Death Be Not Proud

Friday, January 9, AD 2009
DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
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13 Responses to The Saint and the Cardinal

  • Cardinal Wolsey’s last words:

    “Had I but served God as diligently as I have served the King, He would not have given me over, in my grey hairs. Howbeit, this is my just reward for my pains and diligence, not regarding my service to God, but only my duty to my prince.”

    Contrast that sad lament with the almost triumphant words of Sir Thomas More as he mounted the scaffold to meet his martyr’s death:

    “I die the Kings good servant, and God’s first.”

  • Good for Orson. Spent the last 20 years of his life in coasting mode, for the most part. Taking cheap roles. Yukking it up in Dean Martin roasts. Kind of like Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro at this point in their careers. Heavy lifting does take its toll. At least they have Citizen Kane, Godfather I and II, Raging Bull on their resumes. As for St. Tom- always the patron saint of we who work for Somebody or Something Else, always the anecdote for acute political correctness. Did I see in my travels that current Brit comedian/actor Eddie Izzard saluted Hank 8 for the first invented religion. In glorifying atheism. Maybe he didn’t mean what he said. Or maybe he did.

  • Wolsey, More, Wolsey, More–didn’t anybody notice Rumpole of the Bailey standing outside the door!?

  • Well said Scott. Leo McKern’s classic role. I roar with laughter whenever I put on one of my Rumpole of the Bailey DVDs. Additionally, I have always thought that show gave one of the more realistic portrayals of the life of most attorneys who do trial work.

  • One of Jim Morrison’s posthumous records — there were many of them — consisted of his spoken-word poetry backed by music from the surviving members of The Doors. On a track whose name I forget, he pantomimes a dialogue in which an inquisitor sneers, “You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!” I have no doubt that a boozy Morrison was hazily recalling the Wolsey-More scene in A Man for All Seasons.

  • And Jay, Wolsey’s words, spoken sincerely, may have been enough to say him.

  • The Doors song you are looking for is “The Soft Parade.” Morrison seems to be trying to impersonate a Bible thumping Southern preacher.

  • Well, I had a soft spot for the Doors in my hazy-dazy youth, but think the best comment about Morrison was that his principal inspirations were Jim Beam and Johnny Walker. How else does one come up with screaming butterflies? Of course, that’s true of many poets in general – but if they’re good they usually rewrite. No need for that in the stoned ’60’s.

    I had the great pleasure of seeing Scofield playing Othello in London in 1980. The exchange rate was dreadful ($2.40 to the pound) but it was still possible to get very cheap tickets priced for students and see marvelous theater there. I wonder if it still is.

  • Thanks, DMinor. Perhaps I’m mistaken or thinking of something else. I used to love the Doors; listening that track is rather embarrassing now.

  • Well, Ray what’s-his-name played a mean keyboard, and Jim had a smooth baritone (and was a rather handsome fellow before he ruined his looks with booze and drugs – which took all of 3 years to do). I still turn up the radio when “Light My Fire” or “Riders on the Storm” comes on. But whenever I hear my fellow boomers talking about what a fine poet Morrison was, I have to wonder if they’re ever actually read any poetry.

  • It would seem that thing that keeps the Doors legacy running is that many young people, even today, become intrigued and go through a Doors phase. Just a phase because there isn’t the depth there that one suspected to find. I’ve always considered L.A. Woman to be their greatest work even though it has quite a commercial appeal. In a bar this past summer, the band played a number of Doors covers (even had Jim Morrison look alike – or wannabe – sing those songs). They were well received by the whole crowd (well mixed – ages from 20’s to 60’s), but when they played L.A. Woman it was like the place became electrified. It was like each person was listening to their favorite song ever.

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Wednesday, January 7, AD 2009


A bit more to the Richardson removal from consideration as Commerce Secretary than I first thought.  Apparently the Obama campaign got $30,000.00 from David Rubin, the man at the center of the Richardson pay for play investigation.  This would explain why, combined with the Blagojevich indictment, that Richardson was thrown under the bus so quickly.  Since Obama raised over 600 million in the Presidential campaign, one can imagine all the seedy characters who tossed substantial funds into the pot, no doubt solely because they believed in “hope and change”.  Bet that Team Obama is matching with a microscope their fund raising records against those of each nominee now.

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One Response to Hmmm

  • Or not. Richardson might have been among the most blatant possible offenders. Getting more concerned about other appointments. Like Leon Panetta at CIA. Might be as qualified for the job as Mrs. Schlossberg for the U.S. Senate. Which is to say not really. Showing the relative shallowness and naive perspective of Team Obama beginning with the top Hope And Change Guy. At first easy to rely on recycled Clintonoids. Or keeping Robert Gates at Defense. Now onto the jobs that require grownups. Or people who aren’t career political hacks.

Under the Bus-A Continuing Series

Tuesday, January 6, AD 2009


This is the initial post in what I expect to be a long running series here at American Catholic:  members of the Obama administration who resign in disgrace.  First up:  Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, nominee for Commerce Secretary, who announced on Sunday that he was withdrawing his name from nomination.

Why was he doing this?  Because he is enmeshed in a pay to play scandal.  Did this suddenly blow up?  Naah, this scandal has been brewing since 2004.  Why was he nominated?  Simple incompetence on the part of Team Obama, or did they not think it would matter until the Blagojevich indictment in Illinois?  Probably mostly the latter.  Expect more of this.  More than a few of Obama’s nominees, most notably Senator Clinton, have plenty of skeletons hanging in their closets.

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5 Responses to Under the Bus-A Continuing Series

  • Change? No. Business as usual? Yes.

  • Under The Bus indeed. Joining Rev. Wright, Fr. Pfleger, other undesirables. I sense the fine hand of our Secretary of State Designate in this affair. Icing somebody who threw her under the bus early in favor of the now President Elect. Speaks not only to the unwillingness of Obama’s aides to examine these dealings- just like the SEC to Madoff- but also the MSM’s refusal to report anything icky or nasty about a prominent Dem. Until it’s too late. Until John Edwards’ honey sings to the National Enquirer. Until Princess Caroline clutters interviews with ‘you knows’ and puffery. Of course we await the fun and frolic- a few hours from this writing- of the appointed successor to the Apostle of Hope and Change- another man of color- denied his Senate seat by Dingy Harry Reid. Would not have had this much fun if Johnny Mac squeaked out a win. Let the show roll on.

  • You have placed your finger on a weakness of the Democrats now that they are in power Gerard. Negative press coverage is painful for the party on the receiving end, but it can expose weaknesses and problem areas to be addressed. The slavish coverage that Obama in particular, and the Democrat party in general, receives from most of the media does not give them an early warning system for something that could long term be a major problem for them. If the puff coverage wanes it probably would be good news for the Democrats, but I expect the media to be carrying water for Obama unless and until some disaster of Biblical proportions ensues.

  • I heard Richardson was only nominated with the expectation he’d turn it down, thus making it look like they were reaching out to him and Hispanics, without having to have him in the Administration.

  • it’s interesting how Blagojevich seems so unaffected by all the chaos swirling around him; it’s as if he feels right at home…

The Mass-What is Optional and What Is Not

Sunday, January 4, AD 2009


Hattips to Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons and Father Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say.  They brought to my attention the comments of Monsignor Joseph Schaedel, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to his parishioners at Holy Rosary Church after the Monsignor dropped the Sign of Peace at the Mass.  I find the Monsignor’s comments heartening, as I suspect will other Catholics in this country who have wondered “What next!” as they have sat through the numerous changes foisted upon the Mass over the past four decades.  Here are the comments with Father Z’s “color commentary” in red.

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3 Responses to The Mass-What is Optional and What Is Not

  • I don’t think the Sign Of Peace is really that meaningful. We have all these differences, dislikes, & hates, etc; then we brake the progression of the Mass to do a “How de do!” to people we’d rather have nothing to do with. Then we go back to our same thought processes & ignoring the folks we shook hands with, hugged, or waved hello to as if nothing happened. It’s so phoney and bogus that it’s disgusting!

  • The Pope has mention moving the “sign of peace” to before the offertory which I think would be much more respectful of the Eucharist and the awesome mystery we are about to partake and fulfill Jesus’ words better: “If you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:23-24).

  • The problem is that the current practice has masked the truly important and theologically meaningful location of the offering of Christ’s Peace during the Matt. Better to preserve the TRADITIONAL practice of the kiss of peace where it is, and save handshakes, hugs and high fives for coffee time after Mass.

One Response to Amazing Grace

Eternal Father

Saturday, January 3, AD 2009

Something for the weekend.  I have always loved the hymn Eternal Father, Strong to SaveDozens of additional verses have been added over the years to this hymn.  The hymn has always brought home strongly to me how utterly dependent we are at all times on God’s power and love to sustain us.  My late father-in-law, John Stringer, served 18 years in the Navy as a petty officer from 1941-1959, most of it on sea duty.  I am eternally grateful that he got back safely from each of his voyages.  In regard to the video I would note that when a US naval vessel arrives back home, the first sailors off the ship, no matter what their rank, are the new fathers.

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One Response to Eternal Father

8 Responses to Better Living Through Robotics?

  • (Guest comment by Cathy): PS — The janitor at our parish church uses an even larger Roomba (a commercial-grade model?) to vacuum the sanctuary after Mass.

  • While the algorithms to program up a vacuum cleaner like the Roomba aren’t too horribly complicated (tedious, I would imagine, especially if it uses some learning algorithm to help it better fit to your house), I wouldn’t get too excited about full-fledged robots in our households. Something like Rosie from the Jetsons will never really happen unless there’s a huge revolution in computers that we simply can’t imagine right now.

    Being a theoretical computer scientist, I don’t work very much the A.I. field, though my research does pull heavily from computational learning theory. But I have read enough A.I. literature to know that we’re nowhere close to building a computer that has anything close to intelligence.

    Hmm. Now I’m half-tempted to write a post on Computer Science and the Soul, talking about one of the key issues of my field and how it affects how I think about our human nature. Any takers?

  • It’s all you Ryan.

    Is that the McClarey house cat taking a ride?

  • nice article. i too just plain like the idea of delegating tasks like vacuum cleaning to a robot. i’m not sure how well it would work in my cluttered apartment, but for a spacious home i’d imagine it would be a great addition to the appliance list. also makes for a good conversion piece when you throw a cocktail party 🙂


  • “Is that the McClarey house cat taking a ride?”

    No, Tito, just an anonymous cat featured in a video on You Tube. Our cowardly dog, aptly named Baby, steered clear of the Roomba.

  • I’m surprised the cat seems to be enjoying the ride.
    Cat bumper cars, anybody?

  • I noticed that too cminor. The way the tail of the cat just drags along behind indicates that the cat is quite comfortable and probably often rides the Roomba.

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3 Responses to AD CAELI REGINAM

3 Responses to You know!

  • It has come to this. Caroline’s stumbling, fumbling interviews are now embarrassing to the chattering classes. Comes word that Mayor Bloomberg’s aide has given up on his efforts to lobby on her behalf. Seems he’s been a bit too aggressive on the matter. As though the prospective senator hasn’t been aggressive enough, breaking bread with people with whom she would not share the same oxygen two months ago. While in Colorado, Senator turned Interior Secretary appointee Ken Salazar wishes his replacement to be……brother John, a Congressperson. While in Illinois, Gov. Blago his bad self plays the race card shamelessly in appointing Roland Burris, perennial African American candidate and nice guy, to the post now vacated by the Apostle of Hope And Change. WSJ connects the dots nicely in an editorial. In New York, a Kennedy and a Cuomo are vying for a Senate seat held by a Clinton. In Colorado, a changing of the Salazars. In Delaware, Jabberin Joe Biden’s longtime aide will keep the new Veep’s seat warm until son Beau assumes power in 2010, after National Guard obligation. In Illinois, the embattled Governor causes wailing and gnashing of teeth. I wish to shove the WSJ editorial in the face of every citizen who voted for the Apostle of Hope And Change. And remind them of a verse in a Pauline editorial rarely quoted because it burns to the touch- ‘bad company corrupts good morals.’ Oh, Philly Library Update- a lib judge yesterday ruled that 11 neighborhood libraries scheduled to close for good around 5 p.m. today must open at 10 a.m. on Friday. While advocates of their opening issued a Citizen Indictment against Mayor Nutter for announcing their closing on November 6. Happy New Year to all. Hope and Change, y’all.

  • That is, a verse from a Pauline epistle. Hope and Change, y’all.

  • You know, sorry, you know, I couldn’t, you know, like, you know, sit through the, you know, whole thing…

    WCC +<

6 Responses to Soybeania Forever!

  • Before signing on as a good and faithful servant of the Clintons, James Carville devised a masterful re-election campaign for Robert Casey as Gov of PA. At that time, he issued a comment on the state that remains true today. As thus- on one end, Philadelphia- we will also consider four surrounding counties, benefitting from years of insane taxation, rising crime, and All Other Wrong Things Done In Cities. On the other end, Pittsburgh and vicinity. In between, Alabama. Or in this case, a tide of Penn State blue and white.

  • Speaking from experience of visiting and living in Mexico, there is no way in a million years will the border areas of the United States ever join itself with Mexico. Maybe the inverse, a couple of states may break away from Mexico herself and align with the U.S. such as Chihuahua and Baja California Norte, but not the other.

    Mexico is so corrupt, they make make Blagoyevich seem like George Washington or Persepolis. The central government is inept and their bureaucracy horrible (slept overnight at the border because the Mexican border agents had called it a day at 4pm before I could drive further into Mexico).

    The “Empty Quarter”, I thought that applied to New York City and Sodom and Gomorrah (San Fran & L.A.).


  • Foundry and Breadbasket would merge into one great nation, because Ontario, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and the Ohiowa prairie contain more farmland than factories. Plus mines and processing plants still operate in the breadbasket region around Lake Superior.

  • As a native of the Republic of Quad, we welcome war with Iowa to win back two of our five Quad Cities. Sometimes I wish lived in a futuristic distopia just so I could be warlord of such a state. After conquering east-central Iowa, we’d set our targets on South Wisconsin. The gambling “boats” of Galena and Dubuque are just too rich a target.

  • ROTLMAO! I spent most of my life in various cities of Greater Peoria, and actually have been to Goofy Ridge and lived to tell about it!

    Goofy Ridge is actually an unincorporated community of dirt roads, trailers and shacks in Mason County near Havana. Originally it was more of a campsite for hunters and fishermen, and over time became a full-time community. It gained some notoriety in the 1980s as a haven for criminals; today it’s more reminiscent of some of the poorer towns of Appalachia or Mississippi.

    In recent years the Sangamo City State in which I now live has fallen on hard times due to the misrule and outright persecution of King Rod the Hairy. Many of its more famous watering holes (Boone’s Saloon, Norb Andy’s) have closed in the past couple of years, as have many other shops and downtown buildings. We hope our new ruler, Patrick the Rumpled, will help restore at least some of our former glory.

  • ” We hope our new ruler, Patrick the Rumpled, will help restore at least some of our former glory.”

    Although if he does double the income tax, I think he will go down in Illinois history as Quinn the Short!

Atheist Praises Missionaries

Tuesday, December 30, AD 2008


At one of the blogs I read regularly, Neo-Neocon, the proprietress has an excellent story highlighting the praise of Mathew Parris, a British atheist and writer, for the work of missionaries in Africa and the enormous positive spiritual changes which frequently occur in their converts.  I have long thought that the good work performed by missionaries around the globe, but especially in Africa, was the major overlooked story of the last century.  If I had to pick one development of the past century that will still be having a major impact a millennium hence, I would pick the fact that Africa is becoming a Christian continent.  As much of Europe is forgetting the Faith, and too many Americans are cold and indifferent, the message of Christ is meeting with cries of joy throughout Africa.  Perhaps some day Christian missionaries from Africa will light the fire of faith again in “darkest” Europe.

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One Response to Atheist Praises Missionaries

  • I found this same article Saturday afternoon and found it very intriguing. Mr. Parris recognizes the common denominator that movitivates Christians (and Christian society) and that is the belief of the Trinitarian God combined with the practice of Christianity. Truly an epiphany for Mr. Parris and hopefully the beginning on the road towards Christ.

Obama's Internship?

Monday, December 29, AD 2008

From the most dependable news source on the Internet, the Onion.  I missed this during the campaign for some reason.  Zapatero and Obama do seem to go together, and, as in the case of Obama and many Americans  in this country, many Spaniards are not convinced that Zapatero is good for Spain.  For the sake of the country, I hope it was one whale of an internship!

(Content advisory:  A bit of bi-partisan crudity at the very end.)

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2 Responses to Napoleon on Christ?