Monthly Archives: April 2012

Sister Patricia: On The LCWR ‘Crackdown’

(Cross-posted at Acts of the Apostasy)

(Sister Patricia Owens O’Flannery, OP, a post-modern pre-traditional omni-spiritual Dominican sister, periodically contributes to AoftheA. Today she’s been invited to offer her unique perspective on the Vatican’s recent decision on the LCWR.)

Hello, dear and gentle readers and friends of LarryD! May the warmth and vicissitude of Nature grace you with immeasurable beneficence! I have been praying for each of you every day, offering supplication that Sophia bless you and surround you with her wise wisdom, inspiring you to dance and play and immerse yourself in Her ephemeral permanence of lasting spontaneity!

You know, I’m not sure that makes a lot of sense, and if it doesn’t, please forgive me. My soul has been heavy as of late, all because of the recent announcement of the LCWR investigation. I know that many of you have been eager for my opinion and insights on this serious matter – I have felt the psychic vibrations emanating throughout the noosphere. Such confusion in your hearts, dear readers! I will try to explain and assuage your fearsome trepidations and trepidacious fears.

Before I begin, let me assure each and every one of you – the Swiss Guard have not put me or any other LCWR representative under house arrest! Those rumors are simply unfounded! We are free to travel as we wish, our passports have not been confiscated, and none of us – I repeat in the most emphatic of terms! – none of us have had our reiki stones taken away or labyrinths dismantled.

Now, as with any traumatic experience, we tend to vividly recall what we were doing at the time of the experience. For some, it was the assassination of JFK; for others, when the space shuttle Challenger exploded; and still others, when the Berlin Wall was torn down. In my own life, I vividly recall every action and emotion that coursed through me when I heard that Polly’s Polyester Pantsuit Palace in Walla Walla closed its doors, back in 1983. I had just been released from the local Catholic elementary school, and was meditating along with Chick Corea’s “The Meeting” album, and my mesquite incense infuser, when Sister Etta Loretta Loreto burst into the room, crying with the news. That was the last day I ever listened to Chick’s music. A sad sad day. The smell of mesquite still evokes a passionate tear.

But this news, hard to believe, was even sadder. I was leading a group of NCReporter editors on a pilgrimage to several Buddhist monasteries in Nepal when my 4S iphone newsfeed alarm went off (I downloaded the voice of Gloria Steinem, and she says “You’ve got fe-mail”! Isn’t that spectacular?), and I read the story with shock. The rest of the trip was ruined, as the thin atmosphere made it difficult for me to conduct any soothing breathing exercises. All I could think about, was how could this be possible? The LCWR – the prophetic voice of the world – and no one predicted this was going to happen! →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Deconstructing the “Bible Endorses Slavery” Meme

One of the more fashionable responses to any Christian’s objection to the legalization of “gay marriage”, or for that matter, any objection to anything blatantly immoral in modern society, is to immediately announce that since the Bible (allegedly) endorses slavery, anything it has to say on any moral issue is completely irrelevant.

I suppose the argument goes something like this for most people in their heads: “so your Bible says that (insert the sin you want to justify here) is immoral, eh? Well let me tell YOU something:

The Bible says slavery is moral. (Premise 1)

Slavery, as we all (allegedly) know is immoral. (Premise 2)

Therefore the Bible endorses something that is immoral. (Premise 3)

Therefore, the Bible is not a legitimate source of moral arguments. (Conclusion)”

Have I got that right? I think I do. So let’s deconstruct these premises and demonstrate why this ever-so popular argument is really just another lazy, uncritical, decontextualized, factually-deficient and hypocritical canard.

→']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

In Which I Agree with Mark Shea

Agreeing with something Mark wrote in criticizing Michael Voris?  This might just be my last post at The American Catholic.

All kidding aside, I second Mark’s concerns regarding Vorris’s association with E. Michael Jones.  As Shea details:

Let us be clear about what is happening here. Marc Brammer and Michael Voris, Folk Hero to the Utterly Undiscerning, will be working hard to mainstream somebody
Jim Stone shows Israel Behind Fukashima Disaster
The European Jewish Union Exonerating Everything Jewish
Jewish Child Molesters
Mossad Involvement in 9/11
Jewry’s push for War with Iran
Jewish Atzmon Says Merah Was a Mossad False Flag Agent
and, last but not least, E. Michael Jones: Who is the World’s Real Enemy?(Guess who?)
(For a full catalog of Sungenis’ vast corpus of crazy statements about the Jews, go here.)

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes Mark can exaggerate (I’m being charitable here) others’ viewpoints, but I don’t believe he is doing so here.  Jones has a fairly extensive record of what can only be described by any reasonable person as anti-Semitism, and yet Voris is happy to give the man a platform.

I’m sure there will be those that object that Voris himself does not hold these views, and that this is a game of guilt by association.  I would counter that providing an open platform to such a person as Jones is beyond reprehensible.   People should be able to engage in honest discussion with others who hold differing viewpoints, but this goes well beyond that.  There are certain lines that when crossed should disqualify individuals from ever being taken seriously again.  When you willingly not only associate yourself with such individuals, but actually provide a forum which grants a certain amount of legitimacy, then you should also be taken to task

And of course leave it to the very first commenter on Mark’s post to play the “but what is anti-Semitism?” game.  It’s an insipid attempt to change the discussion and avoid having to address the issue at hand.

I haven’t gotten involved with previous discussions about Voris because I haven’t really seen that much of his work.  And I think it’s fairly well-known that I have had my share of disagreements with Mark, to say the least.  So I have no personal axe to grind with Voris.  But he should be held to account for his decision to associate with Jones.

Santorum Strategist John Brabender Offers Insight on Upcoming Meeting With Romney

Are you curious about the direction of the Republican Party now that Mitt Romney is expected to be the nominee in the aftermath of Rick Santorum’s surprising victories in eleven states? Santorum is expected to meet with Mitt Romney on May 4 about just that, among other things.

At National Review’s The Corner, Robert Costa has some quotes from senior Santorum campaign strategist John Brabender on what he expects to be discussed at the meeting. “We’ve only taken one thing off of the table,” says Brabender. That one thing is discussion of Rick Santorum’s campaign debt.

From National Review’s The Corner:

On Friday, May 4, Rick Santorum will huddle with Mitt Romney. According to Santorum strategist John Brabender, the former rivals will discuss a variety of topics, including how Santorum could potentially work with Romney during the general-election campaign.

“It’s about more than moving toward an endorsement,” Brabender says. “It’s also about helping Rick and Governor Romney to get to know each other on a personal level. They’ve only talked in passing at the debates; they’ve never really gotten to know each other. Rick wants to sit down with Romney, one on one, and talk through some things.

Read more….

Visit RickSantorum.com

 

Forward!

Well the Obama re-election team has its campaign slogan:  Forward!  Congrats to commenter cmatt who guessed that would be the slogan:

 

 

 

Keep Moving Forward

It’s the perfect slogan.  Simple, for the simple minds; sound bitish-y; pretty much devoid of content while sounding positive; implies progress was made, but does not disclose to what we are moving forward; offers abilituy to point to vague accomplishments; cultural tie-in to cute, upbeat animated film. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

One, Two, Three

Tomorrow is Victims of Communism Day and I will be having a post on that subject.  In a lighter vein on the same subject is the hilarious Cold War comedy One, Two, Three (1961), starring James Cagney and directed by Billy Wilder.  It actually foreshadowed the trajectory of the Cold War fairly better than many a serious study.  As the film indicates the Soviets simply were unable to produce consumer goods of a high enough quality to keep their people satisfied, and the failure to do so, along with the lack of freedom, ultimately led to the rapid fall in the eighties of the last century of regimes that looked on the surface to be rock solid. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Hit the Road Obama

The Road we Traveled is an Obama campaign video directed by Davis Guggenheim who directed Al Gore’s mendacious An Inconvenient Truth, and narrated by Tom Hanks, taking a break apparently from starring in Catholic bashing Dan Brown flicks.    The film gets the Science Fiction Mystery Theater 3000 commentary from Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle in the video above.  The Obama campaign should thank Whittle and Klavan:  at least someone will actually watch this piece of agit-prop drek now.

Surrender of New Orleans

The largest city of the Confederacy, New Orleans also controlled all shipment from the Mississippi and into the Mississppi.  Even a cursory look at a map would indicate that New Orleans was a crucial city for the Confederacy and a crucial target for the Union.  In early 1862 the Union assembled a force to take this prize:  18,000 soldiers commanded by Major General Benjamin Butler, and a naval armada under Flag Captain David G. Farragut, 6o years old, but possessed of energy that few men in their twenties possess, and a veteran of over half a century of service in the Navy.

In Mid-March Farragut began moving his fleet into the mouth of the Mississippi.  The approach to New Orleans up the Mississippi was guarded by two Confederate forts:  Jackson on the west bank and Saint Philip on the east bank.    The Confederate defenses were aided on the river by three ironclads:  the CSS Manassas, the CSS Mississippi, and the CSS Louisiana, backed up by an improvised fleet of converted merchant vessels, gunboats and rams, none of which stood any chance against the might of the Union fleet.  If Farragut’s force was going to be stopped, it would have to be by the forts.

From April 18-April 23 the forts were bombarded by 26 mortar schooners under the command of Farragut’s foster brother Captain David Porter, with whom Farragut had an uneasy relationship.  Porter had used his influence in Washington to require Farragut to give him the chance to reduce the forts by bombardment.  Farragut was sceptical and he was right.  Although the bombardment was fierce, the forts remained in action.  On the 24th, Farragut successfully had his ships run past the forts, destroying the Confederate fleet in the process.  Almost defenseless New Orleans surrendered to the fleet after three days of negotiation on April 29.  Butler’s army took the forts bloodlessly on the 29th, aided by a mutiny of the Confederate troops at Fort Jackson.  The richest strategic prize of the War fell to the Union swiftly, and with amazingly few casualties.  Farragut was promoted to Rear Admiral for this feat, the first admiral in US history.  The Union took a large step to victory with the fall of the Crescent City. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Anti-Bullying Tzar Bullies Christians During Anti-Bullying Speech

Advisory to the video above due to strong language and high idiocy content.  Hattip to Jazz Shaw at Hot Air.  Dan Savage, anti-Christian bigot, homosexual activist and all around jerk, is the de facto anti-Bullying tzar of the Obama administration.  He was the featured speaker at a High School Journalism Convention where he was supposed to talk on anti-bullying initiatives in schools.  Instead, he decided to vent his extreme hatred of Christianity and Christians:

Barack Obama and Joe Biden may be having second thoughts about assigning Dan Savage as their de facto “Anti-Bullying Czar” this year. According to Fox News, the sex advice columnist – Savage Love – and gay rights activist who founded It Gets Better seems to either have a hard time understanding the definition of bullying or has some serious issues with irony.

Really? So you picked a raunchy sex advice columnist who publishes a column called “Savage Love” as your ambassador to help out at risk children. What could possibly go wrong? Well, here’s what can possibly go wrong.

As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy asses.” …

Savage was supposed to be delivering a speech about anti-bullying at the National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. But it turned into an episode of Christian-bashing.

Rick Tuttle, the journalism advisor for Sutter Union High School in California, was among several thousand people in the audience. He said they thought the speech was one thing – but it turned into something else.

“I thought this would be about anti-bullying,” Tuttle told Fox news. “It turned into a pointed attack on Christian beliefs.”

Tuttle said a number of his students were offended by Savage’s remarks – and some decided to leave the auditorium.

“It became hostile,” he said. “It felt hostile as we were sitting in the audience – especially towards Christians who espouse beliefs that he was literally taking on.”

The speaker, in a supposed attempt to encourage young people to behave in a civil fashion toward each other, immediately launches into a diatribe against Christian values. When some of the students – particularly a few of the young ladies – become offended, he berates them and engages in hostile name calling. This is the keystone of the anti-bullying campaign? ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Glenn Miller’s Over There

America means freedom and there’s no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music.

Glenn Miller

Something for the weekend.  Glenn Miller and the Army Air Corps Band give a very lively version of James M. Cohan’s Over There.  The rendition of the song is made poignant by our knowledge that Major Glenn Miller would never come back from Over There, dying on December 15, 1944 when the plane he was flying in was lost over the English Channel.  Miller, too old to be drafted at 38, was rich and famous as a band leader in 1942 and could have sat out the War in safety and comfort without reproach.  However, Miller was above all a patriot.  He first tried to join the Navy and was turned down.  He then joined the Army Air Corps, commissioned as a Captain, and was placed in command of the Army Air Corps Band.  His goal was to present music that the troops would enjoy, frequently to the dismay of senior officers who usually had little love for Big Band era music.  Miller and his Band helped raise the morale of American troops and civilians alike, not an easy task in a War as bloody as World War II, especially among Army Air Corps troops in Europe with their high casualties.  May his soul rest in peace. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Father Miscamble Defends Bishop Jenky

 

 

Father Wilson Miscamble, a priest of the Congregation of the Holy Cross and a history professor at Notre Dame defends Bishop Jenky from the attacks of members of the Notre Dame faculty:

Do you know Bishop Jenky?

I do, indeed. He’s, of course, a member of the Congregation of Holy Cross,  and I’ve known him since I came to the order as a seminarian 30 years ago. He’s  a terrific priest and a great bishop.

 

Have you worked with him closely?

He was the rector of Sacred Heart Basilica in my younger days as a priest  here on campus and was the superior of the Holy Cross community here during my  early days on campus. That was in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when I was part  of the community of which he was local superior.

But then he was taken away from us and made auxiliary bishop here in Fort  Wayne-South Bend, and then was made bishop of Peoria about 10 years ago. So, for  the last 15 years or so, I’ve seen him periodically. He comes back to visit, and  so on.

 

What do you think of this brouhaha over his remarks?

I have found the reaction of my faculty colleagues quite embarrassing — embarrassing because these academics disgracefully misused Bishop Jenky’s words  by taking them out of context. It has been a little disappointing, to say least.  Bishop Jenky was making remarks about the religious-liberty issue, and some of  my colleagues implied that Bishop Jenky was suggesting that President Obama was  on his way to adopting the entire Hitler-Stalin agenda. It’s a  mischaracterization that is unworthy of supposedly serious scholars.

 

You’re a historian, albeit your specialty is American history.

I am a historian, and I challenge the signatories to this letter criticizing  Bishop Jenky to point to one part of his homily that is historically  inaccurate.

 

Is he historically accurate?

Absolutely. By the way, Bishop Jenky was a history major when he was an  undergraduate here at Notre Dame. He’s read quite a bit of history in his day.  And he is a good student of it.

 

Why do you think they would take his remarks out of context?

Well, this is to engage in speculation, and I probably shouldn’t go down  this path myself; one should be cautious. But I think this very poorly crafted letter says  more about the rather predictable and ideological bias of the signatories than  it does about Bishop Jenky’s courageous homily.

 

But do you feel that he might have overstepped any kind of line?

 

No. His homily was a courageous homily which pointed to a pattern of  behavior of a number of regimes to limit religious freedom and to attack  religious institutions. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Watch Illinois…And Do The Reverse

My beloved State of Illinois is a shining example of what not to do if a state wishes to be prosperous, cursed as it is with probably the worst state government in the Union.  George Will sums up the state of my State in a column this week:

After trying to tax Illinois to governmental solvency and economic dynamism, Pat Quinn, a Democrat who has been governor since 2009, now says “our rendezvous with reality has arrived.”

Actually, Illinois is still reality-averse, so Americans may soon learn the importance of the freedom to fail in a system of competitive federalism.

Illinois was more heavily taxed than its five contiguous states (Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin) even before January 2011, when Quinn got a lame duck Legislature (its successor has fewer Democrats) to raise corporate taxes 30% (from 7.3% to 9.5%), giving Illinois one of the highest state corporate taxes, and the fourth-highest combination of national and local corporate taxation in the industrialized world.

Since 2009, Quinn has spent more than $500 million in corporate welfare to bribe companies not to flee the tax environment he has created.

Quinn raised personal income taxes 67% (from 3% to 5%), adding about $1,040 to the tax burden of a family of four earning $60,000. Illinois’ unemployment rate increased faster than any other state’s in 2011.

Its pension system is the nation’s most underfunded, and the state has floated bond issues to finance pension contributions — borrowing money that someday must be repaid, to replace what should have been pension money it spent on immediate gratifications.

Go here to read the depressing rest.  Illinois is now rated A2 by Moody’s, the lowest credit rating of any state.  When it lowered Illinois’ bond rating Moody’s made the following observation:

Illinois’ general obligation bond rating was lowered to A2 from  A1 on January 6 because of the state’s failure last year to implement  solutions to its largest credit challenges: severe pension under-funding  and chronic bill-payment delays. It remains to be seen whether  the state has the political will to impose new pension reforms and other  measures that restore fiscal strength in the near term.

Not a chance.  No serious reforms will be undertaken until State payroll checks begin to bounce.  Illinois has the worst, most feckless political class in the country.  Louis XV, he of apres moi le deluge, was a dedicated reformer compared to the idiots, crooks and empty suits who misgovern the Land of Lincoln.

 

For Your Weekend

I have a long weekend and very busy next-week ahead of me, so I won’t be here posting and commenting for a few days. Until then, enjoy this music! Amadeus is one of my favorite films, and Mozart one of my favorite composers. Here is the full finale of the opera that had “too many notes.”

Have a wonderful weekend TAC!

Nanny State Down on the Farm

 

Proving once again that nothing must be outside of the control of Leviathan, the Obama Labor Department has proposed the following:

A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm  chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district members of Congress.  But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.

The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that  would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting  them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.

Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing,  marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”

I have lived in rural Illinois all of my life.  My family was not fortunate enough to own a family farm, but I did agricultural labor for cash from the sixth grade on up, through the summer after my first year in law school.  I found out three things from this experience:  1.  I loved earning money;  2.  Farm work was hard and I didn’t want to be doing it for the rest of my life;  3.  Showing up on time and working hard was 90% of doing well on a job.  I benefited quiet a bit from those simple lessons, in addition to getting a lot of exercise and gaining respect for how hard it is to make a living from farming.  Now the federal government has decreed that kids, even in many cases on farms of their own families, should not have these opportunities.   The only possible response to this is for me to once again summon the shade of the late Ray Walston: ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Mark Clark-Almost the First American Ambassador to the Vatican-On What’s My Line

“A few days after the liberation of Rome, Lieutenant General Mark Clark, Commander of the Fifth Allied Army, paid his respects to the Pope: “I am afraid you have been disturbed by the noise of my tanks. I am sorry.” Pius XII smiled and replied: “General, any time you come to liberate Rome, you can make just as much noise as you like.””

The show What’s My Line makes a rather good time capsule for informal looks at major figures in mid twentieth century  American history.  On February 19, 1956 General Mark Clark, commander of the US Fifth Army in the Italian campaign during World War II, and commander of the United Nations forces in Korea from May 12, 1952 to the truce ending the conflict., appeared on the show.

It is an ironic commentary on the relative obscurity of the Italian campaign during World War II that the panelists were unable to guess his identity.  Clark was nominated by President Truman to be the first ambassador of the United States to the Vatican due to his excellent personal war time relationship with Pope Pius XII.  Opposition by Protestant groups and powerful Senator Thomas Connolly of Texas caused Truman to shelve the plan.  Continue reading

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