Thursday, August 30, 2012


(AP Photo) The Fallen Heroes
Read more about their lives here.

Drudge posted this today, from The Gateway Pundit:
Obama Honored Fallen SEALs By Sending Their Parents a Form Letter Signed By Electric Pen:

On August 6, 2011, 30 US service members were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter they were being transported in crashed in Wardak province, Afghanistan. It was the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. 17 members of the elite Navy SEALs were killed in the crash.

Yesterday, Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots outside the RNC Convention in Tampa. Karen brought a copy of the form letter they were sent following their son’s death. ...

UPDATE: But Obama did send a personal letter to rapper Heavy D’s family when he passed away. [???!!!]

Can this president be any more cold and, frankly, bizarre? In what world is this man living?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cardinal Dolan's Fumble

When news broke a week or so ago that Cardinal Dolan was slated to give the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention, I admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the announcement. Of course, the required, "This is not an endorsement" spiel was issued by the Archdiocese of New York, but I still thought it sent a powerful message that, at this critical juncture in American life when so much is at stake, a prominent Church official was comfortable aligning himself with the platform of a party that specifically endorses the right to life for the unborn, and defends the traditional definition of marriage.

So radical has Obama's assault on religious liberty and Catholicism been that Cardinal Dolan's presence at the Republican National Convention should have been intended as clear manifestation of an unspoken alliance, rooted not in a mere party, but in shared principles. As I read more about the story however, my enthusiasm quickly dimmed, as the Archdiocese of New York made it clear that Cardinal Dolan would also respond positively, if invited, to pray at the Democratic Convention as well.

Enter today.

So, when news broke from Gotham that the same cardinal will indeed offer a prayer at the closing of the Democratic National Convention, my earlier "attaboy" enthusiasm for Dolan melted away. To put it simply, what is Cardinal Dolan thinking?

I can appreciate the importance of praying with and for all people. Certainly, the diehard apparatchiks of the Party of the Culture of Death are in dire need of prayers. Point taken. Pray with them, for them, but for heaven's sake, not at such a high-level, nationally televised public event as a political convention! Apparently, word hasn't gotten out that this is not your father's Democratic Party. With its embrace of so much of what the Church rightly considers poisonous to a healthy society, one has good reason to ask if the pooh-bahs in the Democratic Party have any serious interest in a dialogue with the Catholic Church. Or rather, are they simply seeking to exploit the Church by using Cardinal Dolan's presence for political purposes?

The Catholic Church clearly has a problem in this country when it comes to guiding the faithful to act (and vote) according to the teachings of the Church. Much of this stems from a lamentable failure in Church leadership stretching back decades. Remember that in 2008, the radically pro-abortion Obama won the Catholic vote by a significant majority.

It is totally shocking that the allegedly media savvy Dolan fails to understand the power that images hold in today's society. No one will remember the "This is not an endorsement" statement from the spokesman of the Archdiocese of New York, whoever he is. But what people are certain to remember, especially the Catholics, will be the images of Cardinal Dolan, onstage or backstage, with a select cadre of liberal politicians, some touting their own Catholicism, and many who have had a hand in promoting abortion and gay "marriage" but all playing for the cameras to ensure that America sees the spectacle.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

'Catholic' Biden Celebrates Homosexual Activism

From Politico:
Vice President Joe Biden thanked gay rights advocates Sunday for advancing not just their own civil rights, but also the “civil rights of every straight American.”

“You are freeing the soul of the American people,” Biden said to loud applause during a stop in Provincetown, Mass., according to a pool report.

Biden honed in on the LGBT issues during his campaign speech at the Pilgrim Monument and Museum, which is located in a prominent gay community in Cape Cod. “If I had to use one adjective to describe this community it’d be courage," Biden said. "You have summoned the courage to speak out, to come out. We owe you.”

What an outrage. Serious Catholics are waiting on the American bishops to speak up and to finally issue sanctions against high-profile, renegade Catholics. The bishops can finally do something to put an end to the scandal and confusion, but it will require courage.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Obama's World of Abortion

Who is the real 'extremist' on the question of abortion? From the editors of National Review Online:
The press, now busy drawing out possible logical implications of bills Paul Ryan has sponsored, has never conveyed the facts about Obama’s votes and statements on abortion. As a state legislator he opposed giving infants who survive abortion legal protection, on the theory that giving them protection might undermine the sacred holding of Roe. The press fell for every one of the 2008 Obama campaign’s conflicting attempts to explain away his stance.

Obama opposed a ban on partial-birth abortion that most Americans and even many Democratic legislators favored; he believed the Court should not allow it. During his campaign he explained that he believed that abortion should receive taxpayer funding — another fact that the press has kept well hidden.

It goes on and on...

Milwaukee's Heritage Faces Devastating Blow

A little less brew in this city. Milwaukee's Historic Schlitz brew house, built in 1890, is set to face the wrecking ball. A travesty for our historical heritage.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Developer Gary Grunau is proceeding with his plans to demolish the former Schlitz brew house and replace it with a park as part of the next phase of redeveloping Schlitz Park.

That demolition is to begin by December and is expected to be completed by March, Grunau said Tuesday.

The 45,000-square-foot park, Brew House Square, will be an amenity for tenants at the 46-acre business park.

This is a real shame. Just look at the details in this building. I love the famous cream city brick, which would look even more beautiful after a good cleaning. This place is a treasure! They simply don't make buildings like this anymore. From time to time, I flip through books on Milwaukee that feature old, black and white photos of homes and other buildings that are no longer around. Many of these buildings were leveled in the 1960s and 70s, that sad era of iconoclasm. I wonder what people were thinking to allow such architectural pearls to be demolished. People are going to wonder the same thing about this generation with the loss of this building. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. It will be a sad day for Milwaukee when this comes crashing down.

Priebus Rips Obama on Abortion

Read more at Politico.

Obama, Abortion Extremist

From Rich Lowry, writing for Politico:
The Democrats and the press habitually travel in a pack, but never more so than when a social or cultural issue is involved, especially one touching on sexual morality. Then, it’s not a matter of mere partisanship or a rooting interest. It’s personal.

From a strictly down-the-middle, neutral perspective, if one side of a debate is “extreme,” the opposite and countervailing side is equally “extreme.” It would never even occur to the media to apply this standard to abortion. Under the guise of upholding abortion rights, Barack Obama could favor denying legal protection to babies after they are born and the press wouldn’t bat an eyelash. In fact—he did. ...

The bill was supposedly redundant. Except it wasn’t. Protections for infants who survived abortions were shot through with loopholes, which is why the bill was offered in the first place. (Abortion doctors were leaving infants to die without any care.) The bill was supposedly a threat to abortion rights. Except it wasn’t. Obama opposed a version that stipulated it didn’t affect the legal status of infants still in the womb.

About a year after his final vote against the bill, Obama gave his famous 2004 Democratic convention speech extolling post-partisan moderation. But he couldn’t even bring himself to protect infants brutalized and utterly alone in some medical facility taking what might be only a few fragile breaths on this Earth. Some moderation. The federal version of the bill that he opposed in Illinois passed the U.S. Senate unanimously. Some post-partisanship.

This man is a total disgrace.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book of the Year?

From The New York Times:
A detailed first-person account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, written under a pseudonym by a member of the Navy SEALs who participated in the mission and was present at bin Laden’s death, will be released next month, the publisher said on Wednesday.

The book, “No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden,” which is scheduled to be released on Sept. 11, has been a tightly held secret at the publisher, Penguin. It promises to be one of the biggest books of the year, with the potential to affect the presidential campaign in the final weeks before the election.

Definitely going to pick up this book.

The Plot Thickens, Dolan to GOP Convention

From the AP, via Politico:
Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan will give the benediction at the Republican National Convention on the night Mitt Romney accepts the presidential nomination. The cardinal's spokesman said the appearance was not an endorsement.

Dolan is the New York archbishop and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Romney announced Dolan's appearance in an interview with Raymond Arroyo's "The World Over Live" on EWTN Catholic network.

The archdiocese is one of more than 40 Catholic groups suing President Barack Obama over his mandate that employers provide health insurance that includes free birth control as a preventive service. The rule exempts houses of worship but includes faith-affiliated employers such as hospitals, charities and colleges.

Rogue Milwaukee Priest Faces Excommunication

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
A Milwaukee-area Catholic priest sanctioned this year for indirectly violating the seal of the confessional now faces excommunication after launching a new parish with a breakaway diocese a few miles away.

Father David Verhasselt, once a popular priest at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Oconomowoc, was named pastor this month at the newly founded Holy Name of Jesus Evangelical Catholic Church in nearby Ashippun, taking at least some of his former parishioners with him.

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee said Verhasselt will be given an opportunity to reverse his decision and would incur "immediate excommunication" if he does not. ...

Founded in 1995, the Evangelical Church has 17 parishes or missions in the United States and Ireland, according to spokesman Bill Morton.

It bills itself as "a welcoming community of faith rooted in the Catholic tradition," but it breaks with Rome in key areas, including the ordination of women, allowing married and gay clergy, and in offering the sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples.

Sounds like the Episcopalians. One the one hand, it's very sad, but on the other, at least Fr. Verhasselt is getting the heck out, instead of working from within to undermine and confuse, something that goes on more often than some would like to admit in this Archdiocese, which is still waiting for a thorough housecleaning.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Right On Target

From ABC News:
CARNEGIE, Pa. - Paul Ryan said today that President Obama "sort of drops his veil" at times, apparently suggesting the president doesn't always reveal his true beliefs.

"Every now and then President Obama sort of drops his veil, he's less coy about his philosophy. He sort of reveals his true governing policy, what he really believes," Ryan said to a crowd of over 2,000 people.

"Remember this other time where he was caught on video saying, 'People like to cling to their guns and their religion.' Hey, I'm a Catholic deer hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion."

Religious Life: The Next Generation

Recently, thirteen Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George made their perpetual and first profession of vows. Check out more beautiful images of the profession here. In light of all the recent headlines involving the cranky, liberal-leaning LCWR, most of whom are old and fading away, it is so encouraging to see so many faithful young women entering a religious life that embraces loyalty to the Holy Father.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Noonan Unloads on Media Bias

and she's right.

John 6

From the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has attended a worship service at a historic church steps away from the White House.

Accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and daughters Sasha and Malia on the mild, overcast morning, Obama walked through Lafayette Square to St. John's Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Michael Angell delivered a sermon from John 6 about the extended metaphor of eating Jesus' flesh. Angell urged the crowd to not feed into the hatred and violence of the world, but to "inwardly digest Christ's message of self-surrender."

Christ didn't say, "Eat my message." He said "flesh" over and over, and he meant it. Of course, it's a Protestant spin on the all-important passage from Scripture, so we shouldn't be surprised about the "extended metaphor" exegesis. Nonetheless, it just reminds me once more about the beauty of the true faith. We take Christ literally. We're not about doing a feel-good Hallmark Card gloss on his words.

Paul Ryan attacked by left over 'women's issues'

Paul Ryan with his mother, Betty

Not surprising, from Politico:
Paul Ryan co-sponsored a federal “personhood” amendment. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He opposes all abortions, except when the life of the mother is at risk. And he supports a federal bill requiring women to get an ultrasound before an abortion.

If this sounds like an ominous ad from the Obama for president campaign, something like it could soon be coming to a TV near you. These are among the positions the Wisconsin congressman has taken in his career that Democrats are bound to highlight in the weeks ahead in ads, press conferences and rallies as they try to widen President Barack Obama’s lead among women over Mitt Romney in polls.

Send this to Cardinal Dolan, as he gears up to play host to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner. Anyone seriously think Obama is open to 'dialogue' on this stuff?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Change in Policy

From ABC News:
A recent spate of deadly attacks by Afghan forces on U.S. troops has prompted the U.S. military in Afghanistan to change its policy on arming its members, ordering that service members now be armed at all times, inside and outside their bases.

In the most recent “green on blue” attack, an Afghan policeman turned his weapon on U.S. troops Friday, killing two soldiers.

This is just the latest in a deadly two-week span for U.S. forces, ABC’s Muhammad Lila reports. Nineteen U.S. troops and one aid worker have been killed in Taliban attacks in the past two weeks, nine of them shot to death in cold blood by rogue Afghan soldiers or policemen.

Only now can soldiers arm themselves inside bases? Just doesn't sound right to me. Why has it taken this long?

A Discussion with Paul Ryan

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bishop Morlino Defends Paul Ryan

Thank God. An excerpt from the Bishop's Column:
Thus, it is not up to me or any bishop or priest to approve of Congressman Ryan’s specific budget prescription to address the best means we spoke of. Where intrinsic evils are not involved, specific policy choices and political strategies are the province of Catholic lay mission. But, as I’ve said, Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan is aware of Catholic Social Teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with the principles mentioned above. Of that I have no doubt. (I mention this matter in obedience to Church Law regarding one’s right to a good reputation.)

Read more about this HERE.

Mitt on Medicare

This is great! I have been very impressed with Mitt Romney lately. He's really taken it up a notch. They must keep this up! Be relentless.

Race and the Big Double Standard

Back 'in chains' Biden

An excellent article from the Telegraph:
Joe Biden must step down as Vice President of the United States. That is the rule, isn’t it, whenever a public figure makes a bone-headed, addle-brained, one-drink-too-many-at-a-wedding comment regarding race? Actually, no that isn’t the rule. Unless of course Joe Biden was a Republican.

Anybody in polite company who still wonders why so many Republican-minded Americans are drawn to alternative media outlets like Fox News or Glenn Beck as their information source need only look at the current episode with the vice president for an answer. What is certain to unfold in this case is a prime example of the double standard that politicians – and much of the media – apply to matters of race.

Read on.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Artur Davis on Biden

Dolan Attempts to Explain Invite

Read more about Cardinal Dolan's explanation for inviting President Obama, the most pro-abortion, pro-gay "marriage" pro-pretty much everything the Church opposes president in American history, to the famous, glitzy Alfred E. Smith Dinner here. I'm not buying it, for what it's worth. You can judge for yourself, but I think it's odd and ironic that this allegedly media-savvy prelate fails to see how confusing and scandalous it will come across to so many American Catholics, who are already so deeply divided on morality, to see images of the most prominent Cardinal in the United States yucking it up with Obama at a ritzy New York event. Here's a tip: Images are very powerful and their impact can resonate far and wide.

Obama, better than most in Washington, knows how to play these kinds of events to his advantage. He is pure Machiavellian, and to think that he's not planning to use this appearance with Dolan for purely political purposes is utterly naive and foolish. Think back on the Notre Dame scandal. No doubt, Obama's dinner oration, given a few feet away from the attentive Cardinal, will be aimed at on-the-fence Catholics in this nation. He will, like he always does, use his silver tongue to schmooze Dolan and anyone watching. He'll attempt to blur the line with his choicest "social justice" rhetoric. I wouldn't be surprised if he tries a subtle attack on Paul Ryan and his medicare plan. (By the way, Obama has recently taken to criticizing Paul Ryan, specifically for his staunch opposition to abortion! So let's invite this guy to dinner, right?) Why doesn't the Cardinal see this? The image of the gregarious Cardinal, slapping the pro-abort. prez. on the back amidst glasses of fine wine and the crème de la crème of New York, will be too much to bear.

My advice: Tune it out. Dolan should give Obama's invite to Paul Ryan and his family.

Disappointing, but not in the least surprising.

Parish Life in Milwaukee

I came across the website for Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Milwaukee. Check this out. On the page that breaks down different ways YOU TOO can participate in liturgical life, you'll find:

Eucharistic Ministers
Eucharistic Ministers distribute the bread and wine at Communion and should have a sense of hospitality and care for people. A formal schedule is prepared; Additional training is also available by calling the contact person.

Bread Baker
This ministry prepares and bakes our bread for use in all liturgies at IHM. Members prepare the special recipe and bake it in their own homes. If you like to bake, and want to share your gift with the IHM community, please call the contact person for specific information.

Liturgical Movement
The ministry of Liturgical movement may include the procession of incense, banners, and candles, as well as liturgical gestures and dance. Ministers are usually contacted for specific liturgies and seasons. Training is available.

Of course, the first is the most offensive. Is this how we talk about the Blessed Sacrament? No wonder there is a crisis of faith in this country. So sad. Reason One on a long list explaining why I attend the Tridentine Mass.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ryan Shines in Interview


Hitting Back

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces operatives is set to launch a media campaign, including TV ads, that scolds President Barack Obama for taking credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden and argues that high-level leaks are endangering American lives. ...

The OPSEC group says it is not political and aims to save American lives. Its first public salvo is a 22-minute film that includes criticism of Obama and his administration. The film, to be released on Wednesday, was seen in advance by Reuters.

"Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not," Ben Smith, identified as a Navy SEAL, says in the film.

"As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy," Smith continues. "It will get Americans killed."

Romney's Home Run

From The Hill:
"He [Obama] demonizes some. He panders to others. His campaign strategy is to smash America apart and then cobble together 51 percent of the pieces. If an American president wins that way, we all lose.

Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago. ...

This is an election in which we should be talking about the path ahead, but you don't hear any answers coming from President Obama’s re-election campaign. That’s because he's intellectually exhausted, out of ideas, and out of energy. And so his campaign has resorted to diversions and distractions, to demagoguing and defaming others. This is an old game in politics; what’s different this year is that the president is taking things to a new low.
~Mitt Romney


Top Name in UK...

A sign of where things are going in the United Kingdom. From CNN:
Mohammed reclaimed its place as the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011 - convincingly ahead of Harry, in second place, according to data released by the government this week.

The government declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, but if you add up the five most popular different spellings of Mohammed, that name comes top.

Mohammed is also the most popular boy's name of the past five years for England and Wales, ahead of Oliver and Jack. It came first or second every year since 2007, the only name to do so.

When Talent is Taxed

A good lesson for those in positions of power. From the Telegraph:
Usain Bolt refuses to race in UK until tax laws are changed

The sprinter, who won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Games in London, objects to a law that sees him taxed on global sponsorship and endorsement earnings as well as any appearance fee - levied at the 50pc higher earning rate - when he competes in Britain.

And despite setting a new world record during the Olympics, the 25 year-old, who earns an estimated $20m (£12.7m) a year, says his UK-based fans won't see him compete until the tax laws are loosened.

Most Laughable Headline Ever

Well, maybe not ever, but stay with me for a moment. Ready for a good laugh? I just came across this headline on NBC With Paul Ryan pick, economy takes a back seat

Zing! Yeah, it's the the economy that takes a back seat with the selection of one of the most versed, intelligent Republican leaders on the economy in our generation. There have been some pretty ridiculous, embarrassing headlines over the past few days regarding Paul Ryan, but this one takes the cake. It's only because the mainstream media, just like Obama, wants this election to be about anything but the economy that we find headlines like this. No shame whatsoever.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rethinking the Catholic Vote

This time, getting it right.

From Politico:
DUBUQUE, Iowa — No one doubted the Roman Catholic vote would be up for grabs in November, even before Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Now, the selection of Ryan, the first Catholic ever nominated for national office by Republicans, all but guarantees a fierce election-year fight for the affections of Catholic voters — or more specifically, white Catholics, who form the bulk of the Catholic vote here in this corner of Iowa and across the Rust Belt. ...

It will be a battle to convince on-the-fence Catholics to side with Romney and Ryan. Still, I expect a big shift in the Catholic vote in the aftermath of the oppressive HHS mandate, the poor economy, and, more positively, Paul Ryan's natural appeal. We'll see a definite improvement from 2008. I am hoping that Catholic leadership, from the bishops down to the parish pastors, get their act together and are absolutely clear to the faithful about the obligations of Catholic voters. No vague statements, no hedging, no ambiguity, but crystal clear clarity. We shall see...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wisconsin's Rise

From Politico:
With the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, Mitt Romney established Wisconsin as the capital of the Obama-era Republican resistance.

A former Wisconsin GOP chairman, Reince Priebus, coordinates the opposition as chairman of the Republican National Committee. The state’s governor, Scott Walker, is one of the brightest stars in the conservative firmament after taking on public sector unions and delivering a crushing blow to the left by winning a closely-watched June recall election.

Now Ryan, a Janesville resident, is poised to become the GOP vice presidential nominee, charged with articulating a conservative vision of governance that rivals the president's.

FYI: C-SPAN posted a video library blog featuring over 400 appearances by Paul Ryan. Check it out here.

Paul Ryan the Catholic

Something else to consider: Paul Ryan, a faithful Catholic, is the answer to the sickening Joe Biden-Nancy Pelosi brand of faux Catholicism so dominant in this country. Catholics should be proud of this moment.

An interesting article from CNN:
Mitt Romney's selection of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate promises to cast a spotlight on American Catholicism in an election year when the tradition has already been a major focus.

Ryan, a Catholic who chairs the House Budget Committee, is better known for his outspoken fiscal conservatism than for leading on conservative Catholic social causes like opposing abortion and gay marriage.

But Ryan's advocacy for cutting taxes and trimming the deficit - he is the architect of the GOP's proposed federal budget - married with his willingness to talk about fiscal belt-tightening in moral terms and his low-key social conservatism speak to a political moment in which the economic concerns of the Tea Party and the social focus of the Christian right have merged into a relatively cohesive anti-Obama movement.

At the same time, Ryan's presence on the ticket could increase Romney's appeal among the millions of middle-of-the-road Catholic voters who populate key swing states, like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Catholics are considered the quintessential swing vote, and no presidential candidate has won the White House without winning Catholics since at least the early 1990s.


The Future

Friday, August 10, 2012

They Respond

From Reuters:
ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - American nuns who were criticized by the Vatican for having strayed too far from Catholic doctrine on Friday repeated their call for women to have a greater voice in the church, but sought to diffuse tensions by offering to sit down with a top official in an "open and honest dialogue."

Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, said that members believe that "open and honest dialogue may lead not only to increasing understanding between the church leadership and women religious, but also to creating more possibilities for the laity and, particularly for women, to have a voice in the church."

I've just about had it with these renegade nuns. What is she talking about? Dated cliche after dated cliche. "More possibilities..." This is so predictable. Either you're with the pope or you're not. Period. End of discussion.

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke had some choice words for the LCWR:

America Deserves Better

Deadly Treachery in Afghanistan

A sad day for US Special Forces.

Read more about this story here.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Reaching Out to Catholics

On the Tattoo Craze

Writing for the Telegraph, Brendan O'Neill makes an excellent point about conformism and the tattoo culture of today. He begins by referring to an incident in Japan involving the mayor of Osaka, who refused to allow individuals with tattoos to work in government positions.
...the mistake that the mayor of Osaka and other officials and employees make is to believe that tattoos are evidence of deviancy. They aren’t. They’re now symbols of conformism. Indeed, it is those who withstand the social pressure to get a tattoo, those who see all the endless photos of celebs sporting body art and who still refuse to join in, who are the true deviants today. If a deviant is one who “departs from usual or accepted standards”, then it is the non-tattooed, the unbranded, who are exercising deviancy in the 21st century. In an era when, in Britain, more than a third of 16- to 44-year-olds have tats, when PM's wives sport them, when there has been, in the words of one newspaper, “a massive boom in body art led by celebrities, footballers and other high-profile figures”, it requires Herculean levels of self-possession to refuse to be tattooed. Once, a tattoo marked someone out as a rebel, as an individual who had voluntarily cast himself out of the mainstream; today, when you can’t walk down a high street without seeing scores of branded people, being tattooed is the mainstream. And to not be tattooed, to have what is known as “virgin skin”, is to thumb your nose at the mainstream, to demonstrate your ability to read celebrity magazines and listen to “high-profile figures” bang on about the glories of body art without feeling the need to copy them. To reject body art is to rebel.

I was recently talking about this exact point with a tattoo-less and extremely witty friend who, taking the perspective of an inked hipster, sarcastically asked, "What is your most deeply held conviction, and where is it on your arm?" It seems like that is what it's come down to. For the most part, tattoos today are an indication of bandwagon conformism, a conformism that overshadows the individual's attempt to proclaim to the world his individuality via his unique image, design or whatever.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

False Anti-Romney Ad

A disgusting ad attacks Romney, and even CNN picks it apart.

A typical ploy of the left sees a victim use his victim status as a shield to fire misleading broadsides.

Obama 2016

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Dolan's Invitation

After hearing about New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan inviting President Barack Obama to speak again at Al Smith fundraiser for New York Catholic Charities, I had to wonder if Pope Fabian would have invited Roman Emperor Decius to dinner to help raise money for the Church. I wonder if Pope Fabian would have given honor and platform to a man who was forcing Catholics choose between government or God. ...

As President of the United States Bishop’s Conference Dolan should remember well that in ‘Catholics in Political Life’, the U.S. bishops said:

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The New York Catholic Charities is a Catholic institution! The Diocese of New York City is a Catholic community!

Apart from the moral scandal, it is somewhat odd to invite to a fancy gala a man who is your adversary in a high-profile court battle. This is classic Cardinal Dolan, I am afraid. We're talking about a very prestigious event, chockablock with the crème de la crème of New York's media and social establishment. If you're in the "in" crowd, you're at this dinner. That is, if you care about being in the "in" crowd, you should show up. On the other hand, Obama is engaged in an unprecedented attack on the Church and religious liberty. So why the business as usual? Imagine the shock waves if Dolan rescinded the invitation! Back in the day, Dolan criticized Notre Dame for honoring Obama. Now...?

The Case for Paul Ryan

A recurring theme here. From The Washington Post:
* The ideas guy: Republicans have struggled to beat back the growing perception that they lack new ideas and, as a result, have premised their whole existence on simply opposing whatever President Obama proposes. (The Post’s Ezra Klein made the case in a recent post that there is a major policy gap between President Obama and Romney.)

Picking Ryan would immediately change that perception — or at least start to erode it. Like his proposals or not, it’s clear that in his budget blueprints, Ryan has proposed a conservative full world-view that makes tough choices — re-making Medicare, for one — that offers voters a genuine policy alternative to what President Obama has done over the past four years.

For those in the party — led by Wisconsin governor Scott Walke r — who have been urging Romney to lay out a positive policy vision for the country, picking Ryan would be regarded as a master stroke.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Trouble for O

From The Ticket:
President Barack Obama is having more difficulty keeping 2008 supporters on his side than Mitt Romney is having holding onto John McCain voters, according to a new Gallup poll.

A survey of registered voters conducted July 23-29 found that 92 percent of Americans who voted for McCain in 2008 plan to vote for Romney this fall and just 5 percent have switched sides to support Obama. But among Obama's 2008 supporters, just 86 percent are planning to do so again and 9 percent are switching their support to Romney.

The Church in France

From Spain we go to France.

From Reuters:
PARIS (Reuters) - The French Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national "prayer for France" opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the new Socialist government.

The prayer, to be read in all churches on Aug 15, echoes the defense of traditional marriage by Pope Benedict and Catholic leaders around the world as gay nuptials gain acceptance, especially in Europe and North America.

King Louis XIII decreed in 1638 that all churches would pray on Aug 15, the day Catholics believe the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into Heaven, for the good of the country. The annual practice fell into disuse after World War Two.

In the text, Catholics will pray for newly elected officials "so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands." This would include support for traditional families "throughout their lives, especially in painful moments."

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Spanish Catholicism

A beautiful devotion:

Fragmento de lo acontecido el 19 de Septiembre de 2010 en San Juan de la Palma. Todas las Hermanas de la Cruz venidas de todos los conventos del mundo, a los pies de la Virgen de la Amargura.

Social Justice and Statism

An excerpt from an article by George Weigel, appearing in First Things:
Throughout the post-Vatican II years, the U.S. bishops’ conference has typically defended the welfare state and not infrequently urged its expansion. Everyone familiar with the situation knows that this has had far more to do with the political predilections of certain conference staff members than with the settled judgment of the American episcopate—or with a careful application of the principles of Catholic social doctrine. But things are changing.

A new generation of bishops is not quite as sure as its predecessors that “social justice” always equals “government program.” The rise of aggressive secularism within both state and federal social welfare agencies has also been a sobering experience, as bishops across the country have found that the Church’s success in foster care or work with sex-trafficked women doesn’t count in the eyes of government bureaucrats determined to impose the LGBT and abortion-on-demand agendas with the funding tools at their disposal.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Michael Phelps and Achievement

Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps

This is pretty good, from Peggy Noonan, appearing in The Wall Street Journal:
From a friend watching the Olympics: "How about that Michael Phelps? But let's remember he didn't win all those medals, someone else did. After all, he and I swam in public pools, built by state employees using tax dollars. He got training from the USOC, and ate food grown by the Department of Agriculture. He should play fair and share his medals with people like me, who can barely keep my head above water, let alone swim."

The note was merry and ironic. And as the games progress, we'll be hearing a lot more of this kind of thing, because President Obama's comment—"You didn't build that"—is the political gift that keeps on giving.

They are now the most famous words he has said in his presidency. And oh, how he wishes they weren't.

What this election is about

"Sometimes I have to catch my breath and slow down because the rhetoric in this campaign is just so over the top. And that's because the President's policies have failed. Listen — 93% of Americans believe they're a part of the middle class. That's why you hear the President talk about the middle class every day, because he's talking to 93% of the American people. But the President has never created a job. He's never even had a real job for [God's] sake. And I can tell you from my dealings with him, he has no idea how the real world, that we actually live in, works." ~House Speaker John Boehner

I like this guy.


Within the context of discussing Texas GOP senate hopeful Ted Cruz, George Will made some sharp observations about Theodore Roosevelt. An excellent article from The Washington Post:
After leaving the presidency in 1909, TR went haywire. He had always chafed under constitutional restraints, but he had remained a Hamiltonian, construing the Constitution expansively but respectfully. By 1912, however, he had become what the Democratic nominee, Woodrow Wilson, was — an anti-Madisonian. Both thought the Constitution, the enumeration and separation of powers, intolerably crippled government.

Espousing unconstrained majoritarianism, TR disdained James Madison’s belief that the ultimate danger is wherever ultimate power resides, which in a democracy is with the majority. He endorsed the recall of state judicial decisions and by September 1912 favored the power to recall all public officials, including the president.

Interesting how Obama, when lecturing Republicans in congress, is fond of citing TR as an open-minded Republican who would most certainly be receptive to his policies.

To Accept or Reject?

From the AP:
The largest group for American nuns will meet next week in St. Louis to decide whether they should resist or accept a Vatican-ordered overhaul.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is set to hold its first national assembly since the Vatican orthodoxy watchdog accused the group of straying far from Roman Catholic doctrine.

The organization represents 80 percent of the 57,000 U.S. nuns. The head of the conference, Sister Pat Farrell, said Thursday that questioning church teaching should not be seen as defiance. Several past presidents of the nuns' group will attend next week's assembly to offer their guidance.

"questioning church teaching should not be seen as defiance..." right.

These nuns, the rogue ones to be clear, have based much of their activism over the past forty years on challenging, questioning or flat-out rejecting Church teaching on a range of issues. Anyone want to place bets on what they'll decide to do in St. Louis?

A More Pure Party

From NBC News:
The Senate is likely to assume an even more conservative tenor come January as a crop of insurgent-minded Republicans replace some of the GOP's old guard in the upper chamber.

A transformation within the Republican Party that was first set in motion during the 2010 midterm elections appears set to continue in the Senate, following in the path blazed in the House during this term of Congress.

“The goal is not only getting the Republican majority, but getting a conservative majority -- a majority of the Republican majority,” said Brendan Steinhauser, the director of state and federal campaigns for FreedomWorks, a group that’s worked to elect Tea Party candidates the last two cycles. “In a lot of ways, we're just getting started.”

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

A Question

Recently, a friend of mine asked whether it would be better for President Obama to win a second term.  He argued that Obama's new policies will be largely frustrated by congress, and that the policies he has already put in place will grow increasingly unpopular, as they stifle our economic growth and world influence.  My friend's idea is that, by the end of the president's second term, Americans will have had enough of his likes for good, and they will be open to electing a better, more "reliably conservative" candidate than Mr. Romney.

I know, James, that you are against such a strategy.  Could we put together a case for why my friend's approach is a mistake, and for why Romney deserves more enthusiastic support?  I would like to open this issue up for anyone's input.    

Media Fun

Just came across a headline: "It's tough being a moderate in the GOP"

In other words, "GOP now officially ruled by extremists"

Right. And the Democratic Party is the sole bastion of middle of the road, average Joe normalcy. Do we ever read about the embrace of leftist causes, and the intolerance toward those who don't get in line, on the part of the pooh-bahs of the Democratic Party? Sigh.