Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Elegaically Written Understanding of 'Sacred Language'

This is good stuff:

For the power of liturgy to lift us out of our narrow practical and material pursuits is not dependent on our understanding of every actual word we are saying, any more than our emotional submission to classical music's soaring magic is dependent on our ability to read the score that produced it. The power of liturgy to stir and inspire us isn't even dependent on our commitment to the beliefs and doctrines from which the liturgy sprang.

[Damn, that's a GOOD point.]

I see the worship service as more about belonging than belief. An ancestral, globally employed language like Hebrew or Latin provides a context for predictable and organic communion amongst those present at the service. Through regular engagement, even though rote, with a universally recognized language, worshippers are subliminally imbued with a common motivational narrative from the past, common moral goals in the present and intimations of a common destiny in the future.

[Anyone recall the Communion of Saints?]

But the ancient language and music of the liturgy, which unite the individual with his fellows in the sanctuary's space, also unite the individual with the eternal idea of peoplehood -- those who came before and who will come after -- in time. Under the mesmeric sway of ancestral language, the finite moment is transcended through expressions of aspirational yearning (future), emotional attentiveness (present) and nostalgia (past) to fuse in what the philosopher Henri Bergson called "intentional time," when the worshipper achieves the spiritual peace that is conferred by timelessness.

Nope. NOT written by Pope B-16. NOT written by an SSPX theorist. NOT written by a Latin scholar, nor Old-Rite aficiando. NOT written by a nostalgic old lady with a few too many glasses of Chardonnay.

Written by a Jewish lady-staffer of the Canadian National Post.

HT: The New Liturgical Movement

Bp. Bruskewitz--Teaching With Authority

A stem-winding, foot-stomping, SIX CHEERS speech by the anti-Mahony/anti-Bernardin!!

...the Catholic Church in the United States, and to a large extent throughout the Western World, is facing a very formidable series of crises. Although the Catholic population of the United States is consistently growing, and now exceeds 67 million out of our total American population of 300 million, we have to remember that almost all of the growth has taken place by way of immigration, and almost none or less than none, by natural demographic increase. It should also be pointed out that the number of conversions to the Catholic faith in our country has fallen precipitously in the last forty years. As a matter of fact, it is an aphorism that probably can be statistically verified that the largest religious group in the United States is the Catholic Church, but the second largest is fallen-away Catholics, lapsed, non-practicing, those who have abandoned the Catholic faith.

...There is a breakdown of authority in the Church, constant and open dissent by people who call themselves theologians; great doctrinal and moral confusion, and Catholics who while professing to belong to the Church are, perhaps, within her pale but outside of her orthodoxy. Catholics in many parts of the United States are confronted by banal, shallow, and irreverent liturgies that have no or only a most remote connection with the holy sacrifice of the Mass. In 1965, all the statistical studies showed that at least 85% or perhaps more of the Catholics in the United States attended mass each Sunday. The present statistical studies show that this has gone to 27% of the Catholics in the United States attending mass on Sundays.

["..those who call themselves 'theologians'" ...not just in Milwaukee, where we have plenty of them.]

...There are, of course, many causes for these ecclesiastical crises in which we are involved. There are many causes outside of the Church. We live, for example, in a culture that is dominated by materialism and hedonism, invisibly and imperceptibly the values of those things creep in the lives and attitudes of all, including Catholics. Even the healthiest fish cannot swim along in polluted waters. In our country, especially, a serious misunderstanding of freedom has turned freedom into license, and we live in a pan-sexual and irresponsible age, in which pleasure, comfort, and material possessions appear to be the goals of human existence. Lacking solid catechetical teaching, it is very easy for people, especially young people to be lured into that kind of attitude and condition their entire life-style by such an attitude.

A great amount of dissent and turmoil has come about because of a very serious misunderstanding of the Second Vatican Council. The documents of the Second Vatican Council are excellent. All of the documents deserve careful study and careful consideration in all their implications and all their nuances. The intentions of the Popes of the Council, Blessed John XXIII and Pope Paul VI are also quite clear in their writings and speeches and in all the things they saw as derivative from the Council.

...a great number of personages and causes gathered around the Council as a kind of para-Council, which gave, because of their domination of the media, an incredibly wrong impression which persist even to this day, about what the Council was and what it was intended to achieve. For example, one hears very little about the continuity of historic tradition which is inherent in the very actions of the Council and in its documents, that it always understood itself as in organic unity with the previous Councils of the Church, including both the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council which is explicitly affirmed and intended to incorporate in its outlook.

[This usually shows up as "Vatican II is the beginning of History, a common disease amongst Liturgeists, not to mention parish priests and 90% of bureaucrats in Chanceries and parishes.]

There was also a mistaken notion, even among some people who should have known better, that by removing or changing accidental matters, sometimes considered accretions in ecclesiastical life, it would not affect the substance of that life. I think there was misunderstanding of the Thomistic view of accidents and substances

...We also had a completely mistaken idea of the relationships of non-Catholics, individually and in groups, to the Catholic Church. The decree on ecumenism and the declaration on non-Christian religious, Unitatis Redintegratio and Nostra Aetate became the launching points of what later became, according to our present Holy Father, the dictatorship of relativism; namely, that there is no religious truth, or that religious truth is good for this person, but not necessarily true or good for that person, or while emphasizing that there are oftentimes, positive and truthful elements in other churches and other religious, and other denominations, and other religious experiences, and trying to be positive about that, may have misled a lot of people into thinking that religious truth is simply not contained in its fullness, in all its integrity and beauty only in the Catholic faith, but might also be contained similarly in others.

[In civic life, the attempt by Positive Law advocates to change Natural Law comes to mind.]

Newman then says that "the Catholic faith opposes this idea of liberalism in religious. It asserts very emphatically that there is a truth, then, that there is one truth, that religious error is of itself an immoral nature, that its maintainers, unless involuntarily such, are guilty in maintaining it, that the mind is below truth and not above it, and is bound, not to descant upon it, but to venerate it, that truth and falsehood are set before us for the trial of our hearts, that our choice is an awful giving forth of lots on which salvation or its rejection is inscribed, and that before all things it is necessary to hold the Catholic faith, and that he who would be saved must think thus and not otherwise."

[Also in binary theory; it's a zero or a one. That's all. No others need apply.]

...The clash of culture represented by the Muslim demography and onslaught in our time, which reflects the Islamic expansionism of times past, cannot be successfully confronted by an easy-going pluralistic tolerance. It can only be confronted by a reinvigorated Christianity, a reinvigorated Catholic faith. The dynamism, the Tielhardism, the Communism, the Marxism, the Socialism, and countless other isms of the last centuries will never be successfully confronted either, apart from a reinvigorated and grace-filled Catholic faith.

Amen. Alleluia.

HT: Cafeteria is Closed

Bp. Morlino on Liturgical Order and Music

Gee, this guy in Madison is busy writing letters which are refreshing and Good Stuff!!

In previous communications, I have written about what Pope Benedict has called the discontinuity hermeneutic, that is the various misinterpretations of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which have occurred since the council and which now stand in need of correction.

After the council, an overemphasis was given to the presence of Christ in the assembly, so that the other ways Christ is even more sacramentally intensely present suffered a certain neglect.

The question arises, does some of the music routinely sung embody the incorrect overemphasis on the presence of Christ in the assembly, so that people are confused as to the importance of the sacramental intensity of His presence, especially under the signs of bread and wine.

Certain songs come to mind where the lyrics raise a real question for me. For example: "We are called, We are chosen, We are Christ for one another, We are a promise, We are sower, We are seed, We are question, We are creed." Singing that song repeatedly teaches people something, and I am afraid that it is something that I as Bishop do not want to teach them, but we certainly need to begin a dialogue about these matters.

Another example of this same problem would be the lyrics of the hymn Gather Us In, where a seemingly endless explanation is given to God about who We are, who are gathered in.

Pope Benedict has said that the music at Mass is not an extrinsic accompaniment to the liturgy, but is intrinsically part of our prayer of praise and adoration and thanksgiving to the Lord. The words of the songs we sing should be focused on giving praise and adoration to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, rather than explaining to God things about ourselves or even praising ourselves

...We must remember that as we pray before the "Holy, Holy, Holy," the angels and saints are present with us giving praise to the Trinity. The hymns we sing should be worthy of the participation of the angels and saints.

Bada Bing Bada Bang Bada Boom.

HT: Christus Vincit

Semi-Apocalyptic Thought

Let's deal with an interesting possibility!

What will happen if Van Hollen becomes AG and Doyle remains in office?

Heh, heh.


We get Barb Lawton!

Vote Yes Ad...Hmmmmm

Charlie doesn't like the Vote Yes television ad, although he does like the radio offerings.

It occurs to me that the target markets are two different things. Radio is more a 'think' medium; TV is far more visual and, I suspect, emotional.

So the medium dictates the message.

Hail, Britannia!!

Some Brits still have gonads:

To drive in Britain is to measure out your trip in speed cameras. As inevitable as road signs and as implacable as the meanest state trooper, they lurk everywhere, the government’s main weapon against impatient drivers.

It is a shame that so many people hate them.

Among the ways that motorists have made this clear: spraying the cameras with paint; knocking them over; covering them in festive wrapping paper and garbage bags; digging them up; shooting, hammering and firebombing them; festooning them with burning tires; and filling their casings with self-expanding insulation foam that, when activated, blows them apart.

"When in the course of Human Events...."

The people who wrote that little essay were also British citizens, at the time. Evidently some love of freedom still subsists in England!!

Nothing to See Here. No Crisis, # 32,475

Yah, Tommy.

As it turns out, Milwaukee is in the top third of US cities for "danger from crime."

Not the Top 10 most dangerous--we're #22 of 351.

P-Mac's Health Woes

No, he's not ill, nor are his children. But he's a victim of DarthDoyle's bullheaded inanity:

But because I live in the only state where the governor has vetoed a deduction for HSA contributions, I’ll be paying $91 more in state income taxes. It’s not a huge sum, but it is more than a fortnight’s worth of health insurance premiums, oddly enough, and I’m paying it because Doyle says doing what most of the rest of the country does just benefits “the wealthy.”

In that, he’s wrong, of course. The insurance industry’s stats say about half the people buying HSA plans last year had incomes under $50,000. And since there are limits on how much you can put into an HSA -- $5,250 last year – the deduction’s value is limited, too. It’s just a smaller proportion of income to the wealthy, even given their higher tax rates, than it is to middle-income taxpayers.

So why does the governor take this line? Because health savings accounts are part of a trend that Democrats generally, and their union backers in particular, seem to dislike: away from some big, coordinated system where your health care is paid by someone else.

This strikes home, as I'm aware of a very large (and unionized) local employer who won't establish an HSA 'because our workers don't have any spare money.'

One reason they don't is because they're paying DarthDoyle too much...duuuhhhhh.

Bp Morlino: A Teacher With Authority

Discovered by the Triumvirate:

Morlino’s “personal and confidential” letter of Oct. 25, released to The Capital Times this morning, warns diocesan pastors that disagreeing with his positions is not allowed. “I must make it very clear that any verbal or non-verbal expression of disagreement with this teaching on the part of the priest will have to be considered by myself as an act of disobedience, which could have serious consequences.”

So does authority diminish with proximity to Lake Michigan?

Terry Berres covers more here.

Kerry: A Complete Ass

This guy just gets worse.

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

...and it was undoubtedly Kerry's education which steered him to Teresa Heinz.

Chisholm Gets Backing

Happened to spend some time with a local prosecutor last night.

(Social, not official, smart-ass.)

The prosecutor commented on the Milwaukee DA race, essentially saying that Chisholm is a law-and-order type who is trusted, respected, and admired by every law-enforcement agency in Milwaukee County.

That's good news for Milk-Carton Tommy, too.

Home or Biz LAN? New Attack Out There

From Computerworld:

Hackers have published code that could let an attacker disable the Windows Firewall on certain Windows XP machines.

The code, which was posted on the Internet early Sunday morning, could be used to disable the Windows Firewall on a fully patched Windows XP PC that was running Windows' Internet Connection Service (ICS). This service allows Windows users to essentially turn their PC into a router and share their Internet connection with other computers on the local area network (LAN.) It is typically used by home and small-business users.

...the attacker would have to be within the LAN in order to make the attack work, and, of course, it would only work on systems using ICS, which is disabled by default. Furthermore, the attack would have no effect on any third-party firewall being used by the PC, Reguly said.
Users can avoid the attack by disabling ICS, Reguly said. But this will also kill the shared Internet connection.

An easier solution, may be for ICS users to simply move their networks onto a router or NAT (Network Address Translation) device, said Stefano Zanero, chief technology officer with Secure Network SRL. "They are so cheap right now, and in many cases they offer better protection and a easier administration of your LAN," he said via instant message.

There. You've been warned.

Darth Does Dollars

Darth pulled ahead of Green in available money. No surprise there.

Sure enough, Darth also made things difficult:

Following past practice, the Doyle campaign submitted its report to the board in a format that makes it difficult to analyze contributions and to spot trends.

Darth's friends seem to live in other places.

Green submitted his report in an electronic database. In an accompanying statement, his campaign said it received 12,153 contributions in the period just ended, with 70% for less than $100. The campaign said 90% of the contributions came from within the state.

A past review showed that about 20% of Doyle's money came from outside the state.

We'll see if the Little Engine actually Could. It's also possible that electing Darth gets us Barb Lawton, after the indictments are in...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sex in the City--Modern Culture Uncovered

Blosser finds a gem in an article by Stephen LaTulippe. It's long-ish so I'll give you the good parts. When and if Blogger returns to normal, I'll provide the link.

The article began with LaTulippe describing his first impression of seeing the HBO TV show, Sex and the City, how he found it simultaneously brilliant and horrifying. To give the Devil his due, he says, the script, acting, cinematography are amazing, and the comedy truly hilarious.

"But brilliance of production aside, Sex and the City has a number of profound socio-political nuances that dovetail with an issue I’ve been kicking around for quite some time; namely, that the Western world is experiencing the final stages of a cultural struggle between two radically different versions of social organization (which I call "organic culture" and "post-modernism"). This struggle is the single dominant issue of our age, and it defines a variety of conflicts both within Western civilization and between it and other civilizations, stretching from the relentless expansion of our government to our misbegotten "war on terror."

"Sex and the City represents the post-modern paradigm. The thirty-something single women living in New York City live a life that is, says LaTulippe, while all too common today, perhaps unprecedented in human history, particularly for women. They are completely uprooted and homogenized, with no discernable family connections. They have no religious convictions. They wander around Manhattan, eating in chic restaurants, maxing-out their credit cards in fashionable boutiques, and engaging in a bewildering variety of casual sexual relationships. Their lives are more like those of animals than anything fully human, dominated by impulses and sensations rather than intellect and spirit, indulgence rather than purpose. They have no reverence for the past and no regard for the future, living only in the present. Even more disturbingly, says LaTulippe, their lifestyle has a "spooky passivity" to it, "a sense of slavery" to their vices: "If someone takes them to a swanky Thai restaurant, they’ll eat. If someone hands them a martini, they’ll drink. If a handsome guy appears, they’ll copulate." This, in effect, is the sum total of their lives, illustrating the fact that post-modernism isn't really a culture, but an anti-culture, or a parasite upon what remains of a past culture in the absence of any present culture.

Post-modernism, in LaTulippe's view, suffers from three major flaws: (1) ethical relativism, (2) auto-genocide, and (3) the death of the sacred. LaTulippe developes his analysis at these points more extensively in a political direction than I am able to give space to here, but here are a few highlights.

(1) Ethical relativism. Here LaTulippe looks at foreign policy and domestic policy, focusing, in particular, on the financial scandals that have come to light in connection with the latter. These have as their common root, he suggests, "the amoral quest for the unearned, which is perhaps the final common denominator of our entire political system." Post-modernism, he says, is locked into a "dysfunctional synergy with statism," in which each feeds the other, and they are sucking all of us down with them.

2) Auto-genocide. "Post-modern culture treats children as an expensive and peculiar hobby, something like a curious fashion statement. Children are, after all, expensive, messy, and they interfere with an active dating life. And if children are seen as a mere fashion accessory or an emotional indulgence, then one will do just as well as two (and much better than three or four)," writes LaTulippe. This attitude is reflected in the precipitously falling birthrates of those countries that suffered erstwhile panic attacks from fear of "population explosions."

3. The Death of the Sacred. Post-modernism is this-worldly, recognizing nothing beyond the immediate, concrete world. It has no higher aspirations. It offers no spiritual sustenance. "If a man has food stamps, a welfare check, and a place in a government housing project, it believes he has everything he could possibly need or want. (Actually, that is true only as far as the commoners are concerned. For the post-modern elites, they require exotic ethnic cuisine, cheap immigrant household labor, and a custom Maybach...but this is a difference in degree, not kind.)" Whatever one's income level, however, the shift in frames of reference is that from the Sistine Chapel and Bach's requiem mass to the vulgar creations of contemporary cultural nihilism

This is epigrammatically contained in the remark by Russell Kirk.

Overall, these are insightful observations.

And nothing to be pleased about, either.

JSOnline Mythbusters: The "NO" Crowd Fibs...

The JSOnline helps out a bit by demonstrating that the Homosexual Collective's arguments are simply a bunch of crap.

The marriage amendment will be presented as Question 1:

"Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?"

"Keg" Lift-Und-Schlepp-Em weighed in:

"Under present Wisconsin law, only a marriage between a husband and a wife is recognized as valid in this state. A husband is commonly defined as a man who is married to a woman, and a wife is commonly defined as a woman who is married to a man,"

Of course, Amendments trump laws, and SCOWI doesn't have much use for law, precedent, or definitions, if they stand in the way of the Hive's New Social Constructs...

Some noise is made about Ohio, where "domestic violence" is legal(?)--NOT. It's still in the courts. Beyond that, and FAR more significant:

Ohio's amendment language differs from what's on the ballot in Wisconsin.

Try filing Assault and Battery charges in the meantime.

In Kentucky (!!) same-sex couples were given benefits:

Kentucky, which also passed a marriage amendment in 2004. It used the same language that's up for a vote in Wisconsin. The amendment, so far, has not prevented the University of Louisville from approving health benefits for domestic partners, including same-sex partners. And the University of Kentucky is considering offering a similar package.

Boy, o boy--it sure looks menacing, eh?

In Michigan:

a major case involving 21 same-sex couples who asked the courts to rule that the state's marriage amendment doesn't bar governments and universities from offering domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples. The couples won at the trial level and the case is on appeal.

Deborah Labelle, an attorney who represents the couples, said that for now, "the status quo is maintained. All benefits that existed previously are continuing."

Yah. Another place where same-sexers are now living in cardboard boxes and using cornstalks as splints, and dandelion-leaves as Band-Aids...

The Weenies Are Screeching Over the USCG

So the Coast Guard gets a new weapon, wants to train, and the usual suspects open their mouths and prove beyond a doubt...

"We run the risk that terrorists have succeeded in getting us to poison our own lakes without ever having set foot in the Great Lakes basin," said Hugh McDiarmid Jr. of the Michigan Environmental Council.

That would be from an estimated 3 tons of bullets in the WHOLE GREAT LAKES SYSTEM...

"When people are thinking of where they're going to go fishing, are they going to go to the place that's quiet? Or the place where people are shooting?" asked Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson. "It's not a good tourism thing."

Dear Mayor: How many Lake Superiors ARE there Up North? Can you read a timetable?

"Canada is not harboring terrorists planning a marine assault on the United States across the Great Lakes," Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May said in a news release this month. "The notion is ludicrous."

You absolutely sure of that, Lizzie? Wanna play "peacemaker" in your rowboat if and when?

Coast Guard Capt. Bruce Jones made no apologies for a plan that has so many people appalled during a news briefing held last week at the Milwaukee Coast Guard station.

He said the guns are needed "to ensure that our crews are prepared to respond to any future threat or increase in threat level on the Great Lakes - including our 13 nuclear power plants, 22 high-capacity passenger vessels and ferries and 11 major ports."

Offhand, I'd say that that's a damn impressive list of targets, even if you take out the ferries.

...the Coast Guard would try to conduct the training in off-summer months when recreational boats typically don't ply the mid-lake waters but said the agency wanted to retain the right to use the firing ranges any time of year.

Coast Guard officials say they need to train on water in order for crews to learn how to safely and accurately use the guns in the real-life scenarios they may encounter.

And the Weenie of the Year Award goes to:

...Cameron Davis of the conservation group Alliance for the Great Lakes...

He worries the proposal could have a bigger impact on the future of the lakes than some people think.

"As far as the ecology of the lakes, there are much bigger issues than this," he said. "However, if people are scared to go out on the lakes, they won't love the lakes. And if they don't love the lakes, why will they care for them?"

He could also submit that inanity in the "Most Non-Sequiturs In One 'Graf" contest.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Of Great Interest to a Few: For Many

Seems that B-16 has made a decision:

Three different well-placed sources I trust in Congregations here in Rome confirmed for me that the Holy Father made the determination that the words pro multis in the consecration of the Precious Blood will be properly translated, "for many", in the upcoming English text now in preparation.

(Fr. Z via The Cafeteria.)

That settles perhaps the most controversial question in the Paul VI/ICEL travesty in use since 1969, or whenever.

The First Thing You Do....

As Chris over at Spotted Horse 2 knows, the first thing you do is feed the deer.

THEN you shoot 'em.

Grandson #1 learning the theory of Game Management.

Crime Program for Tommy Barrett

Here's a suggested criminal-reduction program for Milk-Carton and the next DA of Milwaukee County:

"...if you really want to stop violent crime, you don't need to spend taxpayer's money to throw parties for mayors and hold seminars and schedule photo ops...and act like violent crime is some new problem with some secret solution," said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre at the NRA's annual meeting in May.

"It's real simple. If you want to get crime off your streets, get criminals off your streets," LaPierre said. "Here's what you do," he said in remarks addressed to Mayor Bloomberg:

"Walk down to Town Hall and tell your prosecuting attorneys that from now on,

no plea bargains,

no reduced charges,

no dropped cases.

A drug dealer caught with a gun goes to jail.

A violent felon caught with a gun goes to jail.

Discharge a gun in commission of a felony, go to jail.

Smuggle a gun, go to jail.

If you do that, if you stop talking and start acting, your violent crime rate will drop 30 to 40 to 50 percent in one year."

--Wayne LaPierre, NRA

Thought the Boys of Downtown could use a reminder.

The Shark Jumps In With Vigor

As usual, The Shark has insight and informed opinion on the Homosex "Marriage" Amendment.

One of the arguments against the marriage protection amendment is that the type of judicial activism that redefined marriage in Massachusetts and, for all practical purposes, in Vermont and New Jersey "can't happen" here. At a debate in which I participated on Thursday (the Fourth Street Forum), Sen. Lena Taylor, a bright and pleasant woman, argued - incredibly in my view - that the Wisconsin Supreme Court tends to be conservative.

Justice Diane Sykes has a few things to say about that issue in this link.

Shark discusses Ferdon v. Patient Compensation Fund.

Here's a short constitutional law primer: Guarantees of equal protection in the federal and state constitution cannot be read to forbid all discrimination. The law discriminates all the time, e.g., wealthy people pay higher tax rates than poor people, people under 16 can't get a driver's license, you can't practice law unless you do what is necessary to be admitted to the bar.

Distinctions based on things that we think should never - or almost never - be the basis for treating people differently, e.g., race, will not be allowed unless they are necessary to serve a compelling interest.

Most other distinctions are subjected to a less exacting standard - often called rational basis scrutiny - which requires only that a distinction be rationally related to a legitimate interest.

Ferdon involved the kind of distinction - i.e., that between plaintiffs who could establish damages above the threshold and those who cannot - that normally gets "rational basis" scrutiny and the Court in that case did not disagree. But it announced that it would apply rational basis scrutiny "with teeth" and proceeded to, essentially, substitute its own judgment for that of the legislature as to whether the damages limit was rational.

If the Court continues to apply this new test, there is - in concept if not in practice - virtually nothing that can't be invalidated on equal protection grounds including a limitation of marriage to one man and one woman. The only thing that really restrains the judiciary is a judge's own reticence.

Ahem....Shark proposes a gambler's-delight oxymoron: "reticent judge." Somebody could take THAT line to Vegas and make a small fortune, especially in the case of Screechin'Shirley Abrahamson.

The claim that "it can't happen here" is flat out wrong and, ironically, is now being made by people who want it to happen here and, if the amendment fails, will go to court on November 8 to try and make it happen.

And that prediction, my friends, you CAN take to Vegas.

Condi Rice in the Crosshairs of the Warmonger Wing

Condi Rice is taking more and more flak from the hardline warmongers.

Here PowerLine prints an excerpt from a Rice interview with Cal Thomas:

Thomas asks Secretary Rice what evidence she has that the denizens of such an independent state would give up the dream that actually seems to drive them -- the dream of eliminating Israel:

SECRETARY RICE: Well, you can look at any opinion poll in the Palestinian territories and 70 percent of the people will say they're perfectly ready to live side by side with Israel because they just want to live in peace. And when it comes right down to it, yeah, there are plenty of extremists in the Palestinian territories who are not going to be easily dealt with. They have to be dealt with — Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories — they're terrorists and they have to be dealt with as terrorists.

But the great majority of Palestinian people — this is — I've been with these people. The great majority of people, they just want a better life. This is an educated population. I mean, they have a kind of culture of education and a culture of civil society. I just don't believe mothers want their children to grow up to be suicide bombers. I think the mothers want their children to grow up to go to university. And if you can create the right conditions, that's what people are going to do.

QUESTION: Do you think this or do you know this?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think I know it.

QUESTION: You think you know it?

SECRETARY RICE: I think I know it.

And PowerLine cynically comments:

I'd like to see the poll to which Secretary Rice is referring. I don't recall one with results as described. But what are we to make of the broader issue? I read Secretary Rice's answer as suggesting that she knows, or thinks she knows, she's peddling tripe.

PowerLine suggests....exactly what? That MORE than 30% of Palestinians want more and more war with Israel? How much more? Do 50% want more war? 70%?

Shall we conclude that ALL Palestinians want MORE war?

Guess the Source

Here's a short excerpt from an interview. See if you can guess who said it:

What do contemporary intellectuals have to offer anyhow? What passionate engagement do they have to appeal to young people? Liberal secularism has become bourgeois and materialistic. It's snide, elitist, and politically marginalized. The chattering class clearly has no effect whatever on decision-making in Washington. Conservative radio hosts have been claiming that liberal criticism of Bush's decisiveness in invading Iraq mirrors the shilly-shallying of 1930s intellectuals during Hitler's rise. The intellectuals, with their cultivated internationalism, always counsel procrastination and leave it to the men of action to deal forcefully with fascist regimes.

Female.......American......College Prof........Author.......

You're right! Camille Paglia!!

HT: Clay Cramer

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Get Up/Get Moving's Debate

Mike decided to have a go at the dissenters, and the debate's all the usual crap (from the Homosex Collective crowd.)

The Un-Dependable: TSA

Within 10 weeks of the creation of TSA, it was already clear to me that they were not hiring "the best and the brightest." To confirm my judgment, it later emerged that TSA's recruitment "contractor" was incompetent--or worse.

Now comes a Ph.D. student who creates a website from which anyone could create a fake NWA boarding pass--which gets you past initial screeners and right into the 'free zone' of an airport. His case is not my interest here--Malkin's "rest of the story" is, however.

She quotes a senior TSA official:

"The website in question has the potential to promote illegal activity," said TSA spokesman Christopher White. "Submitting fraudulent documents to airline security is illegal. But the site will not aid anyone in circumventing security, since a boarding pass offers entry into a TSA security checkpoint and TSA ensures that every person and their property is fully screened."

That wasn't real smart, Christopher.

Screeners at Newark Liberty International Airport failed 20 of 22 security tests conducted by undercover U.S. agents last week, missing an array of concealed bombs and guns at checkpoints throughout the hub's three terminals, federal security officials familiar with the results said.

The tests, conducted Oct. 19 by U.S. Transportation Security Administration "Red Team" agents, also revealed significant failures by screeners to follow standard operating procedures while checking passengers and their baggage for prohibited items, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is against TSA policy to release covert-test results...

... The poor test results at Newark come after heightened security procedures that the TSA put in place at U.S. airports in August, after authorities in Great Britain said they foiled an attempt by terrorists to blow up trans-Atlantic flights using liquid explosives.

One of the security officials familiar with last week's tests said screeners at Newark missed fake explosive devices that were hidden under bottles of water in carry-on luggage, taped beneath an agent's clothing and concealed under a leg bandage another tester wore.

Additionally, the official said screeners failed to use hand-held metal detector wands when required, missed an explosive device during a pat-down and failed to properly hand-check suspicious carry-on bags. Supervisors also were cited for failing to properly monitor checkpoint screeners, the official said.

"We just totally missed everything," the official said.

One would think that TSA would sue the living crap out of the "recruitment contractor" for misfeasance, malfeasance, and fraud, fire all these morons, and start over again.

Wanna bet?

Advice Column for Muslims

Sure enough, IowaHawk found some old advice columns from Imam Yahu al-Zirius Spiritual Leader, Fostaz al-Vegimita Mosque Lakembabongabinga, Sydney, NSW (not to be confused with Lake Woebegone of Minnesota)

Imram M. of Jumbuck Springs, Victoria asks:

I am a taxi driver at the Melbourne Airport. The Taxi Directorate tells me I must give rides to blind kuffars and their filthy guide dogs, even when I tell him they are haram in the eyes of Allah! Even worse, I think the kuffars and their dogs have been drinking alcohol. Help me, I am at my wit’s end.

Sadly the dog-alcohol cootie issue has been a sore point for the many believers who work at the airport. We have long asked the Airport authority to exempt Muslim baggage handlers from touching luggage containing alcohol, and protect Muslim passengers from having contact with unclean bomb-sniffing dogs. Until we can correct this blatant discrimination, politely tell any fares who are potentially carrying alcohol or dogs that you will rape them.

Ameer Ali of Kangalangaroombawoomba, ACT writes:

As a member of Prime Minister Howard’s Muslim advisory board, I have occasion to travel. When I go abroad, they ask me where do I come from? I say I come from a Muslim country. “Which country,” they say. “Australia.” “That’s not a Muslim country.” “Yes it’s Muslim country.” “Is not!” “Is so.” “Nuh uh.” “YUH huh.” and so on. Then they say, okay then why aren’t you stoning all the drunks and homosexuals? Yow, I have to admit that’s a stumper. I tell them that we want a country that is like a fruit salad, not a mega-fruit juice, with alcohol and such. That way we can enventually start eliminating all the unsavory fruits from the salad until Australia is totally halal and delicious.

When I come back to Australia, I’ll suggest the stoning thing to the Prime Minister, and he just gives me a weird look and tells me to respect Australian values, and goes back to drinking his beer. Now I am all confused.

Of course Australia is a Muslim country! Explain to the doubters you meet that Australian aborigines were practicing Islam for 100,000 years before the infidel James Cook corrupted the holy land by introducing in Fosters and Footy and bikinis and AC/DC. Explain that it will take years of work to drive the infidel yobbos from our traditional holy cities like Perth and Surfside. Explain that, God willing, and if our dole checques don’t get cut, we will restore the ancient Pacific caliphate from Freemantle to Las Vegas. If the doubters persist in their wanton doubtery, apply corrective raping.

It's all so easy. Ione Quimby Griggs never got it, but she didn't understand the Koran, either.

Study Headline Misleading

The headline states "Testosterone Tumbling in US Males"

But, as usual, the useful information is buried in the article. Here's the lede:

The testosterone-fueled American male may be losing his punch.

Over the past two decades, levels of the sex hormone in U.S. men have been falling steadily, a new study finds.

Here's the reality-check:

He and his colleagues analyzed blood samples -- along with health and other information -- from about 1,500 men in the greater Boston area who took part in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study

That's a Blue-State bastion. Draw your own conclusions.

New Directions for Traffic Control--US Blamed

I'm sure that the thought has crossed your mind...

Commuters driving to work were greeted by an obscene message when they arrived at Crawley, West Sussex, on Thursday morning.

Digital roadside signs, which usually give information about parking availability, instead urged visitors to "F*** off" after hackers gained remote access to the displays. Three of the 11 Variable Message Signs on approach roads to the town carried the expletive.

"Under the message were the initials TOTSE, suggesting that this was the work of the
US-based online community of that name
. Why they picked on Crawley, I have no idea."

If it's US-based, they should tell the drivers to drive on the correct side of the road...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Funnies

Stolen, directly, from Orthometer:

The Pope took a couple of days off to visit the mountains of Alaska for some sight-seeing. He was cruising along the campground in the Pope Mobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Save the Whales" hat, and a "To Hell with Bush" T-shirt, was screaming while struggling frantically, thrashing around trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly.

As the Pope watched horrified, a group of Republican loggers came racing up. One quickly fired a .44-magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached up and pulled the bleeding, semiconscious Democrat from the bear's grasp. Then using long clubs, the three loggers finished off the bear and two of them threw it onto the bed of their truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.

As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give you my blessing for your brave actions," he told them. "I heard there was a bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic Environmental activists but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true."

As the Pope drove off, one of the loggers asked his buddies "Who was that guy?"

"It was the Pope," another replied. "He's in direct contact with heaven and has access to all wisdom."

"Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all wisdom but he sure as Hell doesn't know anything about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait holding up, or do we need to go back to Massachusetts and grab another one?"


Heard enough of that word?

GKC, as usual, clarifies things for us:

Chesterton said that most collectivist utopias "consist of the pleasure of sharing." He admitted there is satisfaction in sharing, such as gathering nuts from a tree or visiting a museum. But he preferred the pleasure of giving and receiving.

Giving, he said, is the opposite of sharing. Utopian sharing, he argued, is based on the abhorrent idea that there is no private property.

Chesterton used the analogy of two men sharing a box of cigars. He didn't want that. Rather, he wished that each man might give the other a cigar from his own box. Socialist "eloquence," he said, never recognizes the ideal of "gifts and hospitalities" in its visions of the collectivist state.

Their proposals may be appealing, but the "spirit" of their unfulfilled ideals becomes impractical. Ironically, they forget human needs.

I thought you'd like that...HT: Chesterton and Friends

Kate Falk: Ignorant, and a Liar, to Boot

Right Off the Shore has a good catch:

Kathleen Falk and her cohorts in the GWC have decided to blame JB Van Hollen for something he had absolutely no control over.

In fact, the case they try to blame him for happened before he even took office as District Attorney.

In October of 1999, Stanley Newago was released by another DA and judge on bail for a charge of 2nd Degree sexual assault. The same DA and court gave him probation for this charge in November of 1999.

In December of 1999, JB became DA in the area, after the bail and probation had already been given to Newago. He had no control over it, nothing to do with it, and he legally could not reopen the case.

A few months later, Newago attacked and assaulted another person. In this case, the only one that JB had any control over in regards to Newago, JB got a life in prison sentence without the possibility of parole for Newago, along with a few other charges for other crimes.

However, these "facts" don't really matter to Kathleen Falk and her dirty little friends in GWC. She's decided to blame her opponent for events before he took office that were out of his control. Down in the polls, she's getting desperate--and she's lying.

Perhaps this just shows her inexperience when it comes to criminal matters--she may not understand how the prosecution of criminals works, having never done it herself. But that doesn't give her or GWC the right to lie.

I don't think there's a "perhaps" about it.

Milk Carton Tom's Pals

Tom Barrett, often bleating for more Federal money to solve local (!) problems, joined a group of Mayors who are "against illegal guns."

The group was organized in April by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and includes 109 cities in 44 states, among them Los Angeles, Denver, Little Rock, Miami, Atlanta, St. Louis, Omaha, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Proposed actions? Glad you asked.

In Trenton, police set up checkpoints to search cars for illegal guns. Of 375 guns confiscated last year, Palmer says, half came from Pennsylvania, where laws are less restrictive than in New Jersey.

Maybe the 4th Amendment does not apply in New Jersey, eh?

New York City sued 15 gun dealers in Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia in May for allowing straw purchases. Private investigators hired by the city posed as gun buyers and wore hidden cameras.

Of course, NYC also was forced to pay settlements to a couple of those dealers because the "private investigators" acted illegally. Somehow that fact didn't make it into the article.

The mayors' immediate goal is to defeat proposed federal legislation that would permanently prohibit disclosure of gun-tracing data by the ATF. Once available to cities and police departments, the national database has been restricted by Congress every year since 2003. The data had been used by police departments to figure out where crime guns come from. The House of Representatives has passed the bill; its prospects in the Senate are uncertain.

As we have pointed out, the Mayors' interpretation of the law is flat-out wrong. What they REALLY want is a neat printout of the names and addresses of ALL gun-owners who purchased through a Federally-licensed dealer.

That means legitimate gun owners will be the targets. By definition, "straw" buyers don't have the guns they purchased.

HT: Of Arms and the Law

Some Questions Fr Massingale Didn't Answer

It has been said that "the news" is colored by what is and is not reported. It's also true that it is colored by what is and what is not answered.

The JSOnline noticed that Fr. Massingale seems to be taking a position directly opposed to the teaching of the competent authority (the Archbishop of Milwaukee) on the question of the Homosex "Marriage" amendment. Interesting that they noticed it only 4 weeks after Fr Massingale's manifesto was printed...

In any case, there are a couple of interesting little points which deserve some notice.

Father Bryan Massingale, an associate professor of moral theology at Marquette University, wrote a lengthy essay in which he struggled with the idea that "the amendment, read in its entirety, poses a dilemma for many faithful people."

Really? Fr. Massingale did not "struggle." In fact, he initiated the concept that " [it] poses a dilemma..."

"The amendment upholds certain beliefs about the uniqueness of marriage," he wrote in the Sept. 21 issue. "But it does so at a cost, namely, potentially damaging impacts upon the welfare of individuals and their children."

Those "certain beliefs" happen to be founded on natural law and enshrined by the Church as a sacrament, no less. On the other hand, "potential" damage is just that--potential.

"I do not see myself as a person in opposition to the bishops," Massingale said Thursday in a telephone interview.

Right. So long as 3 is equal to 5, there's no opposition here, Father.

When Massingale's scheduled appearance at St. John Vianney in Brookfield was abruptly postponed Tuesday, some parishioners worried that he was somehow being silenced by the church.

"I called the parish the previous week and expressed concerns that because this was a more public event than originally planned, it could easily become mischaracterized," Massingale said. "So the archdiocese had no part or no role in that decision at all."

A "more public event"? That parish printed an announcement of your appearance in more than 1000 bulletins which were distributed to most people who attended Mass over the weekend. That's pretty "public" all by itself. Only 150 people showed up--not exactly a Bradley Center-class event. But notice: Massingale does NOT tell you exactly why the event was "postponed."

"If [the Archbishop] had any concerns about anything I've written he would have expressed them to me directly and not done anything through any intermediary," he said.

Just a co-incidence that the Archbishop phoned in to a morning talk-show yesterday to specifically re-state his authoritative teaching on the amendment, eh Father?

In an Oct. 19 letter to the Catholic Herald, Massingale responded to some critics and concluded that "one can believe in what is called 'traditional' marriage - and even 'defend' it - without supporting this amendment. Indeed, we must not reinforce the institution of marriage through a measure which carries the risk of endangering human well-being."

Fr. Massingale conflates to deceive. First off, "the risk" of not having health-care is about zero, since Federal law requires hospitals and MD's to render care without regard for ability to pay. I know of NO doctors who refuse treatement due to monetary concerns--conversely, I know MANY doctors who voluntarily render treatment at no cost through Milwaukee-area 'free clinics.'

As I mentioned before, Fr. Massingale is also 'pulling a Bernardin,' by ignoring the heirarchy of moral values. It is impossible to make the case that supporting marriage is 'in opposition' to "human well-being." He is able to say that only by speculating that the Legislature and citizens of Wisconsin will deliberately act (or fail to act) to harm people.

That speculation is offensive on its face, and Fr. Massingale owes us an apology.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Italian Bishops Don't Like Benedict's Message

Here's the relevant part of a lengthy article focusing on recent Italian church-politics. It's relevant because it's not too far from the situation in the USA.

During the first three days in Verona, the Tettamanzi effect had stunning success. In the absence of Benedict XVI and with the silence of cardinal Ruini, the dominant words among the delegates, divided into dozens of groups for parallel discussions, were “welcoming,” “listening,” “dialogue,” “oblation”: words imbued more with passion than with analysis of the epochal changes that have taken place in the world and in the Church over the past twenty years. The pope was almost completely ignored, even by the official speakers. His lecture in Regensburg was cited only once: by the rector of the Catholic University of Milan, Lorenzo Ornaghi, a dyed-in-the-wool disciple of Ruini.

That was until Benedict XVI arrived and pulverized what had held the stage until then. “L’Osservatore Romano,” on the mark for once, printed the papal address beneath a full-page headline: “To restore full citizenship to the Christian faith.” This means the public citizenship, equivalent in secular terms, of Christians capable of saying ‘no’ (and the pope omitted nothing of what he sees as obligatory for the defense of human life from conception to natural death, the family, freedom of education) but above all of saying ‘yes’ “to everything that is right, true, and pure in cultures and civilizations,” in short, “that great ‘yes’ that, in Jesus Christ, God has spoken to man and to his life.” This is, in essence – the pope said – the “cultural project” conceived and implemented for the Italian Church by cardinal Ruini.

Ruini had been ignored, and his first sponsor, John Paul II, was derided as a rube from Poland who didn't really get it. (Yes, the Intellectualoids over there are the same as here--brie-and-wine dilettantes...)

Perhaps the most obnoxious (but, to be sure, suave and debonair Italian nay-sayer was until recently the Cardinal of Milan--a Jesuit--and close personal friend of none other than Rembert Weakland.

NOW you know why it's relevant...

The French Army's Bishops

Talk about stark raving fear:

French clerics are leading the opposition to release of a papal document that would allow wider use of the traditional Latin Mass.

A group of 35 French bishops and priests have issued a statement urging Pope Benedict XVI not to issue the motu proprio that has been widely discussed in recent weeks. The clerics predict that by allowing broader use of the Tridentine rite, the papal document would "plunge us back into the liturgical life of another age."

The opposition is particularly evident among French bishops, many of whom have given clear public indications of their hostility toward the papal initiative. Bishop Robert Le Gall of Toulouse told the daily La Croix that permission to use the Latin Mass would "create grave difficulties, especially for those who have remained loyal to Vatican II." Sounding the same theme, Bishop Andre Lacrampe of Besançon said that "one cannot erase Vatican II with a stroke of the pen."

The remarks by these Mitred Frogs are similar to the outright lies we encounter on our side of the pond regarding, say, gay "marriage." Ridiculous on their face, deceptive, or just plain outright lies.

Are these guys working for Darth Doyle? They could be...


Stolen from Laudator:

Diogenes Laertius 2.25 (Socrates, tr. R.D. Hicks):

Often when he looked at the multitude of wares exposed for sale, he would say to himself, "How many things I can do without!"

Hell, that happens every time I open my wife's closet...

Another Blogroll Addition

What with all the sturm und drang surrounding New Jersey, Massachusetts, the Wisconsin Amendment proposal, and other bits and pieces having to do with homosexuality, this blog is most interesting.

And reassuring.

Written by a Roman Catholic homosexual living in Washington DC, it maintains current-events interest and at the same time a very human series of reflections.

More Russell Kirk from Dreher

Just Great Stuff:

The great line of demarcation in modern politics, Eric Voegelin used to point out, is not a division between liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal.

(Daniel Larison quoting Kirk in an essay on H. MacDonald's essay regarding Christians in the Republican Party.)

The Archbishop and the Mullah

There's a bit of controversy over some Mullah's remarks about women and rape:

Sheik Alhilali drew widespread condemnation for likening scantily clad women to uncovered meat eaten by animals in a sermon to 500 people last month, The Australian reported today.

Sheik Hilaly's reported comments, made in a Ramadan sermon, compared women who wore make-up and dressed immodestly to meat that attracted cats.

He blamed women who "sway suggestively" and who wore make-up and no hijab (Islamic scarf) for sexual attacks."

If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?" he said.

Seems to me that a certain Archbishop once remarked that 'some of those [young boys] are very streetwise and [are perhaps seducing] priests...' or words to that effect.

Student Self-Defense? Not in Texas Anymore

You recall that a Texas school district employee decided to teach students some elementary self-defense techniques for use if they were confronted with an armed intruder. The guy was not talking about guns, nor about "using textbooks as 'bulletproof shields.'" His advice was to swarm the attacker and use fists, fingernails, teeth, and feet to disable/injure him.

Made sense to me. Probably even made sense to Folkbum and Other Side.

But not to the Burleson School District.

The Burleson school district has “reassigned” Greg Crane, the teacher who was behind the training that taught students to fight back against an armed attacker. Mr. Crane was formerly a police officer and developed the idea when he asked his wife, a teacher, what she would do if her classroom were to be attacked and she didn’t have an answer.

Last Friday the district sent a letter to all parents outlining that they do not support any student resisting an attacker (i.e. they want to continue with the failed cooperate and die strategy).

The letter was signed by all principals in the district, save one, the principal of the school where Greg Crane taught, who also happens to be his wife.

Greg Crane was “reassigned” from his classroom teaching role to working from home.

The Burleson school district is now hiding behind confidentiality rules with regards to Mr. Crane and won’t discuss him further.

Mr. Crane says he has not been given a reason for the “reassignment” and is retaining a lawyer.

What the HELL is the matter with this School District?

Lying About Tom Reynolds

Jessica came up with this one:

It has come to my attention that a commercial currently being aired on the radio paid for by the Greater Wisconsin PAC accuses State Senator Tom Reynolds of being too extreme to hire women on his staff. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Deborah Bowers and I have been on Senator Reynolds’ staff since January 31, 2005.

...He did not ask me anything about my beliefs about Heaven, nor did he ask me about my marital fidelity. Rather, he stuck to job appropriate questions, such as experience and education. I never felt that he pried into my personal life between my husband and me. Since he is a Legislator, we did discuss political beliefs, realizing that we were of like mind on many, but not all topics.

Lying about Reynolds. Lying about homosexual marriage. Lying about EMBRYONIC stem-cell research.

Maybe you detect a pattern...

Abp Dolan To Come Out Swinging

The Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan, has dumped his 'cheesehead' in favor of his mitre and crook, and takes a public stand on Homosex Marriage, aimed at a large audience:

He will be appearing live on the Weber show during the 10AM (CDT) hour today, October 26, to re-iterate his authoritative teaching on marriage.

Attaboy, Your Grace!!

Streaming broadcast HERE for you out-staters.

More on Vote YES!

Owen comes up with the good stuff:

Many of these statutory rights and benefits, [of marriage] while automatically conferred on married couples, are not exclusive to marriage and can be completely or nearly replicated for unmarried individuals

...Further, no evidence appears to exist to show that the intent of the provision in question is to prohibit unmarried individuals from receiving benefits or utilizing the law in such a way as to allow them to privately order their lives even though such benefits or use of the laws may result in the unmarried individuals sharing in benefits or protections that also happen to be offered to married persons.

(Wisconsin Legislative Council opinion.)

Plain and simple: the "Vote No" crowd is lying, lying, lying about the effects of The Amendment. That includes Fr. Brian Massingale, by the way. (PDF file, scroll down to P. 4)

Paperwork--the Silent Killer

Yah, they did it again!!

A woman told police Julius M. King, 22, pointed a shotgun at her and threatened to kill her Aug. 11, but the misdemeanor charge filed against him in that case four days later didn't result in a warrant until Sept. 11 - four days after King's arrest in the Aug. 26 shooting death of Fabian Binns.

A month here, a month there...

According to police records shared by District Attorney E. Michael McCann, King's neighbor told police he pointed a shotgun at her Aug. 11 after she and his girlfriend had been brawling outside. King didn't answer his doorbell when police got there, so a report was filed.

On Aug. 15, a prosecutor working in the nearest police station under McCann's community-prosecution program signed a criminal complaint charging King with endangering safety, and it was sent downtown the next day so a Circuit Court commissioner could authorize an arrest warrant.

But that took weeks, McCann said, because the neighbor was the only witness against King.

Under McCann's policy, the head of the misdemeanor unit reviews all such cases.

"It is slowed by the fact that we are careful that we don't issue a warrant incorrectly," McCann said.

Oh--it gets better:

Assistant District Attorney Karen Loebel, head of the misdemeanor unit, approved a warrant by Aug. 31, McCann said.

In the interim, King was on the street, and according to another criminal complaint, on Aug. 26 he fetched his .38-caliber revolver from the basement of his home to follow up on an argument between Binns and a woman. He went to the scene of the fight and found Binns on a nearby sidewalk. King, wearing a mask, approached Binns in front of a gas station, closed his eyes and fired a shot before running away, the complaint says. Binns, shot in the back of the head, was later pronounced dead at the scene.

King was charged on Sept. 8 with first-degree intentional homicide in Binns' death.

Three days later, Court Commissioner Barry Slagle signed the warrant for King's arrest on the Aug. 15 misdemeanor charge, which was to be taken to the clerk of courts' office for processing.

Slagle had the paperwork on August 31. He signs it on September 11th.

Labor Day weekend, and all, you know.

As to the real problem (you've already guessed, right?)

McCann blamed the delay on a matter of resources.

"It's all backlogged," McCann said. "There's people with a lot of things, people with priorities they have to do."

McCann said his office was short on both staffing and money

So "waving a shotgun around" is not a priority because we need more TAX MONEY.

Dear, Deer

Well, DNR's managed to drop $26 million and get nowhere.

A nearly five-year-long, $26.8 million campaign that has failed to control the spread of chronic wasting disease is forcing the state Department of Natural Resources to revamp its strategy.

Chronic wasting disease is centered in a region west of Madison in portions of Dane and Iowa counties. But pockets have been found across southern Wisconsin, including northern Walworth County.

The assessment of wildlife health experts who believe these "sparks" of infection must be eliminated before they get bigger continues to concern the DNR; so does the potential devastation of a cultural tradition and economic contributor to the state.

A new concern is a study published this month by the University of Georgia that provides the best evidence to date that the brain-destroying illness is spread through saliva, meaning that high concentrations of deer could fan the disease.

Deer? Swapping spit? How's that go...Kiss the deer and make him die...?

New Zealand's Humming

Need a grounding pitch?

Scientists investigating a strange humming sound in the New Zealand city of Auckland believe they have pinpointed the frequency.

The source of the noise, however, remains a mystery.

According to Dr Tom Moir, a computer engineer at Massey University's Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, the low level drone is almost certainly hitting the scales at a frequency of 56hz.

That however, has not brought the sleuths any closer to pinpointing the source of the hum which they have dubbed the Unidentified Acoustic Phenomena.

Dr Moir rules out geological factors. "It's more likely to be things like pipes under the ground - you know, gas pipes, sewerage pipes, factories in the distance."

It could also be a 'trick-or-treat' request.

An Unexpected Meeting

This guy's about to get a surprise:

Philip Kevin Paulson, who fought a 17-year legal battle to remove the Mount Soledad cross from public property, died Wednesday of liver cancer. He was 59

In comments made prior to his demise, he said:

“It has nothing to do with me being an atheist" ...

I'm sure that his argumentation will be even more passionate on meeting St. Pete.

New Jersey vs. Wisconsin

When the lawsuits start here, that's what the title may as well be.

A ruling by the Massachusetts high court in 2003 introduced same-sex marriage to the United States. But activists on both sides viewed the New Jersey decision as even more significant because the Garden State, unlike Massachusetts, has no law barring out-of-state couples from wedding there if their marriages would not be recognized in their home states.

New Jersey – one of only five states without a law or a state constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman – could become a destination for homosexual couples from around the U.S. who would return home and sue to have their marriages recognized.

A whole new meaning to the term "destination spot..."

And a whole new meaning to the term "equal benefits and privileges"

"The issue is not about the transformation of the traditional definition of marriage, but about the unequal dispensation of benefits and privileges to one of two similarly situated classes of people," the court said.

The spinners propagandists here were prepared:

"The people of Wisconsin aren't for gay marriage, but they don't want to rip away any semblance of legal protections from their neighbors," [said] Mike Tate of the "Vote No" bunch.

Undermining Tate's blustery baloney is current New Jersey law:

Under existing law, same-sex couples can enjoy some of the legal rights of marriage, such as health care for the partners of state workers and the right to inherit possessions if a partner leaves behind no will.

And "Vote Yes for Marriage" was vindicated:

"We are saddened that the Supreme Court of New Jersey continues on a parade of legislating from the bench," said John Tomicki, executive director of League of American Families.

You can bet that Screechin'Shirley Abrahamson has already cut-and-pasted the language from the SCONJ for use in an upcoming decision.

And Althouse, who is in favor of gay "marriage" concurs that the SCOWIS could easily impose this fiction on Wisconsin:

. . the judges do not, I think, provide the kind of assurances that would undercut the argument proponents of the amendment make that it is needed to thwart some future state supreme court case finding a state law right to same-sex marriage. . . .

[Less convoluted translation: the SCOWIS is inclined to rule in favor of Homosex "marriage."] HT: Marquette Warrior

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Lingua Franca de Roma

Noticed by a number of blogs, this stolen from Ten Reasons:

By the way, the regularly scheduled Novus Ordo Masses at St. Peters are all now in Latin - except for the readings - which are in a variety of languages and the homily - and it is chanted. They hand out little booklets - Latin Chant on the right side and the translation in English, French and Spanish on the other side - it's a small pamphlet - and they let you take it with you! Gee - methinks a change is underfoot - AND they don't look particularly expensive. Everyone gets one!

When in a universal city, use the universal language. Should be the case at all Cathedrals worldwide, given that most tourists and international visitors will stay in hotels near Cathedrals.

Catholic "Non-Negotiables" in Voting

For the informed Catholic, there are only a few things which are "non-negotiable" in voting, as outlined by Benedict XVI and re-iterated by Bp. Olmstead of Phoenix, AZ.

In an address to European politicians on March 30, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI stated:

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today:

Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death;

• Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family – as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage – and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role;

• The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.”

The issues mentioned by Pope Benedict are all “non-negotiable” and are some of the most contemporary issues in the political arena. I should note, however, that other issues, while not intrinsically evil, deserve prayerful consideration, such as questions of war and capital punishment, poverty issues and matters relating to illegal immigration.

HT: Custos Fidei

Purification: Not for the Extraordinary Ministers Any More

At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.

In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The USCC also reminded Bishops and pastors of the following:

The document notes that the "extraordinary ministry" by which laypeople distribute Communion "was created exclusively for those instances where there are not enough ordinary ministers to distribute holy Communion [in a timely fashion].

I'm certain that we will see the results of this directive immediately.

HT: Christus Vincit

On the Mess in Iraq

Almost nightly, a number of Iraqi civilians are tortured and/or killed. While this is reported, the "why" is never mentioned in the press, whether US or Iraqi. Tech Central Station has a hypothesis.

When there is a significant fraction of the population that will not join in political compromise, whether because of ideological idealism, addiction to supernatural power, or the passion for revenge, civil society is faced with a diabolical paradox.

It wishes to form legal and political institutions that are transparent, correctable by debate, and under the control of the people (with protections for minorities), where people can make good money in the marketplace and raise families in peace. But the reality is that even after all possible compromises have been offered to the refuseniks, civil society is faced with a small but absolutely hostile minority that will be content with nothing but total victory.

What can civil society do? The only solution is the disappearance of that implacable moiety. Civil society cannot use the instruments of government to stamp out its mortal enemy—for that would be to invalidate and destroy the very principles and legitimacy of that government, and set in place a precedent by which normal political squabbles could in future be settled by genocide or the Gulag.

The enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government are almost exclusively Sunnis (though so too are many of its supporters). By logical necessity the exterminators would have to be mostly Shiites and Kurds. The government simply cannot afford to go after its enemies in the systematic way required, for that would be to destroy its claim to represent all minorities. There are, from the point of view of Iraq's nascent civil society, some thousands of people who, in the Texas phrase, need killing. Who is going to do it?

In the absence of government intervention, the answer is: ordinary people. Basically the killers are posses of self-organized vigilantes, who know their local area, who know who the bombers are, and who the bombers' relatives are. The posses are expert in distinguishing those people who might be fair political enemies from those who will go on striking, like a snake, even when cut in two.

This has precedent:

...death squads are rational, in their own horrible way. They may prove, as they did in Latin America, to be a pretty effective method of wiping out implacable enemies of social order and preparing the way for democratic and law-abiding government. In living memory almost every decent and legal regime in Latin America was preceded by a chaotic period in which ordinary men armed themselves with guns, said goodnight to their families, and went out in groups to kill some local dissident.

If civil society finds itself threatened by utter chaos, it may resort to free-enterprise war against its enemy. By definition what it does then cannot be law-abiding or approved by its own government; it is in Hobbes' state of nature; but it can be a kind of savage rationality that might precede law.

But, as Socrates knew, this dark archetypal crime must be hidden. The American authorities in Baghdad are not saying much about it because the vigilantes are doing their work for them, with infinitely greater precision and expertise. The Iraqi government is not doing or saying much about it either, because it would lose legitimacy if it cooperated with the death squads, and sabotage its own interests if it tried (probably unsuccessfully, anyway) to stop them; but it obviously cannot admit that this inaction is its policy. The U.S. Republican Press cannot say anything about it because it would imply in an election year that it approved of the death squads. The Democratic Press cannot give the vital information—that most of the victims probably deserve their fate—because that would imply that the Iraqis have finally started to do what they were expected to do all along, that is, clean up their own house.

An interesting theory. Let's hope that the work is finished soon.