Thursday, January 31, 2008

Literature in 29 Words

G K Chesterton analyzes literature.

THE 'Iliad' is only great because all life is a battle, the 'Odyssey' because all life is a journey, the Book of Job because all life is a riddle.--"The Defendant"

HT: VeniSancte

Ban the Guns, Eh?

The Reliably Lefty guy posts a comment which is, uh, puzzling, anent the Latin Kings shooter.

In the post, I proposed that the MPD pursue the individual(s) who sold him/gave him the gun. It HAD to be an illegal transaction.

Enter Capper:

But then again, if the gun was not available, regardless of the cause, would he have been able to use it?

He implies that handguns should be banned in the USA. There's no other way to implement his hypothetical question.


There are about 100 million handguns in the USA.

There are about 20 million illegal aliens in the USA.

The Left maintains that we "cannot possibly" grab-and-export 20 million people.

So how in Hell can we "grab and confiscate" 100 million handguns?

Ethanol Mandate: Buy New Outdoor Power Engines

Not only will Corn-A-Hole continue making food more expensive, as most typical foods depend on corn (or ARE corn)--it will endanger your lawnmower, snowblower, leafblower, and small-power generator's engine(s). Not to mention your motorcycle, ATV, or boat-engine.

Trust me, folks, the engine is the REALLY expensive part of those doodads.

The bill will adversely impact Wisconsin engine and outdoor equipment manufacturers. After the bill’s 10% ethanol mandate ratchets up to 15%, 20% and 25% their will be problems with spark ignition engines (many of which are manufactured or assembled here in Wisconsin).

Manufacturers have significant engine wear, performance and carburetion concerns with respect to ethanol blends above 10%, which could result in warranty and product reliability issues. The engines are manufactured and calibrated to combust up to 10% ethanol, but not more than that. The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) are opposed to this legislation because of these concerns.

With all due regard for the P&L(s) of Kohler, Briggs, Generac, and Tecumseh, I don't really give a rat's patoot about THEIR problems.

I don't like that stuff about "engine wear, performance, and carburetion concerns" for equipment that I own, especially when it leads to "product reliability issues."

Maybe a little "product reliability" concerns among Senate bozos who approve the mandate would be a good thing. But I'm not thinking of their snowblowers...

HT: Sykes

William Jennings Bryan on Ethanol

In a message delivered posthumously to the Wisconsin Legislature, Bryan said:

"Do Not Crucify Me on a Cross of Corn!!"

Honest! That's what he said!!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Convicted Criminal Got a Gun?

Here's an excerpt from the JS story about the robber/killer of Walker's Point.

So, you anti-gun folks, just where and how did this charmer get a gun? He didn't buy it from a Federally licensed dealer, folks.

Says right there in this news report that he should NOT have one. Obviously, he didn't take that too seriously--nor did the criminal who SOLD him the gun.

One wonders if the MPD is pursuing the seller of the weapon.

The relative said the man is on an electronic monitoring bracelet. Court records show that he was convicted of a felony drug charge in late 2006 and received a stayed prison sentence of three years. Part of his conditions of probation was that he not possess any firearms, according to online records.

Right offhand, I'd say we had a massive failure of the justice system...criminal conviction for drugs, (among other rap-sheet entries,) Latin Kings affiliation, ...adds up to a stayed sentence?


Whither 'Extremist Islam'?

Three related items from today's blogosphere. First, from Dreher, who quotes Bill Gertz:

Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military's Joint Staff. The action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.

Mr. Coughlin was notified this week that his contract with the Joint Staff will end in March, effectively halting the career of one of the U.S. government's most important figures in analyzing the nature of extremism and ultimately preparing to wage ideological war against it.

He had run afoul of a key aide to Mr. England, Hasham Islam, who confronted Mr. Coughlin during a meeting several weeks ago when Mr. Islam sought to have Mr. Coughlin soften his views on Islamist extremism

The Bush Administration signals....what? That there are no Islamic bad-guys? That bad-guys are NOT Islamic?

Who the Hell knows?

2) In the SOTU, GWB did not even name the enemy (HT: PowerLine):

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear. Yet in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on: In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny.

Anent that, another blog noticed that phrases such as "Islamic extremists", "Islamofascists," etc., were not present in this year's SOTU. Not once.

3) From Clay Cramer, who picks up an interesting narrative from Europe. (The author, Bruce Bawer, used to the the film critic for the American Spectator. His reviews were spot-on, every time--Bawer is a treasure.)

One day last month, I gave a talk in Rome about how the supposedly liberal ideology of multiculturalism has made possible the spread in Europe of the highly illiberal ideology of fundamentalist Islam, with all its brutality and – among other things – violent homophobia. When I returned to my hotel, I phoned my partner back home in Oslo only to learn that moments earlier he had been confronted at a bus stop by two Muslim youths, one of whom had asked if he was gay, started to pull out a knife, then kicked him as he got on the bus, which had pulled up at just the right moment. If the bus hadn’t come when it did, the encounter could have been much worse.

...The reason for the rise in gay bashings in Europe is clear – and it’s the same reason for the rise in rape. As the number of Muslims in Europe grows, and as the proportion of those Muslims who were born and bred in Europe also grows, many Muslim men are more inclined to see Europe as a part of the umma (or Muslim world), to believe that they have the right and duty to enforce sharia law in the cities where they live, and to recognize that any aggression on their part will likely go unpunished...

These things cannot be allowed to stand. Obviously, not every Muslim is a violent, shari'a-enforcing extremist.

But to simply place these incidents and their implications into the 'memory hole' is irresponsible, and could be called suicidal.

One cannot fight a war without clearly identifying the enemy--unless, of course, we are looking for an "Eastasia"-type war; unwinnable and permanent.

Wal-Mart and WFMR

Thought the WFMR issue was dead, eh...?

Well, it is, to the intellectual and spiritual detriment of thousands in the Milwaukee area.

But WallyWorld shows us why.

Wal-Mart recently announced that it is pulling some 1,000 magazines of its shelves. Among the titles getting dropped are The New Yorker, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Better Homes and Gardens, and Ladies Home Journal. Of course, a large number of more obscure magazines, such as Log Cabin Living, were dropped as well. The reason, quite clearly, is that Wal-Mart believes it can make more money per shelf inch by selling just the most popular titles. Indeed, the 1,000 magazines in question made up only some 2% of Wal-Mart's magazine sales.

Even more portentious:

As pointed out in an article online at Silicon Alley Insider ("Wal-Mart Gives the New Yorker (And Forbes, Fortune, BizWeek etc) The Boot"), 1/21/98 [sic]), other media industries may feel the pinch soon. "It is also a prelude to what's about to happen to the music business, as Wal-Mart and the other big box retailers start to hack away at the retail space they devote to music. And it may also happen to Hollywood, which depends on the big boxes for DVD sales."

One wonders whether the barfer-Beethoven will survive, as opposed to his namesake.

HT: Oligopoly Watch

DarthDoyle's Dance

It's like watching musical chairs.

First, our Governor discovers that tax revenues are going south (pun intended).

Then he announces that 'something must be done.'

Now he announces that 'it should be done soon.'

What, prithee, m'Lord Governor, SHOULD we do?

...Doyle's administration has already called for agencies to stop unnecessary travel, hold vacancies open and not renew or enter into new leases.

Finding additional savings will be even tougher, Doyle said.

Certain areas will be protected from cuts, including the University of Wisconsin, education and health care, he said.

You won't find $300 million in travel cuts, or non-renewed leases, or attrition.

Seems that DarthDoyle HAS no plan, other than making certain that educators will remain in the State as voters...

So far, the Pubbies have played it smart. They're not about to help Darth with any ideas, either--nor should they.

He's the CEO. He and his Cabinet have to come up with the plan.

He can't dance around the chairs forever...

Compact Consequences

P-Mac shows us the folly:

Suppose the [Great Lakes Compact] passes and, as seems utterly possible, it is interpreted so as to pretty much bar Waukesha from getting any water. Where, then, might Waukesha turn? The least likely thing is that its residents board up the house and move to Milwaukee wholesale. More likely is that Waukesha will find some other source of water, probably groundwater, and will send it, after a trip through the plumbing, down the Fox River and into the Gulf of Mexico.

Consider that: Groundwater, while recharged, is recharged slowly. This is why environmentalists similarly dislike bottled water, saying it expends a finite Wisconsin resource. So, instead of Waukeshans using lake water and returning it to the lake, as the city has discussed, it would extract a more limited resource and send it down the Mississippi.

Only Gummints could manage that trick and still tell us "it's good for you."

Are You Heartbroken?

This bit of horrible, awful, news will destroy your day, I'm sure.

Gwyneth Paltrow... says she won't return to the USA unless she "absolutely has to" after a scuffle between her husband and a paparazzo.

Try not to cry.

HT: Moonbattery

McCain's Voters

Exit poll data via John Lott:

McCain is stronger among men, older voters, those who think that abortion should be legal, and people who rarely if ever go to church.

Pretty much shows-to-go-ya.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The "Knowledge" of the Atheists

Fr. Edward Oakes SJ, on the recent spate of books espousing atheism:

...Sales are solid, book readings are sold out, and their authors grace the highbrow talk shows and op-ed pages in prestigious newspapers and periodicals. But their arguments are shopworn, stale hand-me-downs and threadbare heirlooms inherited from an era that was fading away even before the French Revolution had made the connection between atheism and violence clear to any fair observer. Yet these books read as if they came from authors who had never heard of the Reign of Terror or Robespierre.

It is this blinkered ahistorical myopia that makes reading these books such a surreal experience. For like a “red thread” running through all their other arguments, each book has one central claim: Belief in God causes violence. The obvious corollary to this thesis is almost too absurdly risible to merit formulation, and some authors are just coy (or embarrassed) enough not to say it out loud; but others are bolder and shout it from the rooftops: If only atheism would take hold as the majority view throughout the globe, humans would lose their propensity for violence, lion would nestle beside the lamb, children would regain their long-lost happiness, swords would magically turn into plowshares, churches would empty and the resultant collapse in the market-price for incense would alone reverse global warming. Richard Dawkins, for example, opens his recent book The God Delusion with this hilariously na├»ve depiction of the Eschaton that awaits us if only we would cast off the security blanket of religion...

On the basis of that "truth claim" alone, one could reject any proposal favoring atheism.

Distinctions, distinctions...I will agree with those who postulate that "....the perversion of religion causes violence...." or something like that.

THAT we can prove.

HT: First Things

House of Correction Report: "Yes/No"--Take Your Choice

Just a couple of highlights from the response to the Federal report on the House of Correction in Milwaukee--which may give you an idea of the utter incompetence of the twit who wrote the report.

"P. 65, Para 1: 'There are no emergency policies.'"

"On P. 65, Para. 4, Schwartz acknowledges that we have an emergency plan that is thorough and detailed in many areas."

"P. 63, Para 1: 'There is no fire safety.'"

"On Page 64, para 5, Schwartz acknowledges that there is a fire safety program."

There is also some discussion about the use of K9 units, with Schwartz (the Fed inspector) claiming that use of such units 'calls to mind' Southern racial brutality.

I suppose it's nice that Mr. Schwartz has a job.

The JS 'Proof and Hearsay' site has both reports linked.

Implications of the Walker's Point Murder

Headless thought a bit about the event, and lays out some logic.

There is a long-standing paradigm for armed robbery business transactions in the United States. If the victim hands over his money, wallet and other valuables without a fight or other resistance; the armed robber will not shoot him. This social contract serves both the victim's and the armed robber's interests. The victim escapes with his life for only the small cost of the valuables he carries. For the robber, this agreement helps speed the transaction and minimizes the risk of the victim resisting with deadly force.

The rules must be different where these perpetrators come from. Their rules go something like: the robber takes the money from the cooperative victim, then shoots him dead. If this becomes the norm in the U.S., suddenly we will have no reason to cooperate with the armed robber. Grab for the gun, stall for time, or run for your life, these are all logically preferable options to placidly handing over your cash and waiting to die.

And if, by chance, you have a loaded handgun on your person, blast the assailant before he knows it is coming.

Like in the Old West, a six-gun holstered on your hip provides for a fast draw

The logic is impeccable. If the rules have changed, then we should react accordingly.

That's why the Milwaukee Police Department is screaming "random...isolated" at the top of its collective lungs. The MPD cannot acknowledge that this modus operandi is common (and so far, it is not) for if it does, you can bet your tax rebate that S&W's will be selling like Packer tix for the championship game. Hot, heavy, and at a premium.

But then there's the Kozzie Park incident. Same MO, no fatality.


Monday, January 28, 2008

No Mas---No Vote in Fall

An interesting take from a Chicago guy.

The Republican Party is fast moving towards the nomination of either former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney or Arizona Senator John McCain to represent the party in the presidential election this November.

Neither of these men are fully or reliably pro-life, in the eyes of the many people who place a great deal of importance on issues like abortion, recreational embryo-destructive stem cell research (REDSCR) (I call it "recreational" because there is no scientific reason to do this research, so I can only assume that they do it just for the fun of it), euthanasia, gay "marriage", the defense of the traditional family, and other life and culture-war issues.

And when the GOP nominates a candidate we pro-lifers can't trust, particularly someone like McCain, and most especially if he chooses a running mate with such an actively pro-abortion and pro-gay posture as Joe Lieberman, we won't be showing up to darken in that little circle next to the Republican candidate's name, and those guys who were so enthusiastic about nominating a "war hero" who advocates abortion rights in at least some circumstances...

The response to this development, both before, as they begin to wake up to the danger, as well as after it comes to pass, will be to blame pro-lifers for the election of a Democrat devil as president which my response will be....ahhhhh.....very short and very Anglo-Saxon. The (R) bunch can nominate anyone they wish. But attracting voters? That's another question altogether.

No question that the Radio Boyzzz will be into the "vote (R) no matter what" line shortly. And they will be sorely disappointed.


If you thought Bob Dole got blown out, ...


Well, with the writers on strike, SOMEBODY has to do this for Leno.

Enfield ( London ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

And, as a coup de grace,

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

Stolen from Orthometer.

The Politics of Illegals: Where's VanHollen?

Looks like Brown County's taxpayers are just going to keep paying.

Brown County Supervisor Patrick Evans said state auditors have backed off investigating the county's fraud investigation program because of the politically sensitive issue of illegal immigrants receiving benefits.

"That's the meat of this whole issue," said Evans, chairman of the county's Human Services Committee. "Everybody is completely afraid to touch this because of the political atmosphere. You mention it and all kinds of negative comments come at you."

Evans tried to have the two fraud investigators transferred from the human services department to the sheriff's department after investigators told him illegal immigrants were receiving benefits and management was "turning a blind eye to it."

But there was little support for Evans' proposal from other supervisors, prompting him to contact Michael McKenzie of the Wisconsin Department of Health & Family Services. According to Evans, McKenzie agreed to investigate the program, then backed off.

This is the consequence of Democrat hegemony in both Brown County and the State. There will not be "investigations" of suspected illegal payments, because the Democrat Party's priorities are 1) get re-elected; 2) get re-elected; 3) get re-elected.

Note that "the common good" doesn't make the list.

I mean, do you SERIOUSLY expect Dave Hansen to give a rip?

We await something---ANYTHING---from the State Attorney General on the matter.

Milwaukee's Near South Side Problem

Although a 'random, isolated' murder has captured headlines, the sub-text is more significant: the near South Side (roughly from 1st St west to 6th, and from National Ave. south to Mitchell) has been plagued by a rash of robberies and smash/grab car break-ins over the last 2 weeks.

It's unsettling, to say the least, and the escalation to shooting (one dead in Walker's Point, one wounded in Kozzie Park) with robbery, is serious.

This has included smash/grab car break-ins near a couple of churches, executed on Sunday mornings while the car owners were in church.

It's something that the Milwaukee Police Department should eradicate quickly. The neighborhood's occupants do not deserve this crap; nor do visitors, whether from greater Milwaukee or from South Africa.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

England: Orwell's Home Country for a Reason

You can't make this stuff up.

...henceforth, any terrorism perpetrated by persons of an Islamic persuasion will be designated "anti-Islamic activity." Britain's Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, unveiled the new brand name in a speech a few days ago. "There is nothing Islamic about the wish to terrorize, nothing Islamic about plotting murder, pain and grief," she told her audience. "Indeed, if anything, these actions are anti-Islamic."

"War is Peace."

HT: Gerald

Thanks, Mitt!!

Romney-Care in Massachusetts faces an ugly reality:

According to recent reports, the cost of Massachusetts' health insurance mandate will rise 85 percent, or $400 million, in 2009. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), meanwhile, has been on the presidential campaign trail praising the program he put into place.

According to The Boston Globe, the cost increase is largely due to an increase in the number of people signing up for state-subsidized health insurance. State and federal taxpayers are likely to shoulder the cost increase.

IIRC, I'm a "Federal taxpayer."

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free..P.J. O'Rourke

How D'Ya Like That Schoenberg?

This is a great line:

Twentieth-century [classical] music,” [Kingsley] Amis wrote in 1982, “is like pedophilia. No matter how persuasively and persistently its champions urge their cause, it will never be accepted by the public at large, who will continue to regard it with incomprehension, outrage and repugnance.”

There are a few exceptions...

Just a few.

HT: Taki's Top Drawer

Trouble in City of Madison Courts

Seems like "the right to a trial" will be used a lot more in Madistan.

...the gist is that if individuals knowing they are illegal residents fear being deported, the incentive is to stall for as much time as possible, and that means avoiding all plea deals and maxing out the court process.

Which, of course, will spread to Milwaukee (and other) jurisdictions.

There's some irony to the use of a Constitutional right by non-citizens, of course...

HT: Random10

ATF Loses Bid for Summary Judgment vs Red's

BATF/E has lost its motion for summary judgment against Red's Trading post.

At question in our case is the ATF's definition of the word WILLFUL; they claim that we WILLFULLY committed .4% clerical errors. Another Federal Judge in North Carolina recently questioned the ATF's definition of willful and moved another dealers case to trial as well.

The BAT-bunch has way overstepped rational behavior with their application of "willful" to every single missing jot and tittle (and there were not a lot--four tenths of 1%).

Red's Trading Post attorneys have done good work.

By the way, the Red's case has a lot to do with this:

Supporters of President Bush's pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are renewing efforts to persuade Idaho's Republican senators to drop their opposition.

The nomination of Michael J. Sullivan, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, has been in limbo since mid-December when Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo issued separate "holds," a procedural move that blocks the Senate from considering a nominee. They cited concerns that the ATF has become overly aggressive in enforcing gun laws.

So what's the problem with Sullivan? Check the name of one of his supporters:

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., reiterated his call for Craig and Crapo to back down, saying Sullivan deserved swift Senate confirmation

We're all aware that GWB has lost his grip on a number of issues. This is another example.

HT: Of Arms

Hildebeeste's Conversion


Now she wants to change the rules in the middle of the game.

Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Seating of Delegates at the Democratic National Convention

“I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.

“I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.

“I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.

After FL and MI changed their primary date(s) the DNC ruled that their convention delegates would not be seated. HRC remained on the ballot in MI, winning by default.

Now she wants the delegates.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Belling: How to Manage the News

One of Belling's favorite themes concerns 'news management,' and one of the well-known techniques of 'news management' is to artfully trim stories (or not report them at all.)

So what do I hear from Belling last week, but a quote from Peggy Noonan's article on the disintegration of the Republican Party.

It was familiar, largely because I had quoted it here.

The Belling pull:

Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, "I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Mr. McCain or Mike Huckabee] get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party.

What Belling chose NOT to read:

This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.

And for my money, he ignored the best part of Noonan's thought.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fed Funding for The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (!)

Yah. That's the latest from Davos, where the water does not have radium, but (evidently) has hallucinogenic chemical additives.

Yesterday, Columbia University (yes, that Columbia University, home of the Columbia School of Journalism) President Lee Bollinger announced his support for government subsidies for “Old Media” (H/T - Jon Ham).

If you were wondering about the position of the Columbia School of Journalism’s dean, Nick Lemann, Forbes’ Carl Lavin has that disappointment. The upshot: “Right now the mismatch between the social mission of journalism and the market support for that mission seems to be growing, so I think we should explore other means of support for serious journalism. Per the above, these can be, and generally have been in the US, policy interventions that amount to indirect rather than direct government subsidies. But I’m not against subsidies per se, if we can establish BBC-like safeguards of editorial independence.”

The BEEB and "Editorial Independence" in the SAME SENTENCE??

HT: No Runny Eggs.

Noonan on the Pundits and the Real Problem

Peggy Noonan's right.

On the pundit civil wars, Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, "I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Mr. McCain or Mike Huckabee] get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party. It's going to change it forever, be the end of it!"

This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.

Certainly a better President than Kerry.

But a stinker as a "Republican."

HT: Dreher

"The North Pole Ice-Cap Will Melt"

Al must have lost his presciption.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Ordaining Homosexuals to the Priesthood

Some observations from a well-known writer on the topic:

“Van den Aardweg asks the question: ”why are so many protestant and catholic homosexuals, male and female alike, interested in theology, and why do they not infrequently want to be ministers or priests?” he says that part of the answer lies in their infantile need for sympathy and contact. and i quote: ”they view church professions as soft and sentimentally ‘caring’ and imagine themselves in them as being honored and revered, elevated above common human beings. they see the Church as a noncompetitive, friendly world where they may enjoy high status and be protected at the same time. for male homosexuals, there is the additional incentive of a rather closed men’s community where they need not prove themselves as men;

…. and in the catholic and russian orthodox churches, there is the attraction of the garments and the aesthetic rituals, which male homosexuals may, in their childish perception, experience as feminine and which enable a narcissistic showing off, comparable to the exhibitionist joys of homosexual ballet dancers …. These interests stem for the most part, then, from an infantile, self-centered imagination and have precious little to do with the objective contents of Christian belief. What some homosexuals thus see as their ‘calling’ to the priesthood is an attraction to an emotionally rewarding, but self-centered, way of life. these are self-imagined and ‘false’ vocations.”

(Typos in original...)

Rick Majerus: Stupider and Stupider, UPDATED

If he weren't such a nice guy, he could be written off as ....irrelevant. Here are excerpts from an interview, with 'editorial' inserts from ProEcclesia:

"I'm very respectful to the archbishop," Majerus said. "But I rely on my value judgments [ED.: The Church of I and Me], thanks to my education at Marquette, which is a Jesuit institution, just like St. Louis. [ED.: Another ringing endorsement of Jesuit education.] And that Jesuit education led me to believe that I can make a value judgment. And my value judgment happens to differ from the archbishop's.

"I do not speak for the university or the Catholic Church. These are my personal views. And I'm not letting him change my mind. I think religion should be inclusive. I would hope that all people would feel welcome inside a church, and that the church would serve to bring people together, even if they happen to disagree on certain things." [ED.: Oh, what a lovely sentiment. Too bad that mean old Archbishop is set on being so divisive over such a trivial matter as the death of innocents. Can't we all just get along?]

The conclusion is obvious:

..if Burke is expecting an apology or silence from Majerus, it won't happen. If Burke hopes Majerus will fall in line with the Roman Catholic church's official positions on these two issues, it won't happen.

Barring a last-minute conversion, there are OTHER things that 'won't happen' for Rick. Let's continue those prayers...

UPDATE: Ed Peters, (SLU '79) has a warning for Ricky.

Majerus' claim that the "First Amendment right to free speech supersedes anything that the archbishop would order me to do" rated (sorry, I couldn't help it) an 8.5 on the laugh-out-loud scale. SLU's basketball coach should walk across the quad to SLU's law school and ask any second year student to explain the notion of "state action" before he asserts any more grandiloquently wrong theories about the law of Church and state

...Moreover, Majerus had better not provoke Abp. Burke into ordering him by penal precept (1983 CIC 1319) to retract his public support for experimenting on and killing pre-born human beings. Should Majerus receive and refuse such a precept, sanctions up to and including formal excommunication are possible against the St. Louis University official.

For that matter, Abp. Burke doesn't even need to resort to a penal precept if he doesn't want to, because Majerus' public advocacy of gravely immoral behavior and his use of the press to reiterate his horrible views have already placed him at risk for sanctions under 1983 CIC 1369.

The clock's running, Rick....

Tell Us Again About "Free Trade"

Stephen Roach, chief economist for Morgan Stanley:

In theory, Roach said, wages increase with productivity growth and all economies have a comparative advantage in the production of something. But real wage stagnation in some of the richest economies and increasing fears that China and India combined will eventually be able to make just about everything the West can, only cheaper, were turning that theory on its head, he said.

Weekly earnings for full-time American workers in the second quarter last year were unchanged from their 2000 levels - even though productivity grew by 18 percent in the same period

Yah, THAT worked out well....

HT: Dreher

Crawling Back to "Income Averaging"?

The "tax rebate" package is shaping up. Business stuff:

The business tax portion would give businesses incentives to invest in plants and equipment, give small businesses more generous expensing rules, and allow businesses suffering losses now to reclaim taxes previously paid.

At one time, the IRS Code allowed "income averaging," which was VERY useful to businesses which had "high year"/"low year" cycles. The method facilitated paying taxes (because in a "high year" the cash was there) and recognized that in a "low year" that cash was very hard to get.

Looks like the Congress may be sliding back towards that eminently sensible tax policy.

Lies, and More Lies: Pro-Abort Berceau

Rick Esenberg points out that Rep. Berceau, a rabid pro-abortion (babykilling) Dem., is lying about State laws.

A Berceau quote then talks about people wanting to throw women in jail for having an abortion. The clear message is that we have to repeal 940.04 because, if we don't and Roe is overturned, women who have abortions will be prosecuted and sent to jail.

But, as I have pointed out, state statutes now bar criminal penalties for women seeking abortion. If Roe is overturned, sec. 940.04 could not be used to prosecute them.

Her lie was picked up by OneWisconsinNow, a Lefty bunch--and is mentioned on a local blogpost.

There's an old saying that 'lies and murder are bedfellows.' Some old sayings are 100% accurate.

Religious Objections? Right to Life? Drop Dead

That's the message from the following "Republicans" who voted for AB377, which would require ALL hospitals in Wisconsin (and, indirectly, their nursing/medical staff) to administer "emergency contraception"--read: abortifacients-- to rape victims.


I'm sure these jerks think that they have the right to life and religious objections which they've just denied to others.

The Party In Gummint Rolls On...

The Party In Gummint (PIG Party) will continue its self-preservation (at your expense, of course.)

Novak's glum report:

When House Republicans convene behind closed doors today at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., they have a chance to make two bold moves to restore their reputation for fiscal responsibility. First, they could declare a one-year moratorium on Republican congressional earmarks. Second, they could name earmark reformer Rep. Jeff Flake to a vacancy on the House Appropriations Committee. In fact, they almost surely will do neither.

Instead, during the retreat Republicans are likely to adopt some limitation on earmarks that will have no public impact and will exert no pressure on the earmark-happy Democratic majority. Consideration of Flake's candidacy for Appropriations was postponed until after this week's earmark debate at the Greenbrier. But, content with a half-measure on earmarks, the House Republicans are unlikely to place Flake, an insistent reformer, in the midst of the pork-dispensing appropriators.

Looks like the PIG bunch needs to become smaller, again.

And they will.

HT: The Captain.

Levin on Brooks

Yah--the David Brooks who would re-write 'conservatism' to Brooks' own specifications.

Brooks wants to redefine conservatism, but he's not going to. He has written about a McCain-Lieberman Third Party ticket for a few years now, asserting that the war in Iraq would be the overriding issue for years to come (I understand the economy and illegal immigration have become the overriding issues for many voters, but this changes). His position doesn't stray much from the neo-conservative position, in which foreign policy rules supreme, and limited government is of little concern.

The most succinct definition of "Neo-Con" I've seen in a long time--and accurate.

Neil Palmer: Drinking Funny Water?

The Village of Elm Grove should check its water-source east of 132nd street. Their President, Neil Palmer, may be ingesting odd stuff.

Palmer said he agreed with Murphy's comments about transit and would support light rail to his community "in a heartbeat," adding, "the way this region operates in terms of regional transit is absolute lunacy."


Let's build a light-rail line right down the middle of Juneau Blvd., and run another one north and south down Highland Blvd. We could use the Elm Grove Village Hall as one train-station, and the Western Raquet Club as another.

THAT works!

"Save Money" on Health Insurance?

So DarthDoyle tells us that health-insurance costs are a problem. Check.

And that large-group purchasing power is a solution. Check.

And that he'll put together a large group-purchasing alliance to help out. Check.

THEN he says that it will only cost $100 MILLION in taxes to "reduce costs."


...Doyle also proposed a "one-stop shop" of health insurance options where small businesses - those with 50 or fewer employees - and people not covered under group plans could pool their purchasing power and lower the cost of buying coverage.

That plan could include a subsidy of up to $100 million a year in the next budget cycle, which starts in 2009.

That's a lot of "free" tamales, Darth.

200,000++ March Pro-Life spoke with John Alger, the Convention Director of the March for Life about the attendance at this year's march. "The largest estimate to date was 225,000," said Alger. "But we think this was at least as big as the largest if not larger, it was just an overwhelming turnout.
The '60's are over, folks.

Doyle Goes All Hillary

Dressed like a Governor of Wisconsin, DarthDoyle speaks like a Bush Derangement Syndrome carrier:

Today, we are reaping the consequences of Washington’s failures. States across the country -- from Florida to California, Minnesota to Arizona -- all are facing budget deficits.


Here's another good one:

In Wisconsin we used conservative estimates from the Fiscal Bureau to develop our budget,...

So now it's "conservative" to increase spending at twice the rate of anticipated tax revenues (6% v. 3%)??

And here, Darth lists his ideal States:

I’m telling ya, if Ireland [who cares?] and California [fruits and nuts] and New York [yah, we wanna be like New York!] and Illinois [and like them, too!!] and Minnesota [Oley's my hero] can do it, Wisconsin can do it, and it is time to do what’s right and make all workplaces completely smoke free

Actually, if THOSE are DarthDoyle's guiding lights, then it's worse than anyone imagined.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Recession? Not If You're an H1-B User

Not only is "Compete America" looking for 300,000 extra H1-B's in the next few months--they're willing to lie like Hell about how they came up with that number.

First question: if the country is going into recession, what's the "need" for 300,000 extra workers?

Next question: will Congress swallow this pack of lies?

The H-1B 'backlog' of 300,000 is calculated by taking the difference between the yearly cap on H-1Bs and the number of non-exempt visas that are issued. The numbers are erroneous and here is why -- visas issued is not the same as H-1B petitions approved. Compete America and other H-1B advocates purposefully mislead the public by omitting the number of exempt visas issued, which is a significant error.

According to the table on the Heritage website, in 2003 the numbers were as follows:

new visas issued 78,000
yearly cap 195,000
difference -117,000

Those numbers imply that 117,000 less H-1Bs were issued than allowed by the cap, so Compete America argues that those visas should be reissued. Total all of these up since 1992 and you get a 310,100 visa difference. It all sounds compelling,...

(The author now cites files)

The stats on the Heritage page are deceptive because they don't include the total number of H-1B petitions approved. In order to take some of the lies out of the statistics, let's correct them to accurately reflect the number of H-1B petitions approved:

H-1B petitions 217,340
cap 195,000
difference +22,340

(Source: JobDestruction website/newsletter.)

Look, folks. The CEO of Capital One is cutting back on auto loans and tightening up on credit-card issuances, based on increasingly rotten experience in each of these areas. The Philly Fed shows a new graphic that demonstrates a rapidly-softening economy. Bush and the Dems are working on "giveaway" plans, and the Fed went into panic mode on Tuesday.

So we need 300,000 new H1-B's...for what...again?

Another Little Lie from the Liturgical Revolutionaries

We were all told, without hesitation or doubt, that "the early Christians" did this, did that, did the other thing--and most certainly, the Mass was celebrated "versus populum," that is, the priest was facing the people. That's the way by which the spoonful of ....cod liver oil....was shoved down the throats of the laity.


These twits, the Bugnini-ites, just made it up, (as was the case with "ordained" female deacons in the early Church. It was made up from whole cloth...)

What in the early Church and during the Middle Ages determined the position of the altar was that it faced East. To quote St. Augustine: "When we rise to pray, we turn East, where heaven begins. And we do this not because God is there, as if He had moved away from the other directions on earth..., but rather to help us remember to turn our mind towards a higher order, that is, to God." This quotation shows that the Christians of those early days, after listening to the homily, would rise for the prayer which followed, and turn towards the East

...the liturgy was celebrated from behind the altar in order to face East when offering the Sacrifice. But this did not represent, as might be implied, a celebration versus populum, since the faithful were facing East in prayer as well. Thus, even in the basilicas just described, the celebration of the Eucharist did not entail the priest and the faithful facing one another. During Mass, the faithful, men separated from women, were assembled in the two side naves, with curtains normally hanging between the columns. The center nave was used for the solemn entrance procession of the celebrant and his assistants to the altar, and the choir was situated there as well. Even if we take the hypothetical case that the early Christians in the old Roman basilicas did not face the entrance—that is, the East—during the Offertory prayer—i.e., that they really faced the altar—this still would not have meant that the priest and the faithful faced one another, because during the Eucharistic Prayer the altar was hidden behind curtains. (...)

Here Gamber tells us why a statue of Martin Luther was placed in Rembert Weakland's Milwaukee Seminary:

The idea that the priest is to face the people during Mass has its origins with Martin Luther, in his little book, The German Mass and Order of Worship (1526).

Of course, that seminary has been forcefully divorced from the property-roster of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.


HT: Rorate Coeli

And the Good News?

Here's the bad news:

In reality, the crisis is both a credit crunch and the bursting of the housing bubble. Wall Street is in terrible shape and Main Street is about to be in terrible shape. And there's not a whole lot that can be done about either of these problems -- because they are the results of years of lax credit standards, get-rich-quick schemes, wild speculation on Wall Street and in the housing market, and gross irresponsibility by the Fed, the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency

Other than that, things are just dandy.

But in a somewhat nasty analogy, the author derides the "rate-cut" scheme:

The problem is, people have different views about what's going wrong. Wall Street sees it as a credit crisis -- a mess that seems never to reach bottom because nobody on Wall Street has any idea how many bad loans are out there. Therefore, nobody knows how big the losses are likely to be when the bottom is finally reached. And precisely because nobody knows, nobody wants to lend any more money. A rate cut won't change this. It's like offering a 10-pound lobster to someone so constipated he can't take in another mouthful.

The discount and Fed Funds rates are insignificant--totally meaningless--to ARM borrowers, and to most typical-mortgage holders. And they are almost meaningless to ordinary consumer and/or business borrowers.

They ARE meaningful to stock-owners; typically, when rates go down, equities rise. Maybe that will be the result this time.

Maybe not.

And sending $1500/taxpaying couple out in July? What for??

It's eye candy which saddles our children with Federal debt.

What a bunch of losers...

HT: Dreher

Doyle's Thieving Causes BIG Problems

You recall that DarthDoyle (and a majority of our Leggies) conspired to steal $200 million from the Patient's Compensation Fund in order to paste a smiley face over their bloated, spend-a-holic budget. And if you believed that "it's all OK now," you'd also believe a hooker who tells you she doesn't have VD.

I use that analogy deliberately.

It took all of one business day for the state 's $200 million transfer from a medical malpractice fund to go haywire.

And the situation could become markedly worse.

One business day after Doyle signed the state budget, the state grabbed an initial $71.5 million from the Patients Compensation Fund, plunging it into financial trouble.

The medical malpractice fund didn't have nearly enough cash to offset the raid. Most of its assets were tied up in investments such as stocks and bonds. To get by, the medical malpractice fund had to borrow money from other state accounts at an undisclosed interest rate.

In other words, one state fund was borrowing from other state funds to cover expenses it was never supposed to have in the first place. It's an unsustainable shell game.

"...when one first practices to deceive...."

HT: Random10

McPain is NOT the Answer

Fred bailed, after reminding us what principles actually are.

Now McPain?

Not for me.

John McCain has spent this whole day, this whole year, these whole last six years, trying to "fix it," trying to square the circle: that is, trying to make the maverick, freethinking impulses that first made him into a political star somehow compatible with the suck-it-up adherence to the orthodoxies required of a Republican presidential front-runner. McCain opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, but supports a ballot measure that would do just that in his home state of Arizona. (It would fail in the midterm elections.) His short-term reward for the Hardball bunt on gay marriage? Boos from the audience and a headline on the Drudge Report, the right wing's favorite screechy early-warning system, reading, mccain: gay marriage should be allowed? McCain needs to square that circle, and the hell of it is, he just can't.

Just a sample.

HT: Malkin

The Picture You Didn't See in the MSM

This pic has been on/off/on/off Yahoo News' site, so we'll make sure it's around for a while.

That's the pro-life demonstration in DC which is not worth coverage, of course.
HT: Malkin

There's A Reason I Stopped Reading This ....

The Anchoress. Not worth the time, and a loudmouth, besides.

Jackass Chicago Lawyer to Leave the Country

The scumbag lawyer who keyed a Marine's car in Chicago showed up in court yesterday.

Grodner was late to court for the second time in the case. Grodner called Assistant State's Attorney Patrick Kelly, (Marine Corps/Vietnam 1969-1972), informing Kelly that he would be late to court.

"I don't run my courtroom that way!" responded Judge William O'Malley, ordering Grodner be arrested and held on $20,000 bail when he arrived. Finally, Grodner strolled in. A short man, wide, wearing a black fedora, dark glasses, a divorce lawyer dressed like some tough guy in the movies.

Judge O'Malley...was a police officer on the West Side during the riots before law school. And before that, he performed another public service. Judge O'Malley served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1961-1964.


Grodner told me he'd describe himself as a "radical liberal" who's ready to leave Chicago now with all this negative publicity and move to the south of France and do some traveling

Save yourself a few bucks, Grodner. Make it a one-way ticket.

HT: ClayCramer

We Second K-Lo's Emotion

From Kathryn Lopez' column in NRO:

"...he just gets it. He cares about his country and he cares about common sense. The good conservative sense Thompson articulated certainly resonated — the blogosphere got enthused for a possible presidential run."

You believed him when he said Saturday night, “It’s never been about me. It’s never even been about you. It’s been about our country and about the future of our country ….

Whoever winds up the Republican nominee for president this year, he’d be doing his country a service if he read Fred’s pre-caucus message to Iowa voters that Thompson posted on his website. In it he listed “the fundamental, conservative principles that have unified us for over two centuries.”

-First, the role of the federal government is limited to the powers given to it in the Constitution

-Second, a dollar belongs in the pocket of the person who earns it, unless the government has a compelling reason why it can use it better

-Third, we don't spend money we don't have, or borrow money that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back

-And the best way to avoid war is to be stronger than our enemies. But if we’re caught in a fight, we need to win it because not doing so makes us much more likely to be attacked in the future

-Also the federal judiciary is supposed to decide cases, not set social policy — and bad social policy at that

-And the bigger the government gets, the less competent it is to run our lives.

K-Lo ends this way:

Thank God for Fred Thompson. May he inspire more to serve. And may he encourage us to rethink our may-the-man-with-the-best-soundbites-win electoral process.

She's right, you know.

Elmbrook's Second Down Play

After a review, the Elmbrook School Board decided to try for a pass into the flat instead of a long touchdown.

With 10 weeks before the April 1 election, the Elmbrook School Board voted unanimously Tuesday to seek voter referendum approval for $62.2 million to renovate and expand Brookfield Central and East high schools.

That is a reduction of $46.6 million from the $108.8 million referendum package that failed in April, which also included remodeling and much larger expansion.

The new construction proposed would be athletic facilities at both schools, which would free up existing gym space to be converted for other academic purposes.

Elmbrook taxpayers can (and should) thank this guy:

Jerry Theder

....who led a 7-member task force which determined that the initial plan was simply too much.

Majerus' Stupid Remarks

Rick Majerus, a graduate of Marquette High and Marquette U., became another CINO over the weekend, to the disappointment of the Bishop of St. Louis, where Majerus' mouth was moving.

The Catholic basketball coach for the Catholic St. Louis University looked into the TV camera at the Clinton rally last weekend and said, "I'm pro-choice, personally."

A CLINTON rally? Yah. Recall that Majerus' father was the local UAW honcho for years.

That's when the Roman Catholic coach ran smack into the Roman Catholic archbishop.

On Tuesday, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke said St. Louis University should discipline Majerus for comments he made at the rally. Burke also told the Post-Dispatch that he would deny Majerus holy Communion if the coach did not change his positions on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.

"I'm very much an advocate for stem cell research," Majerus told KMOV-TV at the Saturday rally at McCluer North High School.

Referring to Majerus' statements, Burke said before the rally Tuesday that it was "not possible to be a Catholic and hold those positions."

Abp Burke explained his objections very clearly, which confused the Intellectualoids on the SLU campus, of course:

"I'm confident (SLU) will deal with the question of a public representative making declarations that are inconsistent with the Catholic faith," Burke said. "When you take a position in a Catholic university, you don't have to embrace everything the Catholic church teaches. But you can't make statements which call into question that identity and mission of the Catholic church."

To which Majerus could respond "Why not? Dan Maguire does it all the time!!!"

So long as you measure life by a 40-minute clock, Rick, no problem. But if you take a longer view (you know, eschatological), you might just change your position.

That's what the Archbishop of St Louis wants you to do. Take a long view and change. "Do metanoia", Rick.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Universal Health?"

Not yet published in the newspapers:

Eighty-one percent of Americans believe that in order to help reach the goal of health insurance for all, employers should either provide health insurance to their workers or contribute to the cost of their coverage, according to survey data released by The Commonwealth Fund.

(CCH News)

Looks to me that if you want insurance, you'd damn well better be working someplace.

New TV Show!

The Jester previews a new TV Show.

"Survivor: Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska"

In this show progressive Catholics are isolated in Bishop Bruskewitz's diocese and must go without internet connectivity and their subscription to National Catholic Reporter and other of their favorite magazines and newspapers. Each week tune in to see whether contestants can survive Masses celebrated totally in accordance to the GIRM and with exactly zero creative liturgical changes. In one grueling episode the contestants visit a seminary busting to the seams with seminarians who share the same knee-jerk "obedience" to the church as their Bishop does. A seminary full of young-fogeys is a difficult prospect to face. If you are a progressive Catholic who thinks they have what it takes for "Survivor: Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska" then please attend our tryouts. But it certainly is not for the faint of heart

He has others, too, at the link. Good stuff!

The Fallacy of Social Darwinism

"Evolution," as a scientific theory, maybe. As a philosophy, or sociology?

G K Chesterton has the answer.

DARWINISM can be used to back up two mad moralities, but it cannot be used to back up a single sane one. The kinship and competition of all living creatures can be used as a reason for being insanely cruel or insanely sentimental; but not for a healthy love of animals. On the evolutionary basis you may be inhumane, or you may be absurdly humane; but you cannot be human. That you and a tiger are one may be a reason for being tender to a tiger. Or it may be a reason for being as cruel as the tiger. It is one way to train the tiger to imitate you; it is a shorter way to imitate the tiger. But in neither case does evolution tell you how to treat a tiger reasonably -- that is, to admire his stripes while avoiding his claws. If you want to treat a tiger reasonably, you must go back to the garden of Eden. --Orthodoxy

How Cold WAS It?

No, not in Green Bay at The Game.

In West Texas, the LawDog went hunting and the temperature dropped (same cold front, different latitude...)

That four A.M. call of nature? After staggering outside, I unzipped and rooted through an insulated set of coveralls, past the hunting pants, into my jeans and my Fruit-of-the-Looms -- only to find a tiny little note reading: "Sod this. Sod you. Gone home."

That, my friends, is cold.

Fed Cuts: Effects Include...

As asked by The Big Picture:

The free lunch crowd (a/k/a Long & Wrong) has been chanting for Fed cuts. However, these are not with0out consequences, as Inflation remains a pernicious threat.

Here’s a question: What goes to $5 a gallon first – Milk or Gasoline?

As SOME people learned during the reign of Volcker, higher rates make the USD strong. Low rates do the opposite.

So hard commodities like copper, steel, petroleum, and gold are going to take off in price.

By the way, for those of you who don't know: the Fed's cut is in interest rates paid BY BANKS to the Fed to borrow money from the Fed--or to borrow money from other Banks (if they will lend it.)

It ain't for youse louts.

Socialized Medicine + A Nut = More Cost

You can't make this up.

A family doctor has been summoned to a formal hearing over his refusal to put a 34-year-old male patient on the list for screening for cervical cancer.

...The man, who has fathered a child, believes he is a hermaphrodite although his doctors have examined him and can find no evidence for this.

...He has since requested full DNA testing and full blood toxicology screening, although he will not give his doctor a reason or describe symptoms to justify the tests.

Why not? After all, it's "free" medicine in England.

HT: Moonbattery

The Professor's Equipment

I know that being a college prof requires a certain amount of books and equipment.

So this guy who teaches at Columbia U. has a bunch of stuff:

A 9-mm. handgun, two ammunition magazines, a 12-gauge shotgun, silencers, a bulletproof vest, a crossbow and bomb-making equipment, including a drill and threading machine that could be used to make pipe bombs, were also recovered, cops said.

Not to mention the half-dozen completely assembled pipe bombs...

So what does this nutcase teach?

Clatts is a medical anthropologist with a specialty in epidemiology - the spread of disease among large populations.

He is an associate professor in Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and holds a Ph.D. from the Ivy League school.

Perhaps "disease-tracking" is more dangerous than we thought?

Or perhaps the Perfesser is actually a terrorist.

More Hizbollah, Less Security

From Counterterrorism Blog:

I certainly agree with Doug Farah that "the Iran-Venezuela-Nicaragua nexus, built on a foundation of already-existing Hezbollah and Hamas operatives who have been economically active in the region for decades," could be disastrous for the security of the Western Hemisphere in the near future.

The author does not expect a hit on the Panama Canal. But he leaves us with this:

Counter-terrorism planners quantify the risk to hemispheric targets and prioritize them in the development and deployment of precious and expensive military and non-military assets. Perhaps one reason for the lack of a major Hezbollah attack in the hemisphere since 1994 is because the cost of that attack to the Iran-Hezbollah nexus far exceeded the benefit. We can think about the actual security risks to the hemisphere as least as intelligently as the terrorists.

It would take...what?....10 minutes to run the First MEF through Nicaragua.

GWB: Another Kick in the Pants of Conservatives

Actually, his departure won't be terrible.

The Bush administration will probably not issue an executive order canceling the 9,000 earmarks in the omnibus spending bill, the New York Times reports, as the White House does not want to have a war with Congress in 2008.

OK, George. Why don't you just leave now? We'd like an actual President, not a doormat.

HT: Captain's Quarters

Virtual Education--What the Newspapers Didn't Tell You

Bill Kramer, subbing for Owen, mentions an interesting factoid which was not mentioned in coverage of the WIVA (Virtual Academy) case:

The case was filed by WEAC in 2004 and in March, 2006, the circuit court ruled in favor of the virtual charter schools. As the opinion was pending, the legislature sought to address the statutory issues raised in the case by passing AB 1060. Doyle, siding with the teacher’s union, vetoed the bill. With a legislative remedy safely quashed, ...

And the rest is history.

Kramer happens to agree with the Appeals Court's decision.

As a conservative, I appreciate the careful reading of the law that the court used in delivering its opinion

And he quotes the decision:

However, as the law presently stands, the charter school, open-enrollment, and teacher certification statutes are clear and unambiguous, and the District is not in compliance with any of them.”

As to a legislative remedy, only one proposal actually meets the needs of WIVA (as presently constituted), and you don't have to think hard to figure out which Party introduced THAT remedy.

Assembly Republicans have introduced a bill that addresses the three issues at the heart of the court decision: 1. The bill would clarify the meaning of the location of a charter school, allowing teachers using the internet to teach – even if they are not physically teaching from the school district. 2. The bill also permits students to use the open enrollment program to enroll in a virtual charter school in another school district. 3. And finally, the bill makes it clear that a teacher means a paid faculty member of the charter school.

You can expect DarthDoyle to veto it, should it actually get to his desk.

After all, he has a black-hole deficit to worry about (see below.) Actually educating children ain't part of that problem...

Over-Spending the Income


Preliminary state Department of Revenue totals show the personal and corporate income tax and the sales tax brought in $5.13 billion from July through December, an increase of only 0.8% over the same period in 2006--falling far short of the 3% assumed growth needed to cover state expenditures this year.

Every unexpected 1% drop in collections from those taxes means state government will have $120 million less a year to spend.

The two-year budget that Doyle and legislators agreed to in October included a 6% spending increase, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

A certain blogger/friend of mine will testify that I've been very curious about the State's sales-tax revenue numbers over the last few months. No wonder that 'nobody could find the numbers'...

Now he knows WHY I was curious.

What's DarthDoyle's plan?

"When the economy slows like this, it's going to be a real challenge. We're going to be in a difficult time, and we're going to ask people to make sacrifices, and do without some things and put some things off that we want to get done."

Don't you love that indefinite "people" in that sentence?

WHICH "people" Jimbo? The taxpaying "people," or the tax-receiving "people"?

These sentences may be a clue:

One budgeting method, the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, puts Wisconsin's latest deficit at $2.44 billion - a $300 million increase in a year.

Wisconsin state officials don't use that accounting method because it would consider promises of future state aid to local governments as a draw against current tax collections.

...meaning that those promises are the easiest to break, of course.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Planning the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Perhaps this post is prelude to the one immediately below; perhaps it's postlude.

Terry has the acute analysis here. A sample:

This is the first of a four-part series by the Vicar of Planning of our Archdiocese of Milwaukee on what he sees for the future

First topic, presumably randomly, is "Importance of the Celebration of Mass." He implies the drop in Mass attendance is due to the decline in the number of priests. That's clearly contrary to fact ...

Yah, well, another great beginning...

Echoes: Milwaukee Priest's Article Reviewed

Fr. Paul Stanosz, a Milwaukee priest, wrote an article which appeared in Commonweal (it's a Lefty rag, folks, with 'Catholic' noises.)

Dr. Jeff Mirus comments about it here.

...“The Other Health Crisis” begins by documenting the problems afflicting the author’s own archdiocese, along with the impact of these problems on priestly morale, emotional stability and physical health.

...The argument runs like this: Catholicism has been adversely affected by the larger social trends characteristic of the vast cultural shift in America beginning in the 1960’s. There has been a general trend toward secularization, a declining interest in religion, reduced rates of Church attendance, and a failure to learn the basis of traditional beliefs and values—all large cultural factors which the Church cannot be said to have caused, but with which her ministers must daily attempt to cope. The author is surely correct to note this larger cultural aspect of our religious problems, and he is also correct to observe that, starting in the 1960’s, Catholics took advantage of their rapidly expanding opportunities to enter the mainstream, often at the cost of their spiritual identity. [Thus the appellation "CINO", Catholic In Name Only. See Ted Kennedy, e.g.]

But by “Catholics” in this context, the article seems to mean only the laity, and entirely on their own. In fact bishops and priests, who should have known better, also often rushed into the mainstream at the cost of their Catholic identity, shepherding many others to do the same. And what is curious about Fr. Stanosz’ analysis is not its identification of these large cultural factors, but its failure to envision any possible alternative response on the part of the Church. For Stanosz both implicitly and explicitly assumes that there is nothing the Church could have done to deal more effectively with the cultural crisis, and that there is nothing the Church can possibly do now to make things any better

...My point is not to damn the author’s outrageous prose with faint praise. [You'll have to read the whole article to see what 'outrageous prose' really means--but trust me, the adjective is well-used.] Rather, I wish to note his deep conviction that there is quite simply nothing to be done. After all, he has already written off the following: an undiluted presentation of the Faith, a proper implementation of the vision of the Second Vatican Council, insistence on strong and competent bishops, and any sort of deep opposition to secularization in general and the culture of death in particular [Search Dad29 for the term "yoo-hoo" to see what that last phrase really means, folks. The first one is fairly expository; the other Parts are addenda.]

...a proper spirituality includes the important understanding that the economy of salvation is more complex than we ourselves can ever imagine. Sometimes one person sows—and sows very well indeed—but it is still another who reaps. On the human level, this is disappointing [yup]

...But even so, they must remain confident that through conformity with Christ their lives will bear great fruit. What ultimately matters is not measurable results but conformity with Christ.

This is wisdom indeed, but Fr. Stanosz is instead writing for a bastion of dissidence called Commonweal, and he in fact concludes that there is nothing to be done. I said at the outset that this article was fascinating precisely because it reveals more than it intends

...What is really going on here is the working out to its inevitable conclusion of a bankrupt but widespread mindset which we might justly call the Milwaukee mindset, because it is so well symbolized by the story of the church in Milwaukee. But this is really just another name for the false spirit of Vatican II. What I mean will become clear as we examine an important thread that runs throughout “The Other Health Crisis”.

The beginning of the thread is the author’s observation, in describing the current failure of priestly morale, that there is a growing polarization between recently-ordained and long-time priests, “what some call JPII priests and Vatican II priests, respectively.” Now every active Catholic who has lived above ground for the past generation knows that
these two terms are codes. John Paul II waged a long and uphill battle to reclaim the true meaning of the Second Vatican Council from those who used the so-called “spirit of Vatican II” as an excuse for deliberately fostering within the Church precisely what Fr. Stanosz describes as an insurmountable external cultural and social trend: The dilution of the spirit of Catholicism to accommodate the spirit of the times.

And here Mirus gets to the nut of the matter:

Thus, for a “Vatican II” priest like Fr. Stanosz, the term “JP II priest” is code for a priest who is a throwback to the pre-conciliar age, a cultural misfit who rejects the “spirit” of Vatican II which must necessarily guide our lives, and a deeply flawed man who cannot possibly relate positively to anybody. But the real decoded difference between a “Vatican II” priest and a “John Paul II” priest is actually the difference between those who have never taken the letter of Vatican II to heart and those who have. Instead of mining the Council documents for the serious spiritual challenge they proposed, the so-called Vatican II priest too often served the spirit of the age under the Council’s name. This provided an exhilarating opportunity to profess Christ without being flushed out of the mainstream and to put faith in programs and processes instead of spiritual growth and holiness, or, putting it more simply, to attempt to have one’s cake and eat it too. In contrast, the so-called John Paul II priest has followed the vicar of Christ in seeking to implement what the Council actually said, which was centered not on the transformation of Christ to suit the self and the world, but on the transformation of both the self and the world to suit Christ.

Do you think I am too quick to judge? Consider how consistent the “coded” language is throughout. The author begins with the same psychological canards (also code phrases) which have been used frequently during the post-Conciliar period to force men of traditional Catholic spirituality out of our seminaries. Noting the recent influx of “JP II” priests, he immediately asserts that simply ordaining more priests will not solve the problem. Here’s why:

"Bishops in recent years have been too quick to fill seminaries with fervent men who may or may not have genuine vocations. As a result, our seminaries now house a new breed of unsuitable candidates, men with poor relational and leadership skills. Ordained into a U.S. church that is losing its vitality, these men often seek to turn back the clock by embracing disciplines and devotional practices that flourished in the middle of the last century."

A strong vertical spirituality is a confirmed horizontalist's nightmare, and so it is invariably dismissed in Modernist psycho-babble as indicating “poor relational and leadership skills.”

Here in Milwaukee we know all about psycho-babble. It's cost us about $10 million or so.

Back to the rubber meeting the road:

What are we to make of an article which, in the process of concluding that there is nothing to be done, displays such an animus against precisely those spiritual solutions which have ever been at the heart of a vibrant Catholicism? What does it all mean? That’s the question which makes the article so fascinating, the question to which it is critical to understand the answer. For what it all means is that the Milwaukee mindset is so far gone in its sins that the only way open is despair. The so-called spirit of Vatican II which has wielded such a terrible power for the past forty years was nothing more than a euphoric baptism of secular utopianism. After such a long and continuous demonstration of its bankruptcy, many of its proponents have prudently stopped calling for more of the same. One might now hope for self-understanding, repentance and true renewal. But if our Commonweal article is any guide—and I believe it is—what we are witnessing instead is the only result consistent with a lack of repentance, that is, despair.

There's plenty more at the link, and it's right on.

Oremus pro presbyteres nostros.