Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The politics of personal destruction, redux.

This is just...loathsome, repellent, disgusting--you name it.

And it's not just the fact a young mother of two is being put through the ringer of false accusations and scurrilous, giggling insults, bad though that is.

It's the fact self-declared Christians like Sarah Huckabee (daughter of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee) won't disassociate themselves from it.

Even though her dad is quite visible and audible about the persecution of Christians when it suits his political purposes.

If nothing else, this primary season has been very instructive, revealing a dazzling, if oily, spectrum of true colors. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

God rest her stout soul.

When the Almighty made Rita Rizzo, He vaporized the mold

Starting a Catholic TV network from scratch in northern Alabama? 

Why not?

So Mother Angelica did--and it took flight and became a powerhouse.

Rest well, good and faithful servant. And pray for us.

I'd get more irritated with this silliness if it had any traction.

Don McClarey notes the daffy attempt to link arms manufacturers with the suicide bombers in Brussels. "Merchants of death" are a thing with the Bishop of Rome, and he thumps that tub a lot.

Of course, it's not like the weapons makers are marketing suicide bombs larded with nails and glass (all the better to maim you with, infidel), but no matter.

Nevertheless, I'm not put off by this one. Why? Because the usual ultramontane suspects haven't really taken up the same mantra. Its self-evident fatuity is apparently a bridge too far--thanks be to God.

Happy Easter to you and yours!

El Greco, The Resurrection, circa 1608-1610.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

I'm cool with this.

Draft projection has Lions taking an OT.

It's certainly a need, and keeping the Franchise upright is absolutely essential. 

The problem with the Lions is that they have so many service-engine-light needs that they're almost certainly not going to contend for a playoff spot this year. 

But I guess we'll see if Bob Quinn managed to pack some Patriot magic with him before he left Belichick's Thronehall.

On the bright side.

Behold the latest Pricemobile!

It's a 2004 Buick Rendesvous, back from the long-vanished era when Tiger Woods was still a viable commercial pitchman.  

So now we have two motor vehicles that fall within the lifespans of our beloved children. My next new car will be my first...I'm thinking sometime after I retire, maybe.

But this is a nice replacement for the 2000 Regal, which was always a mechanical warrior, doing everything a powertrain should do. That strongly influenced me toward another Buick.

That, and of course, my middle-agedness.

It had 115,900 miles, but was well-cared for by one owner. It seems immensely practical (a third row seat means I can tote seven, including myself, or fold that row down for a trip to Costco) and has a peppy 185 hp V6. It's also a CXL version, which means it has a lot of bells and whistles to make me happy--moonroof, premium sound, heated front seats, premium wheels. Heather's all right with it, but cars don't thrill her much, one way or the other. She develops an appreciation for them over time, but that's it.

Yes, it's basically the bastard child of an SUV and a station wagon, and I'm fine with that.

I can do better than that.

I can remember a time when the focus of Holy Thursday was the Mass of the Lord's Supper and not the latest staged political gesture involving the latest select group members' tootsies.

Instead of turtles, it's politics all the way down these days. 


Friday, March 18, 2016

Ever have one of those weeks?

Where everything you touch turns to...nothing pleasant?

It can end any minute now.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to You People!

As I think I've pointed out before, my wife and children have the blood of Erin flowing through their veins, but my folk all came from the Right Bank of the Irish Sea. 

But that doesn't mean I can't join in the festivities and share with you this classic Irish anthology.

Broadway to the rescue!

It appears that a smash musical hit will ensure that our currency continues to honor Alexander Hamilton.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” said on Wednesday that he had received assurances from Jacob J. Lew, secretary of the Treasury, that admirers of Alexander Hamilton would not be disappointed by a forthcoming redesign of the $10 bill. Mr. Lew has said that he wanted to add a woman’s image to that bill, which now features Hamilton’s portrait. That plan has won support from many, but there have also been complaints from those who don’t want to see Hamilton, the country’s first Treasury secretary, replaced.
 If we're going to remove someone from our paper bills, might I suggest replacing the fellow on the $20?

Husband, wife, concubine--it's all good!

Catholic heads of state in irregular unions are now being treated just the same as those in actual marriages
Catholic heads of state who are in an irregular marital situation may now take part in an official visit to the Pope as a couple, accompanied by their irregular spouse.
The Pope made the change in February. By chance, the first to benefit from the new protocol was Argentina’s President Mauricio Macrì. He made an official visit to Pope Francis Feb. 27, accompanied by his third wife, Juliana Awada.
Third wife, eh? Saint Thomas More, call your office!

Message from the Pope: Whatevs--Mercy™.

On an unrelated note, the Pope's Favorite Theologian is promising big things with the forthcoming Exhortation:
The cardinal, whose theology Pope Francis has often lauded, went on to say that in the document the Holy Father will “definitively express himself on family issues addressed during the last Synod, and in particular on the participation of the divorced and remarried faithful in the active life of the Catholic community.”
He added that the apostolic exhortation will represent “the first step in a reform” that will mark the “turning of a page” in the Church’s history “after 1,700 years."
"We must not repeat past formulas and barricade ourselves behind the wall of exclusivism and clericalism,” Cardinal Kasper told a packed aula in Lucca’s Real Collegio, adding that the Church must live in the current times and “know how to interpret them.”
Jesus Christ remains available for comment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pellucidar or Bust.

Which President green-lit an expedition to the center of the Earth--because he believed it was hollow?

Read on to find out!

And people wonder why I'm a history obsessive. 

The nastiest thing I've read in some time.

And it's from a writer whose work I've uniformly enjoyed, Kevin Williamson. 

It's one thing to regard Trump as a fraud spouting whatever it is he'll think will get him elected--that's my view, and of course I'm not wrong. :)

No, really--Trump is a salesman, and he's signaling that someone is going to get screwed if he gets elected. Given the rapturous and unswerving support he's getting from his voters, it's safe to say that he thinks he can screw them without serious blowback. And he's probably right. 

But even if you don't agree with my diagnosis, I think we can agree that it's another thing to want entire segments of his voters to die off

That there are self-inflicted pathologies within the white working and middle classes is beyond dispute. The nation is aswarm with numerous such problems affecting different groups in different ways. 

But to say that the challenges and struggles of these communities are entirely self-inflicted is no more than a Randian lullaby, an objectivist parable. It's a moralistic fable--substituting Ayn for Aesop--which serves to deflect from an honest examination of the hollowing-out of what were once prosperous, healthy communities. 

The fact is, the invisible hand has been a fist in the solar plexi of millions, and the response of starry-eyed free marketeers has been to offer up another pot of message.

I can't imagine a more effective bit of pro-Trump propaganda than Williamson's horrific essay.

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...