Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In 1989, during my lapsed-Methodist days, I was turned away from a tour of the Cologne Cathedral because I was wearing khaki shorts.

I changed into long pants, returned, and enjoyed the tour.

Get. Over. Your. Self.

Note the seemless segue from Sally's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day at the Vatican into pom-pon shaking for Garry Wills' shrieky arguments against the priesthood and sacraments.

What a twit.

Yes, both of them.

America, the Kingdom of Pathological Narcissists.

[Hat tip to Chris for the find.]


Tommy enjoyed an encounter with this on Saturday, and decided to share it with Louis and Elizabeth.

Dad's French-Army-In-1940 immune system decided to join in the Fun!™ yesterday. Whee.

How I knew I was sick: they wanted to watch the Bubble Guppies, and I had no objection.

We're getting better, but yeesh. I'll say this--Louis is tougher than a box of roofing nails. He had it the worst, and griped not at all. Amazing kid.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

To be fair...

After slagging the editors of America, it behooves me to offer praise where warranted. It is certainly warranted for this blog post about the remarkably nasty (and I know nasty) Garry Wills comments on The Colbert Report.

Read it all.

As an aside, it's important to note that Wills is reflexively unpleasant to people who don't share his views.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

That their grief may not be compounded.

At long last, the editors of America endorse a constitutional buttress to the culture of life.

Supporting the Human Life Amendment? Surely you jest. Politics is strictly about the art of the possible when it comes to abortion.

No, no--one must be realistic about such things.

Instead, we need to repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

The reason: something must be done so that urban, left-leaning Jesuits can feel better about themselves:

The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.

For some reason, there are exceptions:

This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes.

As an aside, please, please, I beg you: stop pretending you give a rat's fanny about hunting. Deep down, we know you hate it, but somehow you feel compelled to offer insincere boilerplate respect. You can stop now. Besides, hunting firearms are more devastating than ones that make you queasy. Just flop your cards on the table and admit you don't approve of any significant private ownership of firearms. Dialogue requires openness, don't you know?

Anyway, there's a yawning logical inconsistency here: why should an off-duty approved firearm owner be allowed to keep it when he is off the clock? At the end of the day, such individuals should turn them in to a secure area until they punch back in. Even soldiers aren't toting weapons around all the time outside of combat zones. As the editors note, original sin (!) ensures bad things will happen, and cops are quite capable of misusing firearms, as we have been recently reminded. Thus, in Americaworld, there is no reason anyone to own a firearm off duty.

Go after violent media? Nah. That's Legion of Decency, Catholic-ghetto stuff. Shudder.

Revisit our oft-idiotic drug war? Piffle. Nope.

What it boils down to is that nobody at America owns a firearm or likes anyone who owns one. In policymaking, this is known as the It's Time We All Start Making Sacrifices, Starting With You, Of Course! manuever.

Did it ever occur to them to, you know, actually talk to an actual gun owner before promulgating this un-papal bull? Apparently not. Dialogue's only for people the Catholic left respect, I guess.

Nope--it's time to tear an Amendment out of the Constitution and unchain Caesar to kick doors in to remove unapproved firearms from our midst. If you like the drug war, you'll plotz over the gun war.

However, to be fair, there is a moral upside to the proposal: should, in this post-Second Amendment dream world of the America editorial board, your family or friends be harmed by a criminal who could have been stopped by a firearm, at least the editors' grief will not be compounded by the knowledge that unapproved citizens owned guns. That’s a comforting thought for hospital visits and/or the funeral Mass, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I know what women like.

And what they like is a life of Christ by a 19th Century French ultramontane in the original language.

Trust me--it's a hit.

Sixty percent of the time, it works every time.

The cheery sang-froid has dissipated.

I find myself more unnerved by the Pope's resignation than I was yesterday. Losing certainty in increasingly uncertain times is bad, full-stop. I pray that the next Pope has a full awareness of what he's up against. He can't be a doomsayer, but a chirpy optimist is the last thing we need.

  Turning and turning in the widening gyre
  The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
  Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
  Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
  The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
  The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
  The best lack all conviction, while the worst
  Are full of passionate intensity.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Well, I wasn't expecting that.

Steve Skojec came up with that, so credit him accordingly.

My initial thought is to derail the ultramontane interpretations of conclaves and selections:

The Holy Spirit protects the Church in exactly the same way a good parent protects a toddler. He keeps the child safe, but doesn't guarantee that the kid won't eat dirt, roll in dog poop or say something inappropriate to your mustachioed aunt.

We're guaranteed that a Pope won't officially teach something that is in error. That's it.

Early lists of the papabile are up, this one courtesy of the excellent Michael Brendan Dougherty.

But in the meantime, I'll miss this one a lot: I appreciate him as a writer and pastor, and will regret that, barring a last minute surprise, we won't get his encyclical on faith to finish the triptych.

Thank you, Holy Father, and may God grant you rest and peace.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Remember: the collective national IQ has plummeted since 1967.

Amanda Marcotte is Dworkin Barbie: all the anger, only more plastic, derivative and frivolous. Combine it with her My Vulgar Little Feminist writing style and her Chatty Cathy pull-string range, and you have a feast of weapons-grade stupid ever time she hits "Publish." The Octomom picture is fitting--at least the battle of wits between them would be a nail-biter.

Let me be the first to reassure her: she doesn't have to reproduce.

But she will have to live with the consequences of an increasing number of people Living The Marcotte Way. As in, she'd better have one hell of a retirement nest-egg or acquire a taste for Alpo in her old age.

Why should the President give a rip about unemployment?

The electorate didn't.

Michael Darda, chief economist at MKM Partners, points out that “it will require a multiyear period of above-trend growth to return unemployment to more normal levels.” He speaks of the “jobs gap,” the difference between current employment levels and what they would be if a few years of catch-up economic growth had reestablished the pre-recession trend. Assuming annual private-sector employment growth of 2 percent, the average of the past three decades, we’re 14 million jobs short. And because catch-up growth never happened — say, a few years of averaging 5 percent growth, as happened after the 1981–82 recession — even if the economy returns to steady 3 percent growth, GDP levels will be trillions lower in the future than they would have been otherwise, due to the lower starting point.

But right now output growth and job growth aren’t even back to trend. And that means every month the output and jobs gaps grow a bit wider. With an economy that hasn’t hummed since the 1990s, we’ve already had one lost decade. If we begin to accept and acquiesce to the creeping new normalcy, America risks suffering its own lost generation. Someone right now needs to say “Enough” — and then back up those words with action. It would be helpful if that person were Obama.

It's what the majority wanted. The President will continue to blame everyone else while the corrosive effects of long-term unemployment, coupled with national insolvency, do the inevitable.


Friday, February 01, 2013


Behold the future, if "progress" continues its jackbooted march:

State-funded university boots Asian Christian group off campus. The crime? Its charter doesn't allow for non-Christians.

Last December, members of Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship were summoned before university officials who told them there was an issue with the section of their club constitution related to leadership. In order for students to be InterVarsity leaders, they must sign a statement of faith, but the university said that requirement violated its nondiscrimination policy. InterVarsity member Sara Chang said the group was given the option of submitting a revised constitution, but she and the other students decided to stand firm in their faith. As a result, the university de-recognized the group -- forcing them to relocate off campus.

While I root for Michigan football, I wouldn't shed a tear if the LSA complex was turned into a strip mall. Or even a strip club.

The U of M responded, indicating that the institution would be fine with a Christian group whose charter mirrored the beliefs of this great guy:

More grist for the Second Amendment mill.

Donald McClarey points out that Danny Glover's legal scholarship is a bit off.

As Professors Robert Cottrol and Raymond Diamond noted over twenty years ago:

Throughout American history, black and white Americans have had radically different experiences with respect to violence and state protection. Perhaps another reason the Second Amendment has not been taken very seriously by the courts and the academy is that for many of those who shape or critique constitutional policy, the state's power and inclination to protect them is a given. But for all too many black Americans, that protection historically has not been available. Nor, for many, is it readily available today. If in the past the state refused to protect black people from the horrors of white lynch mobs, today the state seems powerless in the face of the tragic black-on-black violence that plagues the mean streets of our inner cities, and at times seems blind to instances of unnecessary police brutality visited upon minority populations....

The history of blacks, firearms regulations, and the right to bear arms should cause us to ask new questions regarding the Second Amendment. These questions will pose problems both for advocates of stricter gun controls and for those who argue against them. Much of the contemporary crime that concerns Americans is in poor black neighborhoods and a case can be made that greater firearms restrictions might alleviate this tragedy. But another, perhaps stronger case can be made that a society with a dismal record of protecting a people has a dubious claim on the right to disarm them. Perhaps a re-examination of this history can lead us to a modern realization of what the framers of the Second Amendment understood: that it is unwise to place the means of protection totally in the hands of the state, and that self-defense is also a civil right.

The GOP Garbage Squad.

Nine awful human beings whose views are unworthy of the slightest respect. Especially after caterwauling about spending money on Ukraine, no...