Humor

Makes Sense

Drunk Insurance

 

I am normally skeptical of “scientific” studies that purport to find a linkage between what seem to be unrelated phenomena, but this makes sense:

When a U.S. state becomes more liberal politically, its consumption of beer and spirits rises, researchers say.

Pavel A. Yakovleva and Walter P. Guessforda, both of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, said they estimated  the relationship between political ideology and the demand for beer, wine and spirits using a longitudinal panel of all 50 U.S. states Continue reading

PopeWatch: Battling Metaphors

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN–In a gesture at the Vatican’s annual “Caravan of Peace,” Pope Francis happily watched as two children at his side released a pair of white doves as symbols of peace and unity from the window of the Apostolic Palace.

But just moments later, two metaphors, one, of the world’s unwillingness for dialogue, and the second, its utter hostility at the thought of compromise swept down on the hapless symbols of peace as tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square looked on.

One dove managed to break free from one of the metaphors, losing a few feathers in the brawl, symbolizing that, though the chance of peace in the world is not dead, that it is severely fragile to more dominant and negative attitudes. A crow playing the metaphor of the world’s hostility toward compromise had a better grip on the other dove, pecking the symbol of peace repeatedly, reminding all those gathered that in the face of hatred, there really is not much of a chance for peace anywhere in the world, let alone the Middle East.

In the end, both symbols of peace got away, although the extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately clear.

The boy looked upset at the bird’s misfortune, prompting the pope to embrace him and pat his head. The young girl appeared to be cynically laughing at the turn of events, perhaps realizing for the first time in her short life that achieving peace is doomed to violence and struggle against the oppression of tyrants and Muslim terrorists. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Chatting with the Prez

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Matt Archbold at National Catholic Register, go here to read it, has a post where he imagines ten things that Obama might say to the Pope.  Here is ten things that PopeWatch thinks the Pope might say to Obama:

10.   Joe Biden, is he like that in private?

9.     No, it is true, Buenos Aires is windier than Chicago.

8.     Yes, I can perform an exorcism but I do not think it would help Nancy Pelosi.

7.      Yes, I used to smoke also.  No I did not have to hide it from my wife as I have never been married.

6.      Yes, not being married is a job requirement.

5.      Freedom of worship is not the same thing as freedom of religion. Continue reading

Sinister Rotary

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Service Above Self

Motto Of Rotary

 

I always stop in at Ed Driscoll’s blog each day.  He is always worth reading.  As a member of Rotary since 1985, go here to view the Dwight Rotary Club’s web site, I have found one of his latest posts quite a hoot:

More seriously, if Keillor’s rhetoric sounds sclerotic and reactionary, it’s because he’s tapping into a nearly century-old tradition of “Progressives” who see no evil on the left; but plenty bubbling up from the right. In his new book, The Revolt Against the Masses, Fred Siegel looks back at Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 book, It Can’t Happen Here, which posited that the Rotary Club(!) was poised to seize American power:

The heart of It Can’t Happen Here is laid out in the opening chapter, which presents the local Rotary Club, with its Veterans of Foreign Wars tub-thumping patriotism and prohibitionist moralism, as comparable, on a small scale, to the mass movements that brought Fascism to Europe. Later in the novel, he has a character explain, half-satirically and half-seriously, “This is Revolution in terms of Rotary.” In other words, Lewis’s imagined fascism is little more than Main Street writ political. When he wants to mock Windrip, he describes him as a “professional common man” who is “chummy with all waitresses at . . . lunch rooms.” For Lewis, fascism is the product of backslapping Rotarians, Elks, and Masons, as well as various and sundry other versions of joiners that Tocqueville had once celebrated as the basis of American self-government. There is more than a hint of snobbery in all this. The book’s local incarnation of evil is Jessup’s shiftless, resentful handyman Shad Ledue, who was a member of the “Odd Fellows and the Ancient and Independent Order of Rams.” Ledue uses Windrip’s ascension to rise above himself and displace Jessup from his rightful place in the local hierarchy of power.

If the book were merely an indictment of red-state nativist intolerance, there would be little to distinguish it from numerous other novels and plays of the 1920s that were part of “the revolt against the village.” Lewis was hardly the only writer of the period to, Mencken-like, describe the average American as a “boob” or “peasant.” What made It Can’t Happen Here compelling was that it showed the boobs working through a familiar institution, the local Rotary, to become a menace to the Republic.

In a 2012 issue of Commentary, building on research for The Revolt Against the Masses, Siegel goes on to note that after World War II, the Frankfurt School picked up the left’s attack against middle America:

“In the over-developed countries,” wrote Herbert Marcuse, who became the most famous Frankfurt School theoretician of the 1960s, “an ever-larger part of the population becomes one huge captive audience—captured not by a total regime, but by the liberties of the citizens whose media of amusement and elevation compels the Other to partake of their sounds, sights, and smells.” He was arguing, in effect, for greater social segregation between the elite and the hoi polloi.

Dwight Macdonald, the most influential American critic of mass culture in the late 1950s, concurred with the Frankfurt School. Writing in crackling prose redolent of Mencken’s, he too argued that bourgeois prosperity was creating a cultural wasteland: “The work week has shrunk, real wages have risen, and never in history have so many people attained such a high standard of living as in this country since 1945,” Macdonald complained.

“Money, leisure, and knowledge,” he went on, “the prerequisites for culture, are more plentiful and more evenly distributed than ever before.”

Macdonald, who was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale and associated with the anti-Stalinist leftists at Partisan Review, still couldn’t bring himself to support the United States against the Nazis in World War II on the grounds that “Europe has its Hitlers, but we have our Rotarians.”

My dad, who passed away in 2006, was a life-long member of the Rotarian Club, and president of his local South Jersey chapter for a year in the mid-1970s. At the time, I just remember him putting on a gray suit, navy blue rep tie and his omnipresent double-soled black Florsheim wingtips to trundle off to the weekly meetings.

In retrospect, I had no idea how Absolutely. Hard. Core. he was.

Continue reading

PopeWatch: Good Morning Father!

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN––Shortly after it was revealed that his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, defrocked 400 priests for sexual abuse of minors, Pope Francis decreed the immediate removal of priestly faculties for 300 priests from Europe and the Americas who were found in defiance of liturgical norms and persistently refused to greet parishioners with the traditional “Good Morning” liturgical salutation. “The rubrics are clear in this regard; the celebrant is to smile, holds his hands out widely and welcomingly, and say ‘Good Morning,’ in a jubilant voice, before continuing with the Penitential Rites,” said a spokesman for the Holy See, defending the Holy Father’s decision. He continued, “a committee has been established also to ensure that liturgical norms for homilies are followed strictly by all who preach at Mass.” These norms, he explained, are somewhat more flexible: “the priest or deacon or layperson with a degree in theology or pastoral ministry has the option, in this case, of beginning with either a story or a joke. But beyond this, there is little wiggle room. Defying this would be the liturgical equivalent of deliberately changing a note in Marty Haugen’s ‘Mass of Creation’ setting for the Eucharistic Prayer, the Canonical penalty for which is an automatic excommunication.” The spokesman concluded firmly: “We are not at liberty to tamper with the Holy Liturgy of the Church, adding and subtracting as we see fit. That would make it more about us than about God.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: Priestless

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN––Days after abolishing the title of “monsignor,” Pope Francis has now reportedly eliminated the practice of granting seminarians the title of ”priest,” a Vatican insider told EOTT this morning from Rome. According to a report Sunday by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, only single laymen over the age of 65 will from now on be eligible to receive the title of priest. “The title of priest is primarily honorific, and should normally only be granted to laymen as a reward for service to the church, such as having been an usher for more than four decades,” Apostolic Nuncio to the United States Giovanni Martinelli told EOTT. “Or it should be given as a sign of a unique function a layman has performed in the church, such as being the guy who selects which family will walk the gifts up to the altar.” The title was once granted by a bishop on the recommendation of God. But many have criticized the practice, saying that ordination naturally leads to an “air of careerism in the church.” According to Martinelli, every nuncio across the globe has been asked to write to bishops within their territories to inform them of the pope’s decision and to say that those who have already been given the title of priest can keep it; for now. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Communion Gate

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN––It was revealed today that senior assistants to Pope Francis conspired to snarl lines for Holy Communion in the basilica of a “rival Cardinal.”  In an EOTT exclusive, an anonymous source said that some of Pope Francis’ top aides remained bitter toward supporters of an undisclosed papal candidate who came close to being elected at the March 2013 conclave. Information leaked from the papal election named Santos Abril y Castello, Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, as one of the cardinals who had cast his vote for a runner-up instead of then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. In official emails and text messages shown to EOTT today, Papal aides discussed Castello’s non-support of Francis in bitter tones in the months following the election. In one email dated December 4, 2013, an aide to Pope Francis, Father Pietro Torelli mentions Castello’s vote and jokes with another aide, “Time for some communion traffic problems in Maria Maggiore!” Many Maria Maggiore parishioners had complained to EOTT that there was a total absence of Eucharistic ministers at the Basilica on Sunday, causing people to wait an “unbearable” twenty to twenty-five minutes to receive Holy Communion. “It was more than I could take,” said one frustrated parishioner. “Usually there are about ten Eucharistic Ministers, but there was only two. For the first time in my life, I walked out of Mass before receiving Communion. I usually run right out after receiving, but since I was at the end of the long and only Communion line, I knew that the parking lot would be a zoo if I did not get out of there soon.” Pope Francis held a news conference today denying knowledge of the incident and promising that any of his aides involved in ordering Eucharistic Ministers at the Basilica to stay home from Mass would be dismissed. Vatican observers wonder if this ugly incident jeopardizes Francis’ chances to repeat as TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2014. “I am not a bully,” the Pope sadly told reporters. “I don’t know how I got that reputation. Maybe because I was once a bouncer? I don’t know.”

Continue reading

Brrr!

Cold!

Well here in Central Illinois today it is -12.6 F with the high set to rocket up to -9 F.  Lots of blowing and drifting snow.  The courthouses and sheriffs’ offices are closed.  Go here to read the current weather conditions in my little town.  I will be using today to catch up on work at my office.  Normally I enjoy cold weather, no doubt attributable to my half Newfie blood, although I see they are up to a balmy 16 F today, so when I feel that it is too cold, as I do today, you know that it is too cold indeed! Continue reading

Time for a MindWipe!

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Watch, if you dare, Conan the Musical!  Not to reopen the torture debates, but twenty-four hours of this and the toughest terrorist would be begging to talk and/or die.

PopeWatch: Year of Terror

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN––In his General Audience today, Pope Francis announced that he would be naming 2014 “the Year of Terror.” “Since it is difficult to balance the various challenges of the papacy, while finding time to decide what to call this upcoming year, I have decided that The Year of Terror best represents what we ought to be focusing on this upcoming year,” Francis said to the hundreds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Trust me, I wish we could have another Year of Faith, but I have been told we cannot do this. I brought up the idea of a Year of Faith 2.0, but unfortunately that did not fly. Nevertheless, I believe that we have reached the consensus that we should name the upcoming year for what it’s most certainly going to be.” His Holiness went on to explain how people were very scared of things going on in the world like crashing economies, Obamacare, and violence in Africa and the Middle East, just to name a few. “We thought it would be a good idea to get focus back on the Church and acknowledge the paralyzing fear that God’s people are suffering with.” Continue reading

My Type of Brainwashed Morons

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Bishop Folliot:  Do you think you can carry this off indefinitely you fool?

Archbishop Thomas Becket:  We are all God’s fools, My Lord.

From the play Becket

 

 

Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report.

From the only reliable source of news on the net, The Onion:

 

MACON, GA—Sources confirmed today that the brainwashed morons at First Baptist Assembly of Christ, all of whom blindly accept whatever simplistic fairy tales are fed to them, volunteer each Wednesday night to provide meals to impoverished members of the community. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in town who have fallen on hard times and are unable to afford to put food on the table, so we try to help out as best we can,” said 48-year-old Kerri Bellamy, one of the mindless sheep who adheres to a backward ideology and is incapable of thinking for herself, while spooning out homemade shepherd’s pie to a line of poor and homeless individuals. “It feels great to share our blessings with the less fortunate. Plus, it’s fun to work alongside all the members of our [corrupt institution of propaganda and lies] who come out each week.” As of press time, the brainless, unthinking lemmings had donated winter clothing they no longer wore to several needy families and still hadn’t opened their eyes to reality. Continue reading

Plan Like a Chipmunk!

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From the only reliable source of news on the net, The Onion.  The above video would be funny if it were not also devastatingly true.  I would put on my notepad a New Year’s Resolution to be more organized and plan better, but I can’t seem to find the notepad.

PopeWatch: Phil Robertson

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN–Just days after Pope Francis removed former La Crosse bishop Cardinal Raymond Burke from his seat on the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops,  Francis today removed Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the A&E reality show Duck Dynasty and founder of Duck Commander, meaning the conservative patriarch of the “Robertson Clan” will lose his influential role in appointing bishops in the United States. Burke’s removal came soon after he said that Pope Francis’ comments suggesting that church teaching on matters such as abortion and gay marriage didn’t need to be repeated were, “not altogether easy to interpret” and went on to say that, “we can never talk enough about the defense of human life.” Many analysts are now suggesting that the Robertson’s removal was due in part to similar comments he recently made to GQ magazine criticizing homosexuality. Among the many of the explicit comments made, Robertson told GQ that “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong… sin becomes fine. Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men.  It’s not right.” The pope on Monday appointed Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl to the 18-member board to replace Burke and Robertson. Robertson, who was the consultant to the Congregation for Bishops, and seen by many in the Church as a conservative ally of Burke, will head back home to Louisiana. A spokesman for Robertson told EOTT that Robertson was sad to leave, and felt that both he and Burke were unfairly targeted for “preaching about the objective truths in the bible.” He went on to say that “In them cases where homo sex unions have been legally recognized or dun been given legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear ‘n emphatic opposition is a duty. We all gotta refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from cooperation on the level of their application and things like that. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: Time Envy

 

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From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

VATICAN–Sources close to the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reported that the Holy Father has been silently obsessing over Time Magazine’s recent choice of Pope Francis as “Person of the Year.” ”He got up as usual this morning,” said one source, “said his morning prayers and celebrated Mass. Then he sat down to check Yahoo News with his morning tea, like he always does. When he saw…it…he just got really quiet for a long time. Then when he noticed I was looking, he smiled at me and said, ‘good for him.’ It was weird. He said that without really opening his mouth. Like his teeth were still together as he said it.” Pope Francis is the third Bishop of Rome to be named “Person of the Year” by TIME, following Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II. EOTT’s source reported that Benedict then made another visit to his private chapel, where he remained for a good 20 minutes. He emerged and sighed deeply before going back to the Yahoo News site, which he reportedly read and re-read several times, at one point muttering under his breath, “Really? Molly Cyrus?” ”When he finished reading all the comments and refreshing the page a couple times to make sure there weren’t any new ones, he looked for other news sites and did the same thing,” said the source. “After that he went to Amazon.com and started reading reviews of his ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ books. He seemed to feel better after that.” Continue reading

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