Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Minstrel Boy

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Something for the weekend.  The Minstrel Boy.  The patriotic Irish song was written by Thomas Moore in honor of his friends killed in the Irish rising of 1798.  The video above is from the incredibly good movie Rough Riders, with some of the Rough Riders singing the song before charging up Kettle Hill on July 1, 1898.

The song is sung just after the death of Captain Bucky O’Neill who, the son of Irish immigrants, had made The Minstrel Boy the song of his company.

Theodore Roosevelt describes the death of O’Neill:

“The most serious loss that I and the regiment could have suffered befell just before we charged. O’Neill was strolling up and down in front of his men, smoking his cigarette, for he was inveterately addicted to the habit. He had a theory that an officer ought never to take cover – a theory which was, of course, wrong, though in a volunteer organization the officers should certainly expose themselves very fully, simply for the effect on the men; our regimental toast on the transport running, ‘The officers; may the war last until each is killed, wounded, or promoted.’ As O’Neill moved to and fro, his men begged him to lie down, and one of the sergeants said, ‘Captain, a bullet is sure to hit you.’ O’Neill took his cigarette out of his mouth, and blowing out a cloud of smoke laughed and said, ‘Sergeant, the Spanish bullet isn’t made that will kill me.’ A little later he discussed for a moment with one of the regular officers the direction from which the Spanish fire was coming. As he turned on his heel a bullet struck him in the mouth and came out at the back of his head; so that even before he fell his wild and gallant soul had gone out into the darkness.”

Bucky O’Neill is portrayed in the film by Sam Elliot who gives his usual fine perormance. Continue reading

A Dead Horse and All That…

I shouldn’t have, but I did.

Today I read Fr. Richard McBrien’s article on Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the new head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops. As the prefect for this congregation Cardinal Ouellet will play a crucial role in the appointment of the Church’s bishops in the years to come.

In his article McBrien makes the following observation:

When commenting on the greatest crisis to confront the Catholic Church since the Reformation of the 16th century, Ouellet seemed to blame the scandal of sexual abuse in the priesthood on the weakening of moral standards in society — a common explanation given by those who are reluctant to address the internal problems of the church, including obligatory clerical celibacy, the role of women, and the declining quality of pastoral leadership.

While there might be some who see the clergy sex scandal as the greatest crisis for the Church since the Reformation, I am certainly not one of them. But what I found completely absurd — again, I should’ve avoided the article to begin with, because it was to be expected — was McBrien’s reference to the role of women in this context. How, exactly, would priestesses have prevented the abuse of children by clergy?

Father McBrien: your vision of the Church and of the Second Vatican Council is both erroneous and dying. Only a tiny fraction of young Catholics in general and those seeking degrees in theology in particular accept that erroneous reading.

Might I propose that you get with the times?

WSJ Poll Alert, Should the Church Drop Celibacy?

[Update:  Great job TACers!  The poll has swung heavily to Catholic teaching.  It is now 83.3% wanting to keep to Catholic teaching, which was 44% previously.  See the updated poll below after the jump.]

The Wall Street Journal is running a poll on whether or not the Church should drop the requirement for celibacy by priests.

The results so far as of September 24, 2010 at 2:17pm US Central time:

We recommend our readers go visit the poll with fidelity to the Church.

Hat Tip:  Father Zuhlsdorf.

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Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

Less than two months after President Obama visited the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to highlight the billion dollar government bailout of Chrysler, Chrysler UAW workers were caught on tape drinking alcoholic beverages on a 30 minute lunch break.  Not to mention what looks like marijuana joints in between swigs of grog and then littering a public park with the empties.

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That’s a nice liquid lunch… if it were a public holiday!

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Worse Than Murder Inc. Meets its Match In Governor Chris Christie

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Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a man who is rapidly becoming my favorite male politician, has successfully cut state funds for Worse Than Murder, Inc, a\k\a Planned Parenthood.

After the New Jersey state Senate defeated an attempt to override the decision of Gov. Chris Christie to cut off state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood abortion businesses, the first facility run by the national abortion giant is closing.

The Cherry Hill Courier Post newspaper says a Planned Parenthood facility located on Haddonfield Road and operated by Planned Parenthood of Southern New Jersey will close down.

PP-SNJ stands to lose as much as $160,000 in taxpayer funds because of Christie’s decision and the upholding of his veto. With the closing of the Cherry Hill center, Planned Parenthood customers seeking abortions or other “services” must go to PP centers in Camden, Bellmawr, and Edgewater Park.

Parenthood of Southern New Jersey president Lynn Brown told the newspaper, “We are in think mode and creative mode and we are doing all that we can to try and salvage to see as many people as we need to see.”

“We all know it’s strictly ideological,” Brown said of the funding cuts to the abortion business. “This is a very frustrating and perplexing time for us.”

While the Cherry Hill center does not do abortions, it gives abortion referrals to Planned Parenthood offices in Hamilton Square, Princeton, and Trenton where abortions are done on women and unborn children.

Marie Tasy, the head of New Jersey Right to Life, told LifeNews.com she applauded the state Senate for not overriding Christie’s veto of the Planned Parenthood funding bill.

“We applaud the Senators who voted No to override Governor Christie’s veto of S2139,” she said. “This debate was never about health care, it is about advancing a political agenda and rewarding ‘friends’ and a radical special interest group with our tax dollars.”

“We commend Governor Christie for his steadfast opposition to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse and for working to promote the best health care for all NJ citizens,” Tasy added.

Christie won the praise of pro-life advocates in July by vetoing a bill that would restore the family planning funds his administration cut from the state budget because of deep economic troubles. Continue reading

Our Time For Action

Deacon Keith Fournier, a great American and a good friend, is leading an important conversation along with others that I would highly encourage folks to follow.  Judge these articles and share your thoughts in the comments.

Will House Republican Agenda Defend Life and Marriage? Time for Catholic Action

Will ‘Social’ Issues Disappear from the Republican Agenda?

Santorum’s Speech: Capturing the Kennedy Mystique, Correcting the Kennedy Mistake

U.S. Political Season Begins: ‘Morally Coherent’ Catholics Can Change this Nation

Oops, There Goes Costa Rica!

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From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  I have received inside information about this incident from Dan McLockinload, currently a blog contributor at the american fascist.  He was reluctant to talk at first, but when I advised him that his comments would be posted on a blog that people actually read, he decided to tell what he knew. Continue reading

Mike Castle Considering Write In Campaign Against O'Donnell

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Hattip to Allahpundit of Hot Air.  Perhaps joining a list of defeated Rinos who simply want to hang on to power at all costs, Charlie Crist in Florida and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mike Castle is considering a write-in campaign in the Senate race in Delaware. 

“I don’t want to necessarily interfere with Republican chances,” said Castle, although he added, “I’ve had a lot of people approach me about it.”…
Asked directly whether he was considering a bid, Castle said: “I’ve given it some thought. I probably won’t do it…. I’m not exactly approaching this with bated breath.” Castle spokeswoman Kate Dickens said the congressman has had conversations about a write-in effort but that he likely won’t pull the trigger.
“We are getting a lot of mail and calls on it,” Dickens told POLITICO. But she said the likelihood of Castle mounting a campaign was still, “under 5 percent.” Continue reading

Harry Reid Is Attempting A Coup Against Joe Biden!

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As faithful readers of this blog know, I am Joe Biden’s number one fan.  Not for his meaningless job as Veep, which does suit Joe like a velvet nose warmer as long as Obama, please God!, remains in good health.  I am of course referring to his real job:  beloved National Clown.  In these dark days of the Obamacession, he has lightened the national mood with his verbal pratfalls, non-sequiturs, theater of the absurd behavior, inability to think first and talk later and, in general, his heroic willingness to be a fool 24/7 to put a smile on our faces as we stare into the economic abyss.  A tear almost comes to my eye when I think of Joe’s unflappable dedication to a comic idiocy which no doubt is being loudly applauded by the  Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers in that land which knows only laughter.  We love ya Joe!

Therefore I can only view with complete alarm the ongoing campaign being waged by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take away from Jolly Joe his status as our National Fool.  True, Harry Reid has always been given to saying wacky things.  For example, in 2008 he referred to Obama as a light skinned negro who didn’t speak with a negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.  In 2008 he gave his opinion of tourists in Washington:  “You can always tell when it is summertime because you can smell the visitors. The visitors stand out in the high humidity, heat, and they sweat.”  In 2009 he referred to tea-party members as “evil-mongers”.  So a certain level of daffiness is standard operating procedure for Reid. Continue reading

The Ground Zero Mosque and Religious Freedom, Part Two

Since publishing my original article on this topic, I have received a lot of feedback on it, both positive and negative. The article was cross-posted at The American Catholic, Il Sussidiario, and Catholic Online. A local version of the article ran in my hometown newspaper as well. Too be sure my article has provoked an important dialog. Due to the critical judgment that I have received from Catholic friends whom I admire I would like to clarify some of my thoughts. The overall position I took in supporting the building of the Ground Zero Mosque remains the same though.

First, I recognize the building of the Ground Zero Mosque is a prudential matter in which good Catholics, Christians, and Americans can agree to disagree upon. It is prudential matter and both sides have legitimate reasons to either support or oppose its construction at the current location.

It’s important that I address my use of the word “support.” My intention in using this word has caused unnecessary confusion on exactly what I meant by it. By support I do not mean Catholics should monetarily support the construction or operation of it. Construction workers who are Catholic can legitimately refuse to work on this project. It would be more precise to say that I would “allow” or “permit” it to be built. Catholic do not have to actively support it in any other way.

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TAC Pro Football Rankings: Week 2

Week 2 provided a bit of a reality check. We found out that a few teams are far from the panic button; some, like in Minnesota and Dallas, need to be jamming the panic button.

This week we had four rankings: Tito, myself, Paul, and MJ Andrew. See the results after the jump.

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Wishful Thinking Revisited

Following the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, it looked for a time as is if the passage of the recent Health Care Reform legislation was unlikely. The most common arguments aimed at moderate Democrats in the House during this time period were as follows:

1) That the Health Care reform bill would become more popular after it had passed.

2) That given widespread voter ignorance, it was unlikely that this particular vote would have much effect on any individual House member’s re-election campaign.

The first argument has long since been proven false. And now it appears the second was incorrect also:

Out of the original 50 districts, only 41 had members who cast a vote on health care reform and are running for reelection.  If we just divide these members based on their health care votes, those who voted for health reform are running 2.7 percentage points behind those who voted against it.  But, of course, we should control for other things, especially district conservatism, since those from the more conservative districts voted almost uniformly against reform.  I also included the members’ DW-NOMINATE scores to distinguish the health care vote from the members’ overall voting records.

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TAC College Football Rankings: Week 3

No upsets before midnight central standard time made for a fairly quiet rankings; this week we lined up more or less with the AP poll (though Tito and I threw it some curves). Some random thoughts of my own before the rankings:

Could we please stop with the Locker for #1 pick and Heisman? This is the second game he’s blown this year. He shouldn’t still be on a Heisman ballot. The Heisman is between Pryor, Robinson and Patrick Peterson (his interceptions this weekend were insane) at this point.

If Ole Miss had listened to their fans and made Admiral Ackbar their mascot, maybe they would have known that Vanderbilt & Jacksonville St. had the potential to be A TRAP! (Seriously, Ole Miss is terrible and Ackbar is a better choice than the moronic suggestions they’ve come up with so far to replace Johnny Reb. of course, the stupidity & lack of creativity of Ole Miss’s student body is how we got stuck with the lame “Magnolia Bowl” title between LSU & Ole Miss /rant.)

Brian Kelly is not a good coach, or at least not from what I saw Saturday night. A bizarre 4th & 1 decision to go for it in Notre Dame territory late in the 4th quarter as well as being totally unprepared for an obvious fake field goal situation makes me question Kelly. Coming from a fan who puts up with Les Miles’s gambles, that’s saying a lot.

Ok, time for the rankings! Continue reading

A Tale of Three Videos

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Ah the exuberance of the Obama supporters just two years ago.  Peggy Joseph was especially fervent in her unrealistic expectations of Obama, but I think it is fair to say that most of his supporters really did think Obama stood for Hope and Change, whatever that campaign shorthand was supposed to mean.

After two years of an economy in the tank, and government running the largest deficits since World War II as a percentage of gdp, I think the woman who spoke up yesterday at an Obama townhall speaks for many of Obama’s erstwhile supporters:

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