children, for example; and the outlandish hat worn by the "Yout' Minister" was a sign...

Ironically, the Gospel story was about profaning the Temple. Evidently the Yout' person had forgotten about that story.

We learned that the good Father-celebrant had attended the Old Rite Mass in Green Bay for several years prior to his Ordination. Evidently something rubbed off.

Best wishes to you, Father. And thanks!

Congrats to the Archbishop!

Abp. Dolan was apparently responsible for "booting" Call to Action's annual convention (all 30 members and their Geritol-wagon) from the Cathedral premises, according to a loud screech heard by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

As had earlier been reported by Get Up and Get Moving, Fr. Carl Last had authorized the meeting. Curiously, Fr. Last was unavailable for comment.

Lois Ahlhauser, a past president of Call to Action Wisconsin, and her husband, John, said they had arranged with Father Carl Last, rector of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, for their group to hold its annual meeting from 9 a.m. to noon April 8, with Gumbleton as one of the speakers.

Last did not return a call for comment earlier this week. He was gone and not available for comment Friday afternoon, according to a staff member in his office.

...probably celebrating the Feast of St. Patrick. Or perhaps engaging in Lenten penances given by the Archbishop under "particular law" applying only to him for this egregious error in judgment (or flagrant 'in-your-face' bitch-slapping...take your pick.)

But we seriously doubt that the geriatrically-supercharged "Call to Action" crowd was the real problem, even with the promise of Bp. "Gumby" Gumbleton, gadfly-extraordinaire, who was recently given the door AND the boot from his Detroit office.

The problem was "Action Wisconsin." You don't have to know a lot of Catholic theology to figure out that this bunch is flat-out opposed to the Catholic position on gay "marriage"--or gay "adoption."