Saturday, March 31, 2007

One Small Step for Clarity...

The blogger-and-Latin-flogger priest who is NOT Fr. Reggie Foster (Milwaukee native and raging Leftowacky) has managed to shove the nose of the Bark of Peter toward true north. (Or, if you prefer, to the East--ad Orientem.)

Lately here on the blog I wrote about the bad translations official English version of the Holy Father’s post-Synodal Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis. Some of you responded well and in a timely manner. You made a difference.One of the paragraphs I took special aim at was a par. 62, concerning Latin, which had some pretty bad errors, even when compared to the other vernacular versions. Among other things I wrote:

"Moreover, the texts they are working with were those released at the time of the presentation of the document, even though the LATIN is itself revised before publication in is final official form in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. But no one goes back to revise the vernacular versions in keeping with the changes in the Latin Lot’s of people are misquoting documents because the vernacular docs themselves were never updated."

Now it seems that the official English version has been revised and corrected, at least in respect to par. 62.

The Latin: exceptis lectionibus, homilia et oratione fidelium, aequum est ut huiusmodi celebrationes fiant lingua Latina.

In Latin, the phrase aequum est means "it is reasonable, proper, right". It can be rendered as "it is becoming", to use a somewhat archaic turn of phrase.

The OLD official English: with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, such liturgies could be celebrated in Latin.

The NEW official English: with the exception of the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, it is fitting that such liturgies be celebrated in Latin.

This blog led the public charge in this matter of the accuracy of the translation into English, but I can assure you that the problems were not missed here in Rome. I had more than one conversation with "interested parties".

You will be astounded to learn that "it is fitting" was a translation that your humble servant proposed in a combox somewhere along the line.

The frustration, of course, is that the LiturgyWonkBedwetter crowd will cite only the "OLD" version, flounce off in their tutus, and declare the matter closed. (It's the technique of the entire Left--cf the GlobalWarming crowd.)

Regardless, congrats to Fr. Z!!!!

Ancient Slang Definitions

Courtesy the Curt Jester:


Ancient slang for village idiot who can't hunt or fish.
Suitable for t-shirt.

Lousy Grammar or Punctuation, and Paucity of Words

...all can lead to trouble.

Here are some signs spotted in Jolly Olde England (where you'd think they know better):



In a London department store: BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS




Notice in health food shop window: CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

Spotted in a safari park: ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR




HT: Happy Catholic

(D)'s Are All The Same, Upside Down or Otherwise

Courtesy the Asian Badger, from Jim Sensenbrenner's website, on the Congressional Democrats' plans for stealing more of your money:

* 115 million taxpayers would see their taxes increase, on average, by $1,795 in 2011;

* 48 million married couples would incur average tax increases of $2,899;

* Taxes would increase, on average, by $2,181 for 42 million families with children;

* 12 million single women with children would see their taxes increase, on average, by $1,082;

* 17 million elderly individuals would incur average tax increases of $2,270;

* Taxes would rise, on average, by $3,960 for 26 million small business owners.

And let's not forget that DarthDoyle has his own plan, too--for ANOTHER $2,000/family (or so) in the next biennium.

Pitchforks at dawn, anyone??

Folkbum's Been Traveling?

Maybe Jay's been out of the country?

Aside from the issues relating to workers, students and women, the most important issue last month has been the demonstrations staged by members of the Teachers’ Guild Association [Kanun-i senfi-yi moalleman] across the country. … Their foremost demand is that the teachers’ salaries must be adjusted to equal that of other public-sector employees, furthermore adding that if the government’s low budget is the reason behind this inequality then it should look into allocating what is expended in other fields to be granted for teachers’ necessities.

HT: Random10

In the Mullahcracy, teachers are considered to be 'prophets,' which apparently is supposed to get some respect (and big bucks.)

So for you folks who are teachers here (and dissatisfied with the health benefits and pay)--there's an alternative.

Required: Farsi.

Queen Nancy's Splendid Trip

Pelosi, (who actually thinks that she has become the Queen) is going on a splendid trip.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Syria, a country President Bush has shunned as a sponsor of terrorism, despite being asked by the administration not to go.

And she's taking her courtiers:

Democratic Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Henry Waxman and Tom Lantos of California, Louise Slaughter of New York and Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Ohio Republican David Hobson.

The article doesn't say if she's using a USAF Gulfstream or 757.

With any luck, the Syrians will take her hostage.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Senator Webb: Not Really an Officer

Perhaps the most caustic comment on Senator Webb:

I've been watching the saga of the James Webb aid caught with what seems to be Webb's gun. I find it very interesting that Webb, who has made a career out of being a Marine veteran and graduate of Canoe U, has forgotten "loyalty down". Of course that was one of my pet peeves when I wore Uncle's suit, half of all officers and senior NCOs expected my loyalty but had none for us peons.

Sooner or later the history of that gun will come out, it was either bought by Webb or by this Thompson fellow, then we will know. Either Thompson is a liar or Webb is a miserable scumbag who has lived a lie since swearing the oath. Given that Thompson would know he'd get caught if he had known he was carrying a gun I'm leaning toward Webb being wrong, knowing he's wrong and throwing a loyal aid to the wolves. Why? To save himself some trouble.

HT: Instapundit via Of Arms and the Law

Bush's Border Failures, Chapter 2365

Here we go again:

Jerry Seper at the WashTimes reports that two execs of the Golden State Fence Company--hired by the U.S. government to help build a fence along the Southwest border to curb the flow of illegal aliens into the United States--have been sentenced on charges of hiring illegals for the job.

...The execs received a slap on the wrist. Instead of the maximum five years in jail, each received six months' home detention. The company had been warned in 1999 that it had illegal aliens on the payroll. Five years later, it was still employing scores of illegal aliens.

There were a couple of large fines, too.

"This settlement and guilty plea clearly show that employers who knowingly and blatantly hire illegal workers will pay dearly for such transgressions," Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers, who heads ICE, said at the time.

Yah, right. Julie Myers is the Bush-appointed twit with no experience and no qualifications, but with Pentagon connections. She's the equivalent of FEMA's "Brownie."

And the Bushbots wonder why they're losing audience? (See below)

HT: Malkin

Bushbots Losing Audiences?

Belling went on at some length yesterday about an opinion piece written by a Righty radio-guy from the West Coast.

The radioguy was seeing falling ratings, and finding that 'backers of the Iraq War' are having problems keeping their audience.

(Not by coincidence, Savage reports that Hannity will be losing his SanFran radio outlet soon.)

The Righty Radioguy speculated a bit, spinning the article to make himself a victim--or at least, a True Blue Certified Good Guy who was being abused by the audience.


The problem that this fellow may be encountering is that talk-radio listeners actually think, generally independently. They listen to rightyradio because they can get the opposing view by absorbing MSM blather (which is impossible to avoid.)

So the Hannity-esque techniques of straw-man bashing, screaming, and not bothering to examine subtlety (etc.) are not going to entrance rightyradio listeners. Let's be frank: Hannity (and some others) simply don't allow an intelligent discussion of a question. (Some think that Hannity is not capable of intelligent discussion in the first place, but that's another matter. He's a pretty face, after all.)

Belling ought to know. He shuts off discussion all the time.

Tolerate "Diverse Behaviors", Says State DPI

This woman cannot mean what she said, can she?

"We happen to see, particularly for African-American males, the tolerance for diverse behaviors - especially in districts where all the staff are white - is very, very low," said Stephanie Petska, special education director for the DPI.

Behavior is "diverse"? Hmmmmmm. All "diversity" is good? Hmmmmm.

Elmbrook's Gibson: It's a Beauty Contest

Matt Gibson, in a moment of candor:

"Parents shop test scores first, and they choose Elmbrook. They shop facilities, and they go elsewhere," a discussion of why Elmbrook put a $108 million renovation program up for referendum.

I guess he's telling us that the $108MM will NOT raise test scores.

JS Reporter: Do you REALLY Believe This?

Found in the midst of another story about 'subprime loans' written by J. Cleaver at JS:

...Brenda Muniz, national legislative director for ACORN, a national housing and social advocacy group.

ACORN a 'housing and social advocacy group'?

Sure. Stalin was a government reformer. Hitler was concerned with overcrowding in the ghettos. Bill Clinton was training and developing promising staffers like Monica.

And ACORN is a housing and social advocacy group.

Wis. Dept of Corrections: Major Piggies

We'd mentioned before that Wisconsin's Dept of Corrections is a drainpipe for state tax revenues, now getting FORTY PERCENT over the national average for prisoners.

Channel 4 added another piece of evidence last night.

Tracking sex offenders would be easier if they had to wear GPS monitors. But that can be expensive.

Wisconsin lawmakers have travelled to Kansas to find out about a GPS program there. The I-Team's John Mercure went with them. He found that Kansas monitors the same amount of offenders as in Wisconsin with a much smaller budget.

It costs Kansas $1.2 million annually to track 300 sex offenders by GPS. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's office claims it would cost the state $10 million to monitor 300 offenders here. Doyle signed a GPS bill to protect Wisconsin children. Now he's threatening to gut the bill by cutting the spending and limiting who gets monitored.

DarthDoyle claims he'd have to hire 120 DoC personnel. The State of Kansas outsourced the task and only hired 9 additional personnel.

Similar results were obtained in Colorado.

Someone needs to assist Darth in thinking.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Habemus Rector!

Abp. Dolan announced that Fr. Don Hying will be the Rector of the Milwaukee Seminary (St. Francis Major.)

Calling him “a splendid parish priest and a man of learning,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan announced that Fr. Donald J. Hying will become rector of Saint Francis Seminary July 1.

Fr. Hying, 43, will succeed Fr. Michael Witczak, who has been rector since December 2001. Fr. Witczak will return to teaching and/or research in liturgy and sacraments at a yet-to-be-determined school.

HT: Provincial Emails

I've heard nothing but good things about Fr. Hying. This assignment is a major challenge, and the long knives will be out. Pray for him.

Reality Check on Israel

Just so that people understand:

The first day we were in Jerusalem, some Evangelical Christians told us tales of the tension in the city that comes from the Muslim intolerance for anybody who is not one of them.

The next day, we met with an Armenian Catholic lady who explained that her life has been made hellish by the Jews building the security wall right near her mother's house. And also that life in the city is made crazy by the Greek Orthodox who are insisting that their patriarch gets to be the first and only prelate to emerge from the tomb of the holy sepulchre on Easter morning.

We heard from an Arab businessman that he can't get a visa from Israel to travel back to the States for his business because the Israelis are prejudiced against all Arabs.

Then, we met with a politician from the Knesset who explained that the problem is a combination of Muslim intolerance, and also American and European liberal elites who keep insisting on a failed policy of appeasement toward Islam.

Yesterday, an Arab Christian detailed the terrible persecution that his family and friends suffer at the hands of the ultra Orthodox Jews who even went so far recently as to burn and desecrate part of the Church of the Annunciation. He wanted to know why they would do that to a community which has long been supportive of Israel.

We have heard from another fellow that a great problem is the new Eastern European Jews who have been recently brought into Israel, because apparently they have imported the Eastern European mafia with them.

You see, it's all everybody's fault. And nobody's fault. And probably impossible to fix from a human perspective.

Nicolosi is a well-known blogger/commentator.

Those of us who are Catholic have known for quite some time that 'being Catholic' in Israel is not exactly a bed of roses--for openers, most Catholics in Israel are Arabic--or at least not Jewish.

Nicolosi is right--it may well be impossible to "fix" from a human perspective.

How to Win a Gunfight

Maybe, given the situation in "No-Crisis" Milwaukee, these should be posted around various gas stations:

USMC Rules for Gunfighting

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Your life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough nor using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.

9.5 Use a gun that works EVERY TIME.

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them).

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with a ".4"

Personally, I think Rule 24 is OK, but 6 rounds of 9mm are just as good as 6 rounds of .45...

HT: Grim's Hall

What Does This Story NOT Tell You?

Here's a cut from the WTMJ story on the Bay View bandidos:

The five men and one woman facing charges of armed robbery with threat of force are Paul Asik Jr., 30; Xavier Perez, 18; Brendaly Gonzalez, 19; Angel DeJesus, 21; Carmelo Vaszquez Jr., 32 and Christian Colon, 19.

Repeat: What does the story NOT tell you?

Your guesses (I think it will take no more than two) can be filed in the combox.

HT: Freedom Eden

Time for a Pitchforks-and-Rudeness Demonstration?

As you might have expected:

...Following the example set by their Senate brethren last Friday, House Democrats will adopt a budget resolution containing the largest tax increase in U.S. history amid massive national inattention.

Nobody's tax payment will increase immediately, but the budget resolutions set a pattern for years ahead. The House version would increase non-defense, non-emergency spending by $22.5 billion for next fiscal year, with such spending to rise 2.4 percent in each of the next three years. To pay for these increases, the resolution would raise taxes by close to $400 billion over five years -- about $100 billion more than what was passed in the Senate.

It had been assumed that the new Democratic majority would end President Bush's relief in capital gains, dividend and estate taxation. The simultaneous rollback of Bush-sponsored income tax cuts was a surprise.

Robert Novak, quoted in Captain's Quarters.

The pitchfork-and-tar/feather assembly could start in Madison in June, and simply move on to Washington DC in July (assuming that the Madistan Democrats have been properly....ah....persuaded. That's it--persuaded!)

Why not? You've nothing to lose except for your disposable income for the foreseeable future.

Fraley's Daily has a challenge for Darth, Risser & Co. (and Obey, Feingold):

Back when the Sheriff of Nottingham personally went to the village and took a goat from the serf as tribute to the Throne, at least he had to dodge the occasional arrow from Robin Hood or risk being tarred and feathered. These days, tax increasers rely on an employer’s payroll department, or the store cashier, or assorted bureaucrats to do their bidding. Tax increases are cowardly.

And as we know, the King of Cowardly was FDR, who invented the withholding tax scheme. Somehow, I'd enjoy having Freddy Risser dodder around the neighborhood, attempting to grab assets. It'd be even more fun if he were joined by Dave Obey, who still has the capability to raise his voice, unlike Risser.

Has Dr. Dobson Gone Off the Deep End?

Over the years, Focus on the Family and its head, Dr. Dobson, have provided a lot of positives for the country.

But one wonders what might have prompted the following statement:

"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.

Compared to whom? Tommy Thompson? Mitt Romney? Ruuuuudeeeeee!!??? McPain?

Good heavens, Dr. D.!

"No Crisis", and No Solution Except State Dollars?

Nothing Ald. Donovan suggests will be useful--unless someone else pays for it:

Mayor Tom Barrett said that many of Donovan's ideas are things already being done by the city, or for which he has already approached the state for help.

The City of Milwaukee's spending priorities are simple: 1) Get the money from the State or the Feds; 2) Spend it. 3) If we don't get money from the State or the Feds, BLAME THEM for the problems!!


Sen. Feinstein Gets Rich

Seems that Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) had a nice little spot on the Senate Military Construction subcommittee.

And her husband owned a decent chunk of Perini Construction.

And Perini did a lot of DoD work (!!!!)

And she saw that it was good, and sold the stock in Perini:

Public records show Blum's [Feinstein's hubby] company paid $4 a share for controlling interest in Perini, and later sold about three million shares for $23.75 each.

The report also showed URS' military construction work in 2000 was only $24 million, but the next year, when Feinstein took over as MILCON chair, military construction earned URS $185 million. Additionally, its military construction architectural and engineering revenue rose from $108,000 in 2000 to $142 million in 2001, a thousand-fold increase.

In late 2005, Blum sold 5.5 million URS shares, worth $220 million, the report said.

All as a result of excellent management and a terrific sales effort?

Maybe. But then there's this:

...Michael R. Klein, an adviser to Feinstein and business partner with Blum, said that starting in 1997 he routinely told Feinstein about federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake, in order for her to avoid those votes and as such, a conflict of interest.

However, instead of withholding a vote, she did act on those pieces of legislation, Byrne reported. Ultimately, "the Congressional Record shows that as chairperson and ranking member of MILCON, Feinstein was often involved in supervising the legislative details of military construction projects that directly affected Blum's defense-contracting firms," Byrne's report said.

Just co-incidence. Sen. Feinstein is not the first US Senator whose net worth increased remarkably while 'serving' the country. And she won't be the last.

But it's all right, because "it's for the children." HER children.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

DZ v. DePauw

I know. That headline could be French for something....

Delta Zeta is holding DePauw University responsible for its own student-handbook procedures:

...The heart of our lawsuit against DePauw involves three claims that should matter to all Greeks. First, the university withdrew recognition of our chapter in a manner that is completely inconsistent with the due process rights of students and organizations on campus. Simply put, the school acted as judge and jury in this case instead of following the disciplinary action processes outlined in their Student Handbook. Second, the university lacked valid grounds to take action against Delta Zeta since the student affairs staff at the school had been active participants in approving all aspects of the membership review process that is central to this dispute. Finally, the university and its officials have engaged in a deliberate campaign to defame Delta Zeta and inflicted significant harm to the student members of our organization by exposing them to national ridicule.

Too bad. Perhaps this will serve as a warning to those who would make PC a graven image for worship. It might cost you to do so...

A Better Ground of Understanding--The National Conversation

Directed to this post by ol' Texas Hold'Em, we find this clarification in a discussion of the Shorewood and Pulaski fights:

This isn’t black culture. It’s hip-hop culture. Although many liberals equate one with the other, and they stand on the sidelines like docile dimwits because their worldview requires them to be “tolerant” of every culture. Even evil ones.

I beg to differ, with nuance.

These fights are a part of Young Male culture. Black, white, whatever...boys have been doing this since before my time, and will continue to do so long, long after.

It's happened before in schools, in homes, in alleys, in streets, in parks...and by-and-large in full view of girls, who just happen to be the intended audience.

It's not s'posed to be polite, and it's not s'posed to be really harmful.

When knives or guns are involved---that's a different thing altogether.

Cheap Seats: Worth Repeating

Billiam gets this dead-on:

...We're becoming more divided now then at the time of Viet Nam. ...

I think I'll start looking at 3rd parties. They seem to think more of this country than do Dems and Repubs.

Those two have been in power so long, they've forgotten it's not about them.

And this cancerous/carniverous concept extends right down to Madison's Capitol Square.

BTW, Barak Obama gets this too. That's why he's running on a 'national reconciliation' (or some such) theme.

Hint to Fred Thompson: you can do the same thing...

I, Too, am John Doe

Malkin wrote this, and I'll join in. How about you?

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.
I am John Doe.

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.
I am John Doe.

I will never forget the example of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

I will act when homeland security officials ask me to "report suspicious activity."

I will embrace my local police department's admonition: "If you see something, say something."

I am John Doe.

And screw the bastard who tries to sue me...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

ITT: Treason?

Technically, it might not be treason, but read it and judge for yourselves:

ITT Corp. has agreed to pay a $100 million penalty for illegally sending classified night-vision technology used in military operations to China and other countries, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee announced Tuesday.

ITT, the leading manufacturer of night-vision equipment for U.S. armed forces, will plead guilty in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to two felony charges, Brownlee said at a news conference. One count is export of defense articles without a license and the other is omission of statements of material facts in arms exports reports.

...ITT defense-related technical data was given to China, Singapore and the United Kingdom in order to cut costs, government investigators said.

There's more fun to come, we hope:

No individuals have been charged, but Brownlee said the investigation was continuing.

"Stay tuned for the rest," he said.

That will be a perp-frog-march which will be a delight to watch.

Suggestions for Keeping Certain Relatives At a Distance


Copied directly from Fr. R's excellent blog, headline: 16 Ways to Maintain Your Insanity. Obviously, this could have other effects (some salutary, some....well, )

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and Point A Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask If They Want Fries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It "IN."

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone Has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For Sexual Favors"

7. Finish all Your Sentences With "In Accordance With The Prophecy."

8. dont use any punctuation

9 . As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To Go."

11. Sing Along At The Opera.

12. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?

13. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And Play Tropical Sounds All Day.

14. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I Won! I Won!"

15. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking Lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're Loose!!!"

16. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go. "

One might add #17: Use a Lot of Capital Letters...

"Return to the Church": Another View

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is sponsoring a "Return to the Church" thing.

That's good.

Here's a little quote from Fr. Al Kimel, who recently became a Catholic (that's "poped" to you Prots) having been an Episcopalian priest:

First, the question, from a blog-reader:

If this is THE church, shouldn’t it do better at making Christians, out of both unchurched adults and little children?

Fr. K's answer (in part):

Yes, the Catholic Church should do better at making Christians, it should do better at evangelizing, it should do better at catechizing, it should do better at preaching the gospel, it should do better at worshipping God, it should do better in serving the poor and the oppressed, it should do better in every aspect of its life and ministry.

However, if the Church was doing better in all of these areas, or even just the one you have mentioned, would you be persuaded that the Catholic Church is the Church of Jesus Christ, as she claims to be? Of course not! Because performance neither proves nor disproves the claims of the Catholic Church. Ironically, your objection to the Catholic Church—viz., her poor, even sinful performance—is grounded in a works-righteousness understanding of the gospel. You are demanding that the Catholic Church justify herself as the Body of Christ by her works! But the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ only by grace and election!

Thought that was interesting--and may not be covered in the Archdiocesan talks.

HT: Amy

More Good News from Baghdad

...that you didn't read in the MSM.

Over the past five days, Iraqi and U.S. forces have put a big dent in the leadership of a suicide and car bomb cell in Adhamiyah, as well as an al Qaeda leader in Abu Ghraib.

...The Adhamiyah cell was particularly active and deadly in Baghdad. "It is estimated that since Nov. the car bombs from this cell have killed approximately 900 innocent Iraqi citizens; another 1,950 have been wounded," according Multinational Forces Iraq. The Adhamiyah cell is believed to be behind ""the majority of car bombs which have killed hundreds of Iraqi citizens in Sadr City."

HT: Roggio

Gummint Health Care Priorities

Oh, yeah.

One of the recurring concerns about having the government in charge of health care (so we can be more like Canada and Britain) is what happens when the government has to decide which health concerns are highest priority? This video shows what happened when two people in Ontario needed medical care. One of them was put on a waiting list for a procedure--and because the waiting list was so long, she had to have her bladder removed, and now has a charming little bag attached instead.

The other person has the good fortune to have a medical "problem" that Ontario's Health Minister thinks is really important: he was born the wrong sex.

Think of Jim Doyle being the 'authority' on health-care decisions.

HT: ClayCramer

Why Did "New" Home Sales Drop, and "Existing" Not?

Well, it's all in the fine print.

"A sale of the new house occurs with the signing of a sales contract or the acceptance of a deposit."

Signing the contract could occur as much as 10 months before occupancy.

As to 'existing' home sales:

"the majority of transactions are reported when the sales contract is closed."

Usually, that's 60 days before occupancy.

But what's important to know is this:

Given the difference in definition, new home sales usually lead existing home sales regarding changes in the residential sales market by a month or two.

So what you saw in "new home sales" a couple of days ago is likely to be echoed in "existing home sales" about 60 days from now.

That's not too pretty.

HT: Calculated Risk

Monday, March 26, 2007

Succinct Speech on Shirley & Co. Plus: Ethics?

Rick Esenberg is also a good speaker.

In about 20 minutes (slightly more than 1 sermon,) he was able to deliver the short version of his thoughts about the Wisconsin Supreme Court. He was speaking to a gathering of the Milwaukee Federalist Society.

At the risk of mangling his significantly more-nuanced thoughts, I'll tell you what I took away from the event. (The link above takes you to his post on today's topic.)

The Wisconsin Supremes are 'making up the rules' as they go. They examine or analyze cases in a fashion different than the norm. Or they draw conclusions which contradict recent precedent. Or they place new evidentiary rules in a decision, rather than going through the normal process.

This should worry people who are not even remotely close to being eminento practitioners of law (that's most of us...) because when the rules of the game are changed while the game is being played, there are problems.

Practitioners don't know how to argue a case. This means (of course) that there is no probability of outcome. Should that continue for a lengthy period, it will lead to anarchy.

Not where the State should be heading.

As to the second headline item, "Ethics:"

Prior to the lecture by Esenberg, an older gentleman was conversing with another fellow near the back of the room, and their conversation was about legal ethics. It covered a fair amount of ground, but the older guy made an observation which was fascinating.

He said that the concept of lawyers' ethics was fraught with problems--and that originally, the canon was proposed as responsibilities rather than 'ethics.' (There's a reason for that link on "responsibilities," and it has to do with a discussion of "rights" begun with a post on Hauerwas. Scroll down to the comments, and read the question of T. Berres, another blogger. The point? "Responsibilities/duties" are placed before "rights" by English Lords in the 1200's. The lords didn't talk about "ethics.")

Ethics is defined as "A set of principles of right conduct." Responsibility, however, is defined as "Something for which one is responsible; a duty, obligation, or burden."

There's a difference.

That puts an interesting light on the current brouhaha regarding Judge Ziegler, no?

Fred Thompson Update

Latest word is that he's tied w/HRC in some polls.

Better Fred than ......ahhh..... Oh, well. You get the idea.

P-Mac Finds a Good One

Patrick McIlheran discovers a study which questions the "common school" as a foundation for democracy.

Being a couple of decades older than Pat, I've known this for a while...but it's worth the read.

It was really an anti-Catholic thing at first...

Clifford Earns Gay Lobby Endorsement

The Warrior has it all; here's the short summary:

Unfortunately it is legislating from the bench when you believe “civil liberties, constitutional rights, or fundamental freedoms” can mean pretty much what you want them to mean.

Yes. That's called 'transvaluing values.'

Biodiesel Brewer Gets Reality, UPDATED

This fellow sums it up:

“I guess that I’m opposed to it overall for a hobbyist to be charged,” he said. “It’s getting to the point in our culture that almost everything that we do is going to be illegal, or you need a fee or a license.

--Paul Simon, a Manitowoc-area "home-brewer" of biodiesel fuel.

HT: The Alliance

And, in another instance of the same, an Illinois couple finds that "revenooers" are after their money, as well:

"They told me I am required to have a license and am obligated to pay a motor fuel tax," David Wetzel recalled. "Mr. May also told me the tax would be retroactive."

Since the initial visit by the agents on Jan. 4, the Wetzels have been involved in a struggle with the Illinois Department of Revenue. The couple, who live on a fixed budget, have been asked to post a $2,500 bond and threatened with felony charges.

Just coincidence that both States are run by Democrat governors who spend money like water, are in the Midwest, and are more concerned with what they think is "their" money.

HT: Wiggy

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Milwaukee Tridentine Mass Update, II

The authorized Milwaukee Archdiocesan Tridentine Rite (Old Rite) Community will move to St. Stanislaus Church, corner 5th/Mitchell Streets, on Low (Quasimodo) Sunday, April 15th, 2007.

The Mass on THAT Sunday (only) will be at 9:00 AM, Confessions preceding.

After Low Sunday, the regular sung Mass will be held at 10:00 AM every week.

WFBuckley on Congressional Investigations

Food for thought, as might be expected from WFB:

It is obvious that there are Democrats in Congress who want an opportunity to forage for crimes in the matter of the discharged U.S. attorneys. Nobody has come up with a description of exactly what crime might have been committed and should be investigated. What is being conjectured is that an industrious investigating committee armed with subpoena powers could come up with malfeasance of some kind.

On the other hand, the investigative function of the legislative branch is of plenary importance, and should not be aborted by hypothetical immunities of the chief executive. Woodrow Wilson wrote in his classic book "Congressional Government" that Congress' investigative power was more important, even, than its legislative power. ...

Abuse of Executive powers seems to pop up every so often. FDR did it, as did JFK (through his brother, the AG), Nixon, and Clinton. All those are well-documented examples.

I don't think GWB is a bad guy, and neither does WFB (see the link.) But Gonzales, and perhaps some of his subordinates, are not clean as the driven snow.

HT: Captain's Quarters

Cong. Ryan: Does 2+2=4? Bice's Fantasy World

Bice (ex-Spice) writes, in an attempt to smear Cong. Ryan:

The elder Willems, as anybody in Kenosha can tell you, is the executive vice president and general counsel for trucking conglomerate JHT Holdings.

(The junior Willems was a high-ranking aide to Cong. Ryan.)

[The elder Willems] is the guy who signed, on behalf of the company, the secret deal to pay former JHT owner and now-indicted Kenosha powerbroker Dennis Troha on the side through 2010 if Congress passed legislation that benefited the firm by easing federal truck-hauling regulations.

...In 2005, Ryan had the lead signature on a letter urging two other congressmen to fight for the Troha provision in a conference committee. Last year, Ryan wrote then-Acting Transportation Secretary Maria Cino urging her agency to adopt rules based on the legislation that were favored by JHT.

So what?

JHT wants larger trailering capabilities. If that's allowed, JHT makes more money. If that happens, the owners of JHT should pay Troha more money, as the value of the Company rose.

That's what we call "the normal course of business." In other words, there's no "there" there. And yes, the deal was a confidential codicil--but there are LOTS of those floating around. Maybe Troha's a skunk--but even skunks get the benefit of normal business deals.

Ryan didn't know about the deal between JHT and Troha--so it can't be said that Ryan was pushing something for Troha's benefit. Ryan thought that the legislation made sense for a constituent--in this case, JHT.

The Teamsters' Union doesn't think so.

What the deal DID do was allow Bice to write articles which don't mean anything.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dave Obey's "Screw the Troops" Vote

New configuration following the Dave Obey "Screw the Troops" vote to (in effect) de-fund the military in Iraq: (HT: Power Line)

Another perspective on Dave Obey's "yea" from Planet Moron:

Getting Democrats to support the bill required uniting the liberal wing of the party which believes we have already lost, with the moderate wing which believes it would be better to lose next year.

So really it was mostly just a scheduling conflict.

Republicans railed against either option taking the far more philosophical approach that failure is not so much a destination, as a journey…

Dave's famous for two things: defying the Bishop of LaCrosse on abortion voting, and for screaming at a war protester, immortalized on UTube.

Now he'll be famous for managing to combine Pork with Defeat. Helluva tombstone, Dave.

Michelle McGrorty's New Job

Thanks to P-Mac McIlheran and Google, we find that Supreme Court candidate Linda ("The Cops Lied") Clifford keeps some interesting company--at arm's length, of course.

First, P-Mac:

As long as we're on the topic of donors, it's worth noting that many of the anti-Ziegler ads running on Clifford's behalf -- and being anti-Ziegler appears to be the chief substance of Clifford's campaign -- are paid for by the Greater Wisconsin Committee, or... by its political fund. It's a 527 group, which means that in exchange for spending as much as it wants, it has to be independent of Clifford's campaign.

It is independent, doubtless, just as it was independent of Gov. Doyle's campaign, which it helped out heavily, and independent of Kathleen Falk, whom it helped against Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.It's independent, though the IRS will point out to you that the contact person for the Greater Wisconsin Committee [Michelle McGrorty] is employed by Clifford's longtime employer. She's even on the firm's board of directors.

So you go to the link, and find Michelle McGrorty.

THEN you Google, and voila!

Does the name Chuck Chvala ring a bell? The Caucus scandal?

The treasurer of an independent campaign group and a woman identified as a contact for campaign contributions to state Senate Democrats were given court-ordered immunity Thursday in a secret inquiry into possible illegal campaigning

Also given immunity was Michelle McGrorty, a worker in the former Senate Democratic caucus who was identified by a lobbyist last year as being a "full-time staff person for political fund raising."

...McGrorty was a part-time worker in the caucus, working 32 hours a week. She was mentioned in a memo that lobbyist Tony Driessen circulated among colleagues as being the contact for Senate Democratic fund raising.

Evidently Ms. McGrorty learned enough during the Chvala years to become an attorney. Or maybe this experience served as OJT-Law-School. Or maybe McGrorty is not an attorney, but slept at a Holiday Inn Express.

UPDATE: Xoff, always fastidiously concerned about details, advises that Ms McGrorty is no longer employed by the lawfirm. See combox

Have a Hummer? Lock It Up

Personally, I've never had much use for the H2 (or H3). They've become toys, and are almost useless if you want HumVee abilities.

But they are now targets:

Residents of Denver's normally quiet Cherry Creek district were woken by an explosion early Wednesday morning to see flames rising 15 into the air from the remains of a Hummer H2 parked at the curb in front of its owner's house. The letters ELF were markered onto the ruined vehicle — a calling card from the environmentalist group Earth Liberation Front.

Two other vehicles were torched in Cherry Creek that same night, most likely by ELF terrorists. There have also been tire slashings in the neighborhood.

We haven't seen ELF wackos in SE Wisconsin, yet. But then, until last week we haven't seen significantly destructive anti-war protests, either.

HT: Moonbattery

Al Gonzales: Resign!

Tom Roeser was right. Gonzales is a shifty-eyed lying sack of s*&^.

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales met with senior aides on Nov. 27 to review a plan to fire a group of U.S. attorneys, according to documents released last night, a disclosure that contradicts Gonzales's previous statement that he was not involved in "any discussions" about the dismissals

OK, Al. You've managed to screw GWB with your game. Now pack up and leave.

HT: Captain's Quarters (who agrees that Al should just leave, preferably now.)

"Existing Home Sales Rise in February"--BUT...

The report says that existing home sales rose in February.

There's less to that than the headline suggests.

Inventory is at a record levels for February (30% above Feb 2006).

Existing home sales are reported at the close of escrow. This means these contracts were mostly signed in December and January. So these numbers are prior to the subprime implosion of mid-February.

That "inventory" situation is serious.

Total housing inventory levels rose 5.9 percent at the end of February to 3.75 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.7-month supply at the current sales pace compared with a 6.6-month supply in January. Raw inventories peaked last July at 3.86 million, and supplies topped at 7.4 months in October.

And according to the Guru (Calculated Risk), inventory could hit 8 months in July/August.

Hey! Owen! Steve!! Wiggy!! What's your Bet?

The callout is to the reigning non-Media political analysts...Wiggy, Boots and Eggs...

When Fred jumps in, a lot of water's going to leave the pool.

How about this:

McCain cannot attract the Conservatives and cannot be nominated. He knows it.

Fred, Ruuuuuudeeeee!!!!, and Mitt duke it out--but since Ruuuudeeee!! and Mitt attract a few (but not a lot of) Conservatives, they wind up in the scrap-heap.

Tommy!! gets a lot of voters in Iowa, but that's all.

The Hildebeeste soldiers on, but cannot KO Obama. Nor can Obama KO the Hildebeeste.


Democrats divide. McCain goes Indy.

Thompson gets the (R) nomination and takes the prize, with McCain and the (D-Whoever) splitting off a few States, evenly divided.

This could be fun.

Fred Thompson: First Poll & UPDATE

All those NYC hot-rods are running for the Right Guard:

A new poll of New Hampshire voters suggests that Fred Thompson might undermine Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani.

The American Research Group March 19 to 21 telephone poll of 800 likely GOP primary voters included several possible candidates who have not announced their plans.

In a February poll, Giuliani led the field with 27 percent, one point ahead of John McCain. In March, Giuliani slipped to 19 percent, four points behind McCain. Mitt Romney was supported by 17 percent.

Next in line were two unannounced candidates, Newt Gingrich at 11 percent and Thompson, who had not been part of earlier surveys, at 10 percent.

This will be fun.

Now the Iowa polls show Thompson popping upward. So far, he seems to be subtracting from Gingrich in that state.

The NYSun analyst cautions that the numbers are not very strong indicators this early. That said he also mentions that RUUUUUUUDEEEEEEE!'s numbers are troublesome for Rudy--they pop up and down too much.

Screechin'Shirley's Next Case

Here's another interesting case that the Supremes will hear:

This case examines Scott M. Hambly’s conviction on one count of delivering cocaine based largely on statements he made to detectives, and whether he waived his right to a lawyer.

Two Washington County Sheriff’s Department detectives arrested Hambly on Sept. 22, 2003 after asking him to come to the police department to discuss “several drug transactions that he was involved in.” Hambly told the detectives he didn’t want to go, and he didn’t want to talk. But he argues that he was subjected to the functional equivalent of an interrogation and that his request for counsel was not honored.

The Court of Appeals concluded that Hambly’s self-incriminating statement did not stem from the functional equivalent of an interrogation and that it was not obtained in violation of his right to counsel.

This case originated in Washington County.

This one is all about whether the police elicited inculpatory statements, or whether the perp flapped his jaw voluntarily.

The Appeals Court thinks it was voluntary.

DMV Gets Rushed

Does your 16-year-old want a drivers' license?

Be prepared to wait.

In Milwaukee, as in other parts of the state, a stream of illegal immigrants is dashing to get Wisconsin identification cards and driver's licenses before April 1, when a new state law will require proof of legal residency in the United States to get them.

...Gary Guenther, director of the Bureau of Field Services for the DMV, said part of the recent backup in getting road tests could be attributed to more immigrants trying to get in under the April 1 deadline.

And there is the sniveling from the usual suspect:

Christine Neumann- Ortiz, director of Voces de la Frontera, an immigrant workers group, said her office has been flooded with calls in the last three months from people trying to beat the April 1 deadline.

"The tragedy is that many have to pick up their kids or go to work, and they will be driving without a license, which will put them at risk for further prosecution for having to do this," she said.

"This will further criminalize working people, hurt the local economy and create a divisive atmosphere and lead to more racial profiling," she said.

Yah. That's the ticket! It will create a "divisive" atmosphere.

Divided between those who actually follow some rules and those who don't.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cute Blonde Barracuda

It's been reported that Channel 4's Courtney Gerrish was the very first person to contact the widow of the Sherman/Capitol victim. Not the cops, who are trained. No respect for form, nor sensitivity (to say the least.)

"Hi! I'm from Channel 4. I assume that the cops called you. What's it like?"

Congrats, Courtney.

You've earned the Asshole-of-the-Year award.

Don't you belong looking for rats in restaurants?

How Many US Troops Have You Killed Today?

Baldwin, Obey, "Kookie" Kagen, Moore

all voted to approve the Run Away!!! Bill--and endangered funding for US Troops overseas.

They've had their fun. Don't make another mistake like this, boys and girls.

The "Relativism" that Mr. Miller Missed

A few days ago, I expressed unhappiness with the take of First Things' R. Miller, when he slapped Abp. Crepaldi around for "misunderstanding" relativism.

Dreher posts an interesting few graphs which may help Mr. Miller understand the nature of the beast to which Abp. C. refers:

[Ken Myers] talked last evening about how from the days of the founders, the American way of thinking about the role of religion in public life was not only to privatize it, but to individualize it. He explained how the inevitable result of this was to make Christian faith peripheral to the substantive questions in public life. Moreover, the principles behind this privatization of religion inevitably lead to the corruption of religion, because it becomes primarily a matter of expressing how individual men feel about God, rather than being an expression of how God feels about individual men, and what He calls us to do.

...Ken talked about an interview he did in 2005 with sociologist Christian Smith, who had just written a book on the religious and spiritual lives of American teenagers. What he found was a consistent set of religious beliefs across denominations, and even traditions (i.e., Muslim teenagers told him the same thing). But it wasn't the beliefs of the particular traditions the kids came out of; rather, it was what Smith calls "moralistic therapeutic deism." It's principles, as Ken listed them, were startlingly familiar: God exists, but you really shouldn't get overly involved with Him unless you get into real trouble or something; the point of life is to be happy; it's important to be nice; good people go to heaven, and most everybody is good; et cetera.

The 'relativism' here is dissociative; the faith is ir-relevant to positive law, and action.

Contrast that to the non-relativistic Catholicism espoused by Benedict XVI in his Deus Caritas Est, especially in Part Two.

CS Lewis on Education

Something on which our school-systems (and colleges) should ponder:

"....the difference between the old and the new edcuation will be an important one. Where the old initiated, the new merely 'conditions'. The old dealt with its pupils as grown birds deal with young birds when they teach them to fly; the new deals with them more as the poultry-keeper deals with young birds- making them thus or thus for purposes of which the birds know nothing. In a word, the old was a kind of propagation - men transmitting manhood to men; the new is merely propaganda."

It's a bit too facile to state that 'the Old taught them HOW to think, where the New teaches them WHAT to think,' because there's a good deal more to it than that.

But educating-for-droneship is not "education." It's conditioning.

HT: Chesterton and Friends

Dan Maguire Slapdown from USCC(!!)


Reported by Diogenes, here's the quote from USCC on Dan-o Maguire's mass-distributed heresies:

On June 19, 2006, Professor Daniel Maguire of Marquette University sent two pamphlets to all of the Catholic Bishops in the United States, one entitled The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion and the other A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage. These pamphlets do not present Catholic teaching. His views about contraception, abortion, same sex "marriage", as well as the very nature of Church teaching and its authoritative character, cross the legitimate lines of theological reflection and simply enter into the area of false teaching. Such mistaken views should not be confused with the faith and moral teaching of the Catholic Church. Since it is apparent that considerable efforts have been made to give these views the widest possible distribution as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops considers it important to offer a public correction of the erroneous views proposed in these pamphlets. At the same time, the Committee on Doctrine calls attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church where correct and authentic teaching can be found.

"Dr." Death Dan" also sent those pamphlets to members of Congress. We have a suspicion as to the funding for this mass-print/mail job, of course. No evidence, just suspicion.

This is not an accident. Since Abp. Dolan has slammed DeathDan on a few occasions (to no apparent avail,) the Archbishop obviously has raised the stakes a bit.

Even Marquette U. agreed with the USCC statement, which tells you something.

Dan, it's Lent. Repent and return.

UW's Reilly, Walsh Still in Outer Space

From the Budget Blog:

[During Joint Finance testimony from Reilly and Walsh] Suder, a Republican from Abbotsford, asked whether the officials had a cost estimate for Gov. Doyle's budget proposal to make in-state tuition available to undocumented individuals. Reilly and Walsh said they didn't have a figure, but after prompting from Suder said they approved of the policy.

"I'm glad UW administration is on record supporting that (tuition breaks for illegal immigrants)" Suder said. Reilly and Walsh argued that Suder was misrepresenting the policy, which requires students graduate from a state high school and are working toward citizenship, but Suder retorted, "You can spin it any way you want to."

Lemmeesee, heah. The question pertained to "UNDOCUMENTED" individuals (that's illegal aliens, folks.)

Is it true that "UNDOCUMENTED" individuals can be "working towards citizenship?"

News to me...

Same Old, Same Old, Pelosi's Name

It's not really a "withdrawal" resolution. It's a PIG*/POG* resolution.

TODAY THE House of Representatives is due to vote on a bill that would grant $25 million to spinach farmers in California. The legislation would also appropriate $75 million for peanut storage in Georgia and $15 million to protect Louisiana rice fields from saltwater. More substantially, there is $120 million for shrimp and menhaden fishermen, $250 million for milk subsidies, $500 million for wildfire suppression and $1.3 billion to build levees in New Orleans.

That's the "Withdrawal Resolution." Buried in the pork is something about leaving Iraq by August 2008.

*PIG: Party In Government
*POG: Party Of Government

HT: Captain's Quarters

AlGore's Speech, in Synopsis

From BlameBush!!:

The time has come to cleanse ourselves of our capitalistic sins and save the earth from total obliteration, - but it won’t be easy, Gore assures us. Preserving the future for our children will involve tough choices and personal sacrifice. Most importantly it will require tax increases, wealth restribution, government control of production, and the abandonment of the free market system – by sheer coincidence, the exact same things liberal democrats have been calling for since before global warming was ever an issue. It would be sheer madness, then, for Repugs to continue to stand against such bold initiatives now that the scientific consensus is that we're all going to die unless we do exactly as Al Gore says.

So there's really no point in debating it any further.

See? It's simple.

"Keg" Lift-Und-Schlepp-Em Returns

In what can only be called another case of Dimowit Projection, the former Wisconsin Attorney General finds her way to a newspaper reporter, and drools forth:

Former Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager and other Democratic leaders warned that drug companies are part of an effort by so-called "independent" groups to influence the outcome of the Supreme Court race.

Lautenschlager questioned whether the drug companies - who have cases pending before the Supreme Court - are paying for so-called "issue ads" sponsored by business groups. The groups are not required to disclose the sources of their funding because their ads do not directly tell voters to elect or defeat a candidate.

Lautenschlager said Ziegler has a "personal financial stake" in the success of the drug companies because financial disclosure reports show she and her husband own at least $265,000 worth of stock in pharmaceutical companies.

Unmentioned is the possibility that Ziegler would recuse.

But I suppose that Ms. Clifford's entire investment portfolio will be published for examination by the voters, right?


From the news release, printed in the Milwaukee JS:

Father Bryan Massingale, an author and Marquette University theology professor, will speak on "Why Be Catholic Today?"

"Why?" is a good question. Does Fr. M. have the answer?

ACLU: Friend of Porn

It was Friedrich Nietzsche's phrase, now obviously the ACLU's operating philosophy--"the transvaluation of all values."

And so wrote a Fed Circuit Court judge in Philadelphia (no surprise) in deciding that Internet porn directed at children is "protected" by the 1st Amendment.

Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr., who presided over the four-week trial last fall, ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union that the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA) violated a constitutional right to free speech.

..."Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection," wrote Reed in his 84-page long decision.

...COPA would have criminalized US-based websites that allow children to access material deemed "harmful to minors" according to "contemporary community standards."

...however the ACLU representing a cadre of "sexual health" sites,,, the Philadelphia Gay News, and others objected that more than just pornographers would be subject to the restrictions of COPA.

Well, well. and the Philly Gay News. One wonders what interest THEY have in pushing porn to kids.

We already know about the ACLU's transvaluation of all values.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Supplying the Big Three: Has the Worm Turned?

A number of years ago, GM hired a new purchasing executive who managed to get GM suppliers to sign agreements which actually reduced the suppliers' prices by 5%/year for multi-years. This became an industry trend, and although the GM exec left after only a few years, his legacy did not.

If you didn't notice, that caused a few problems. (Think AOSmith/Tower, Delco/Delphi, Collins & Aikman, Lear, Federal-Mogul, Dura, Dana, and hundreds of others, big and small.)

While the Big Three were putting their suppliers into bankruptcy courts, others were willing to fill the orders--until recently.

Now, with fewer suppliers out there, and with consolidation (and other marketing options), some are kicking back, hard.

Example: Navistar which told FoMoCo to stick their offer......(fill in the blank).

The Warrenville, Ill., engine and heavy-truck maker has been through extensive restructuring, going back decades to when it was formed out of the old International Harvester. Navistar has long provided diesel engines for Ford's Super Duty F-250 and F-350 pickups, which are among Ford's few profitable products. Navistar brought out a new 6.4-liter engine in January, asking $7,600 each.

Ford thought the price should be $6,100. Ford also claimed the previous model had such problems that Navistar ought to pay some $1 billion to help defray repair costs that Ford bore under warranties. In mid-January, Ford began debiting Navistar's account by tens of millions of dollars, and in January filed suit.

The result was a blunt letter from the parts supplier. Ford, the letter said, was demanding that Navistar sell engines at a loss "to accommodate Ford's desire for higher profits." The letter from Navistar's general counsel then effectively served notice that the supplier was prepared to fire its biggest customer. Alleging that "we were the victim of Ford's heavy hand," the letter said, "That is now over." Four days later, on Feb. 23, Navistar stopped shipping diesel engines to Ford.

This put a crimp in FoMoCo's plans, to say the least.

A temporary restraining order obtained by Ford got the engines coming a few days later. Ford then agreed on March 9 to reimburse Navistar for part of the debited funds and to pay Navistar's asking price - $1,500 more per engine than Ford wants to pay - until Michigan state-court litigation between the two is settled. The price setback for Ford helped prompt Bear Stearns to lower its earnings estimates for the company.

Navistar CEO Daniel Ustian declines to comment. But in a mid-January speech a few blocks from Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., he told an industry audience that auto makers face "a new reality" in which "the math must benefit all of us."

There are a lot of Wisconsin businesses which supply (or COULD supply) the Big Three. In other words, this might be good news.

Fr Fessio OUT of Ave Maria--Updated

This is (Catholic) Inside Baseball:

Fessio’s dismissal came one day after recent statements he made were published in an article in the California Catholic Daily titled, “Hey, Hey, Baby Gay! What Do You Do? What Do You Say?”
His statements were also published on March 2 on the personal Web site of one of the country’s preeminent evangelist leaders, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr.

In the article, Mohler suggested that there was a “possibility that a biological basis for homosexuality may be proven,” the Associated Press reported. Mohler’s argument was endorsed by Fessio.

According to the California Catholic Daily article, “research strongly suggests that sexual preference is biologically determined in animals, and possibly in humans.”

“Same-sex activity is considered disordered,” Fessio said. “If there are ways of detecting diseases or disorders of children in the womb, and a way of treating them that respected the dignity of the child and mother, it would be a wonderful advancement of science.”

I don't read the excerpted comments as "endorsement" of the theory--merely as a comment that 'IF such is true, that would be good.' Big difference.

Well, that's Theory One. Here's Theory Two:

A senior university official said that one crux of the "irreconcilable differences" cited as the reason for the requested resignation was a divergence on liturgical tastes; Healy and much of his leadership team take their cue from the evangelical Charismatic school of the Franciscan University of Steubenville (to which they maintain close ties), while Fessio's crowd gravitated toward a more solemn manner of ritual. The Jesuit's Latin Masses -- Novus Ordo, celebrated ad orientem -- were reported to have drawn large numbers, while similar crowds were had for monthly Healing Masses celebrated by priest-in-residence Fr Richard McAlear, a member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. [More on this guy's Masses below in the update].

It is true that Fr. Fessio promotes and uses a heavily-Latin reading of the Mass, and prefers ad orientem. It is problematic if Tom Monaghan views this as a cause for dismissal. So it shouldn't be the whole story. But Tom ain't universally loved; he's a bit quirky.

Only two nights ago, Hewitt interviewed Fr. Fessio regarding the "Communion for Pro-Abort Pols" controversy. At that time, Fr. F. was introduced as the President of Ave Maria U.


Far more serious that merely 'liturgical difference' are liturgical aberrations. Evidently the "healing Masses" (perhaps) favored by the AMU Prexy are, ah, illicitly said. See this link, go to the letter. HT here: Some Have Hats

Sherman and Capitol

About 40 years ago, that corner was a regular stop for yours truly. Every weekday morning, around 7:30, I'd arrive and wait for the 30/Sherman bus to get me to my destination (if I tell you, I have to kill you...)

That gas station was there, but it was an ENCO franchise (IIRC,) and it did a lot of business. No coffee or doughnuts; just gas and light repairs, thanks. East of the corner by a few blocks was a very prosperous grocery store; the neighborhood was relatively quiet and very nice, but definitely "urban." Just north of the corner were some housing projects, which were quiet but just a little tacky.

South by a few blocks was WOKY/920 AM, the home of Bob Barry and The "Collegiate" Rock station (WRIT was R&B rock at the time.) The difference? WOKY played the Beach Boys; WRIT played the Stones.

A few more blocks south and the old-time prosperity of the Sherman Park neighborhood was evident: large 2-story all-brick homes, neatly manicured lawns, well-maintained yards. The somewhat noisy (and only occasionally rowdy) Washington High kids jumped off the 30/Sherman, leaving a lot of room for the downtown commuters.

Capitol Drive's eastbound traffic consisted largely of people going to work at AOSmith, Continental Can, Cutler-Hammer, Square "D," or (perhaps) downtown office types who didn't like the Lisbon Ave/Hy. 41/I-94 mess.

Closest thing to "an incident" in those days was the occasional traffic accident.

Drive down Capitol these days, and the scene is markedly different. It's not post-war Dresden (as is North Ave. east of 35th, or Burleigh)--but it's not really prosperous, nor is it "neighborly" until you get to the area between 20th and I-43, where it's obvious that some residents care--a LOT--about their neighborhood.

One wonders how long they'll be able to hold out.

Clifford's Campaign Sinks Further Into the Abyss

What the Hell is Ms. Clifford trying to do, exactly?

According to the report filed in the matter, deputies were called to the Justice Center parking lot at around 8:45 a.m. on March 9, responding to a call from a Justice Center employee who saw the men snapping photos of the building.

When deputies arrived, the report stated, Moree repeatedly asked what the problem was and said it was legal to take pictures of a public building.

A sheriff’s supervisor who was called to the scene said the men were not breaking any laws, but asked if they were working for an architectural firm or some other like publication.

Either Moree or Fuld then allegedly identified themselves as a team working for the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, according to the report. Moree identified himself with a driver’s license. The men were driving a rental vehicle that had been picked up in Madison, according to the report.

They were the allowed to take their pictures and leave, the report stated.

As a follow-up, sheriff’s investigators determined the car had been rented by Fuld and MSHC Partners, the report stated, at the Madison airport. MSCH was then identified as a political consulting firm. A call was also placed to the State Journal, and the editor there said the men were neither employees of the paper nor on a freelance assignment.

The Sheriff's office was on solid ground when questioning these two dirtballs, as public buildings are, ah, interesting to terrorists.

So why did they lie? And why didn't Ms. Clifford respond to phone calls on the matter?

Edwards, DarthDoyle, Minor, and Troha

Some interesting parallels here:

Democrats familiar with the investigation said that neither the current or past Edwards campaigns nor any of his staffers appear to be targets of the investigation, which is trying to determine whether Minor reimbursed his children for $8,000 in contributions to Edwards, an illegal practice known as "conduiting." ...

Birds, feathers, ....

Read the linked piece to find a really interesting acronym for trial lawyers!

HT: Overlawyered

Louis Butler, Shirley's Court, and Consent

Jessica has pointed out a recent Screechin'Shirley decision.

This is a close call, and it seems to me that the real question was whether or not there was "consent" to search the vehicle:

Stillman [ Racine police officer] asked Johnson [the detainee] if there was anything illegal in the car. According to Dummer, "Stillman advised Mr. Johnson due to his movements that we were going to search the vehicle," and Johnson responded, "'I don't have a problem with that.'" Both officers indicated that they intended to search the vehicle with or without Johnson's assent.

...The [Racine Circuit] court did not address whether the officers were justified in conducting a protective search of Johnson's car and person, stating that Stillman had "obtained Johnson's consent to search the vehicle."

Here's the key:

On appeal, the State conceded that Johnson did not consent to the protective search of his vehicle.

[Supreme Court Justice Butler wrote:] The testimony of Officers Dummer and Stillman shows that Johnson merely acquiesced to the search. Johnson did not freely and voluntarily give his consent.

[In dissent, Justice Roggensack:] She also argued that Johnson gave consent. The United States Supreme Court has held that there is "no ready test for determining reasonableness [of a search] other than by balancing the need to search against the invasion which the search entails."


No question that the suspect was a dirtbag--he was carrying crack and had a stash of marijuana under his seat. There were signs that he was hiding something in the car (or possibly arming himself.)

So what's a "reasonable search"? This decision will make it harder for police, no doubt. But either there was (or there was NOT) 'consent' to the search.