Friday, November 12, 2004

It Is Snowing In Boston. Sigh.

Forecast calls for up to an inch of wet accumulation over night, and up to 5 inches on the Cape and South Shore.

I read in the Washington Times (link courtesy of Dom Bettinelli) that disgruntled northeast liberals are thinking of seceeding from the Union. I doubt that it would ever happen, of course, but if they did, it would give me an excuse to relocate.

Let's see. Where I live has to be a former British colony. It has to be on the Atlantic seacoast. It has to have a large Irish Catholic population. It has to have an Indult Latin Mass. Obviously, it would have to be in Republican Red Territory. And if it is warmer than New England, all the better, as long as it is not humid. Virginia? North Carolina? South Carolina? Georgia?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

OK, I Was Thinking To Myself Yesterday That One More Story Like This, and We Have Ourselves A National Trend

The last blog entry about the actor who supports Kerry who is having faiting fits and getting into fistfights over the election makes 6 stories in the last week that have an underlaying similarity.

Here we see that Floridians who voted for Kerry are lining up for counseling.

Here we see Kerry supporters beating a Bush supporter with a bat.

Here we see a Kerry supporter advertising to find a Bush supporter he can fight.

Here we see Kerry supporters thinking of leaving the USA.

Then there is the violent reaction by San Francisco leftists captured in these photos.

And lastly, this actor fellow.

True, Republicans have been on the winning side more often than Democrats for the last 30+ years. The elections of 1974, 1978, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2002, and 2004 have been good for Republicans.

You know, in 1992, I was very unhappy about the election of Bill Clinton. I was even more unhappy that the American people re-elected that person in 1996. I was unhappy when Republicans lost control of the Senate in 1986, and when we lost 27 House seats in 1982. I was really unhappy in 1976 when Carter was elected, and in 1974 when Republicans in Congress got creamed because of Watergate.

We've had good results 9 times, they, 6. And if you take Watergate out of the equation, then 1974 and 1976 might not have been so good to Democrats. Watergate had the effect of disrupting a long-term demographic and idealogical shift towards the GOP. Bill Clinton's inexplicable personal appeal (and Ross Perot's intervention) had something of the same effect, at least at the presidential level, in 1992 and 1996.

I am sure that all real conservatives shared my dismay and disgust during our bad years. But I don't recall Republicans staging fainting fits, or getting into fistfights with Democrats, or beating them with bats, or seeking therapy during any of these debacles.

Looking ahead, I have this visceral fear that Hillary! (TM) will steamroll into the White House in 2008 on an anti-war, pro-abortion, anti-business, anti-taxpayer campaign that will galvanize the Soccer Moms to vote for socialized medicine supported by higher taxes, "choice," bugging out of the strategically important gains of the Bush years, and putting a woman in the Oval Office.

But, I can't see myself leaving the country over that, or finding some Democrat to beat with a bat, or offering a fistfight to any willing Democrat, or having fainting fits. Hillary! (TM) as president might be the best thing that ever happened to Republican congressional prospects since, well, her husband.

These Democrats are exhibiting neurotic symptoms over this. These reactions are not indicative of the normal "you-win-some-you-lose-some" American attitude towards politics. It may be that Democrats of this perusasion have emotionally invested so much in their "anointed" (as Thomas Sowell would call it) vision of society and the economy that they cannot deal with the reality that their views are not shared by the majority.

There is something "un-American" in this reaction. We see again in another article in today's Drudge Report that these leftists really don't feel comfortable in America anymore. They desperately wanted the USA to follow Europe in jumping right down the into the cesspool of secularism, gay "marriage," unlimited abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, socialized medicine, high taxes, environmentally "sensitive" policies, and a "sophisticated" reliance on the UN to solve international problems.

That is probably exacerbated by the tunnel vision effect caused by the compactness of the blue counties. They really are a tiny portion of the American landmass. But they are concentrated in the cities, where they can probably go all day and not, to their knowledge, deal with a Republican. Everyone they know was supporting Kerry, such was the consensus among the "smart-set."

So how could he lose?

The intemperate mind conjures up fraud and conspiracies where there are none. A dispassionate view will easily see that where there was fraud, it was in the big city machine politics, and that, of course, helped Kerry. In terms of honest votes, Kerry's actual total was probably one percent lower than his official total, since he benefitted from generic union/big city voting fraud as all Democrats do. The Philadelphia voting machines with votes pre-cast for Kerry found in them this year is just one example we know about.

That the President was not just re-elected, but re-elected with record voter turn-out, more popular votes than Reagan got in 1984, and a healthy majority of the popular vote (for the first time in 16 years) must be really rattling their cages. The high voter turnout means that people actually went to the polls to make sure Bush was re-elected. That means they were giving the "smart set" the "up yours" sign as they voted. And if that isn't repudiation, I don't know what is.
These liberals thought that the mere fact of coffins coming back from Iraq would spook the American people, as it spooked them, into stampeding to vote for "Cut and Run John"?

Sorry. If it is for a good cause, Americans can accept losses, though we never like them.

They thought people actually bought the great big stinking pile of poop being peddled by Michael Moore?

Sorry. We don't take our politcal cues from idiots and Euro-Weenie Wannabes.

They thought that the high-strung rantings of Ben Affleck, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna, etc. would persuade?

Sorry. The four actors who have made a name for themselves in politics were all Republicans or libertarians (Reagan, Schwarrzenegger, Eastwood, Grandy).

They thought people in Florida really, in 2000, did not mean to give Bush a (slim) majority?

Sorry. You bought into the Gore machine's spin, didn't you? Actually, Bush's total in Florida would have carried him clearly over the top had the networks not rushed to announce the Florida returns before polls in the Republican Panhandle closed one hour later than the rest of the state.

They thought people yearn for unrestricted abortions, for making human life in order to kill it to maybe keep Alzheimer's patients living forever?

Sorry. There may not be a strong majority for banning abortion in all circumstances, but there is also no majority that favors unrestricted abortions. Americans, contrary to what NARAL tells you, don't like the idea of abortion. They are willing to allow it for rape and incest and when the mother's life is in genuine jeopardy (and that means the Church still has its work cut out for it). But otherwise, Americans are not in favor of abortion, and calling it "a woman's right to choose" does not change the result.

They thought people want higher taxes?

Sorry. People resent giving the government tax money. Especially since it is such a large amount that they have to fork over. Americans are increasingly willing to do without government services to fund just vital needs like national defense and security, while keeping taxes low. Americans understand that low taxes mean a healthier private-sector economy, and keeps the growth of government in check.

Well, I guess they were wrong again. On all counts. As is most often the case.

They need now to get a grip.

The sun will rise. The sun will set. Thanksgiving and Christmas will come, as will winter and spring. The rain will continue to fall upon the just and the unjust alike. Kids will continue to grow. Football, hockey, and baseball will be played. Vacations will happen. The media will spew daily. New books will have to be read. New museum exhibits will open. Faces in government will come and go. Life will go on, much as it did before, even with a stronger Republican majority in both houses of Congress, George W. Bush in the White House, and picking both judges and Supreme Court justices.

It appears that leftists hate Bush with great intemperance. Now that he has triumphed, they can't deal with it. Edmund Burke knew all about this phenonomon more than 200 years ago. "Men of intemperate minds are never free. Their passions forge their fetters."

And Mark Sullivan at Irish Elk links to just the photo to show incredulous Europeans you meet at cocktail parties.

Bush State People Far More Charitable Than Kerry State People

Michelle Malkin's blog (!) lays it all out, with a chart.

News To Me

Distinguished economics writer Larry Kudlow, whose writings I enjoy and mostly agree with, is a Catholic convert. Among current really important pols/pundits, that makes 6 that I know of, Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Sam Brownback, Father Richard John Neuhaus, Dick Morris, Judge Robert Bork, and Kudlow. A little further down the ladder, but still very important, there is Mark Shea, Scott Hahn, etc.

And in the last century+? Malcolm Muggeridge, G.K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh, John Henry Cardinal Newman, Arnold Lunn, Monsignor Ronald Knox, Clare Booth Luce, Sir Alec Guiness, J.R.R. Tolkien, Russell Kirk, Saint Katherine Drexel, Orestes Brownson, Ven. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, etc.

Then, among the cradle Catholics, there are William F. Buckley,Jr., Patrick Buchanan, Peggy Noonan, George Weigel, Michael Novak, Hilaire Belloc, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Flannery O'Connor, Tom Clancy, Jeff MacNelly, Bill Bennett, Paul Johnson.

The Anglo-American conservative Catholic tradition in the last 150 years has been illuminated by many great talents, hasn't it?

I still hold out hope that one day, Rush Limbaugh will make his submission to Rome. All those marriages say to me that the man is searching for something. And with friends like Bennett and Clancy, it may one day happen, by osmosis, if by no other means.

Why We Hate the UN, Reason # CCXXVIII

Now the UN is demanding that Catholic Poland allow abortion as a matter of "human rights."

Anybody know how to say "shove it where the sun don't shine" in Polish?

Another Happy Kerry Supporter

Fistfights, arguments, fainting fits.

There is something wrong with these people.

Their psychosis appears to be very deep.

I think we need to reach out to them.

Try to talk them in off the ledge.

Gently suggest that they stop re-playing the DVD of Fahrenheit 9-11.

Put an arm around their shoulder, and pat their hand sympathetically.

Suggest that they seek medication for the disorder.

Make them a nice cup of vanilla chai.

Damn!! I didn't know you could dislocate your tongue by putting it that far into your cheek!

Arafat Is Now Officially Dead

I'm fighting very hard to keep from making allusions to the Monty Python "Dead Parrot" sketch here.

The world, Israel, and the Palestinians are much better off today.

Birthday of Abigail Adams

The second First Lady, and the first American woman to be the wife of one and mother of another president (a category she shares with only Barbara Bush), was born on this day in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1744. But we just discussed her extensively on the anniversary of her death on October 28th.

General George S. Patton

Fittingly, on this day in 1885, General George S. Patton was born.

He served on the staff of Black Jack Pershing in Mexico and in World War I, and was an advocate of armored warfare theory before World War II. He was given the job of taking over a defeated US corps in North Africa, and turned it into a first-class unit.

He commanded the Seventh Army in the invasion of Sicily, and took Messina. Some bad publicity shelved him during the D-Day invasion, but he was soon given the command of the US Third Army, and lead the breakout from the Normandy/Brittany area across France. His forces turned 90 degrees to respond to the German offensive in Demember, 1944. His forces were pushing past the limits of the US zone of occupation when the war ended.

In peacetime, his realistic and politically incorrect attitude towards the Soviets earned him early retirement. But he died as the result of a car crash in Germany in December, 1946 before being sent home.

How Tommy Atkins Got His Name

From the Imperial War Museum:

The origins of the term "Tommy Atkins" as a nickname for the British (or rather English) soldier are still nebulous and indeed disputed. A widely held theory is that the Duke of Wellington himself chose the name in 1843....

The Duke of Wellington's use of the expression is said to have been inspired by an incident during the Battle of Boxtel (Holland) against the French on September 1794. Wellington, (then Colonel Arthur Wellesley), led the 33rd Regiment of Foot, and at the end of the engagement Wellesley spotted among the wounded the right-hand-man of the Grenadier Company, a man of 6 ft 3 inches with twenty years' service. He was dying of three wounds - a sabre slash in the head, a bayonet thrust in the breast, and a bullet through the lungs.

He looked up at Wellesley and apparently thought his commander was concerned, because he said, "It's alright sir. It's all in a day's work", and then died.

The man's name was Private Thomas Atkins, and his heroism is said to have left such an impression on Wellington, that when he was Commander-in-Chief of the British Army he recalled the name and used it as a specimen on a new set of soldiers' documents sent to him at Walmer Castle for approval.

Rememberence Day

In the United Kingdom and its former colonies, today is Remembrance Day, essentially Memeorial Day for the war dead of Britain, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand , South Africa, and India.

We in the US think of our British cousins, when we do, as stalwart allies in common efforts. But Britain has gone it alone without the US when it was convinced the cause of freedom required it.

It was British redcoats who hemmed in Louis XIV, thwarted Bonaparte at Waterloo, and curbed the Czar in the Crimea. Britain brought civilization to a sizeable chunk of the globe. Britain along with France held the Kaiser's army at bay until the US deemed it appropriate to join in the fray. Britain stood alone against Hitler and Mussolini in 1940 and 1941. British troops fought Japan in Asia, and fought alongside us in Korea, Serbia, the Iraqi desert, and in Afghanistan. They are alongside us now in Iraq.

They stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us for 40 years, ready to prevent a Soviet blitzkrieg into Western Europe.

This is a day to remember also Tommy Atkins, soldiering on at Blenheim, Oudenarde, Malplaquet and Ramillies, Fontenoy and Culloden, Minden, Quebec, Warburg, Plassey, Ticonderoga, Bushy Run, and Wilhelmstahl, Bunker Hill, Long Island, Brandywine, Germantown, Camden, and Guilford Courthouse, Talavera, Busaco, Fuentes de Honoro, Cuidad Roderigo, Badajoz, Salamanca, Vittoria, the Pyrennes, Quatre Bras and Waterloo, Sevastopol, and the Sepoy Mutiny, Roarke's Drift, Ladysmith, and Omdurman, Ypres, Gallipoli, the Marne, and the Somme, Dunkirk, Crete, Gazala, Crusader, El Alamien, Dieppe, Goodwood, Epsom, and Arnhem, Goose Green and Desert Sabre.

This is a day to remember those who have fought for our sakes, for the effort to restrain tyranny, even long before we were born, or even before our country was born.

Veterans' Day

As the importance of the anniversary of the end of Waorld War I declined after the Second World War, the observance of November 11th in the United States was transformed into a day to honor those who have served the US in uniform. On this day, the president participates in services at Arlington National Cemetery, laying a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Soldier. All across America, small ceremonies are held to remember our veterans.

But for most Americans, with financial markets, banks, post offices, schools, and government offices closed, it is a day to get a head start on Christmas shopping, or get more sleep. That this day has been so transformed is a sad commentary on our culture.

It should be a day for thanking our veterans, and remembering what they lived through for our sakes.

In modern society, a small percentage of young men serve in uniform so that, when needed, they can protect their country and its people.

The military has been our safeguard since 1775, earlier if you count our struggles with the French and their Indian allies. In that time, the honor roll of battles is a long one.

From Trenton, Princeton, Saratoga, Stony Point, Vincennes, and Yorktown to Lake Erie, aboard the USS Constitution, and at New Orleans, to the Alamo, to Chapultapec to Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox, to San Juan Hill and Manila Bay, to the Western Front in 1918, to Midway, Tunisia, Sicily, Monte Cassino, Omaha Beach, Nijmegen Bridge, the Battle of the Bulge, the Hurtgen Forest, the Crossing of the Rhine, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Pusan, Inchon, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh, Ia Drang, Tet, Libya, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, Serbia, and on the USS Cole, in Afghanistan, today in Fallujah, and at ten thousand other places, the American serviceman has answered the call to arms and served with distinction.

My own father's World War II experience is probably fairly typical. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942, at the age of 22. He was assigned as base security at Alamagordo, New Mexico, guarding an airstrip in some way related to the Manhattan Project (but he didn't know that, then). For more than two years, his biggest worries were rattlesnakes, and convincing the PX clerk that, when he asked for "tonic," he wanted Coca Cola, not hair tonic (actually my father preferred a noxious brew you can still buy, though heaven knows who drinks it today, called Moxie).

The Battle of the Bulge created a huge need for combat infantry replacements, so in early 1945, he found himself on a liberty ship heading for Germany. He was assigned to the 69th Infantry Division, and took part in the battle for Germany. He won a Bronze Star for pulling a wounded comrade to cover while under enemy fire. In April, his luck ran out. While moving through the supposedly cleared town of Wiessenfels, in Saxony, near the historic battlefields of Jena and Auerstadt and Leipzig, he took a sniper's bullet an inch from his lower spine. He spent a few months in hospital in England, and then was sent back to Germany until he was demobilized.

While guarding a supply train, he was almost murdered by Russian soldiers intent on looting the train. After a liberty ship trip back to the US, he married my mom. The bullet remained in him, and began to give him difficulty again just a few months before he died (of a heart attack) in 1989.

If any generation of American servicemen had not done their duty, one shudders to think what would have become of the American experiment in democracy and capitalism.

Other cultures have held ours in contempt, and felt we would not make real warriors. As David Hackett Fischer wrote in Paul Revere's Ride,

The Regulars of the British Army and the citizen soldiers of Massachusetts looked upon military affairs in very different ways. New England farmers did not think of war as a game, or a feudal ritual, or an instrument of state power, or a bloodsport for bored country gentlemen...In 1775, many men of Massachusetts had been to war. They knew its horrors from personal experience. With a few exceptions, they thought of fighting as a dirty business that had to be done from time to time if good men were to survive in a world of evil....[M]ost New Englanders were not pacifists themselves. Once committed to what they regarded as a just and necessary war, these sons of Puritans hardened their hearts and became the most implacable of foes. Their many enemies who lived by a warrior- ethic always underestimated them, as a long parade of Indian braves, French aristocrats, British redcoats, Southern planters, German fascists, Japanese militarists, Marxist idealogues, and Arab adventurers have invariabley discovered to their heavy cost.

So for those who have served our country in uniform, we thank you for that service. American democracy depended upon you, and you came through. America is a better place for your service, though the memories may be painful to you, even more than 50 years later.

Armistice Day

At eleven minutes after the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, World War I ended.

It was a war entered into by most of Europe with jubilation 4 years before. The astonishing slaughter of the trenches in pointless battles at Verdun, Ypres, the Somme, the Argonne, the Marne, and Gallipoli turned the jubilation into bleak despair as Europe's generals could think of nothing better than to have an entire generation slaughtered and maimed, while their governments ginned up what popular enthusiasm they could by proclaiming it a war to end all wars.

World War I ended Europe's dominance of the world.

It's outcome abruptly ended the rule of the Romanovs, Habsburgs, and Hohenzollerns.

It brought the menace of communism to reality in Russia.

It made the rise of Nazism in Germany possible.

It butchered innocence and optimism along with millions of young men.

Europe no longer had the self-confidence, or the money, to maintain colonial empires after the war, so most of mankind was swiftly cut adrift into the modern world without proper guidance in how to cope in it.

It brought the US and Russia to the fore of world power.

But the battle of attrition of that war wasn't properly concluded. The peace that was imposed was so mild, yet seemingly so harsh, that Germany was both motivated to, and able to attack again in 30 years, bringing on even greater human catastrophe, and dimming Europe's star, perhaps forever.

The day that ended that nightmare of a war has been commemorated solemnly ever since.

When I was a child there were still many World War I veterans alive. But, as Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy sang, "The old men still answer the call/But year after year, the numbers get fewer/Someday no one will march there at all." Today the youngest veteran of World War I is in his late 90s and very few people have contact with anyone who fought that grievous, bloody, pitiless war. Sadly, World War I has become a forgotten war.

The subsequent history of mankind has made a mock of the claim that "The Great War" would end all wars.

On a personal note, my grandfather and his 2 brothers enlisted in the 1st Battalion, Connaught Rangers (formerly the 88th Regiment of Foot) in 1915. My grandfather was a gas casualty at Ypres, but survived the war. He died in 1936, 28 years before I was born.

The Adams/Bush Comparisons Can Stop Now

Unlike the younger Adams, the younger Bush has won re-election.

It Is Martinmas

Today the Church celebrates Saint Martin of Tours, one of the most important saints in western Christendom.

Martin was born in Pannonia around 325, and entered the Roman army's elite cavalry at an early age. Encountering a beggar while was stationed at Amiens, he divided his cloak with him. According to legend, the beggar revealed himself to be Christ himself.

Shortly after age 20, he was baptized and left the army, becoming an exorcist under the direction of Saint Hilary of Poitiers. He lived as a hermit on the island of Gallinaria, and returned to Gaul where he founded a monastery at Liguge, the first important monastery in the West. His monastery followed the Rule of Saint Basil.

In 371, he was forcibly carried off to become bishop of Tours. He had hidden from the delegation from Tours, but his hiding place, it is said, was revealed by a goose, hence the custom of eating goose on Martinmas.

He ruled the see of Tours for 26 years. In that time, he made numerous conversions in Berry, Touraine, Anjou, Beauce, Dauphiny, Paris, Luxembourg, Trier, and Sennonais. Wherever he went, he cast down idols, built churches, and left priests and monks to carry out his work.

In 397, worn out, he lay dying at Candes. His followers begged him to live. He struggled to say, "If God finds that I can still be of use to His people, I do not at all refuse to work and to struggle longer." He died with his face turned to Heaven.

He became almost immediately, the most popular saint in Chistendom. In France alone, 4,000 churches are dedicated to him, and over 500 villages are named for him.

Martinmas in Europe corresponds to the traditional time for slaughtering animals not intended to be kept alive through the winter. It also signals the time that the new vintage of wine is ready for drinking. Fresh beef and Beaujolais Noveau have traditionally meant feasting in Europe. So Martinmas has traditionally been a jolly time, a last opportunity to enjoy God's bounty before the fast of Advent starts.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Angry Kerry Supporter (Getting A Lot Of These, Are We Not?) Wants To Fight Bush Supporter

Will any Bush supporter do? How about Arnold? Or former multi-year Miss Olympia Corey Everson?

Dejected Kerry Supporters Beat Bush Supporter With A Bat

Boy, are these guys sore losers!

Unfortunately, the object of the beating is now a sore winner.

OK, It Is Going To Be AG Gonzales

That is a heck of a lot better than AG Guiliani, AG Racicot, or AG Danforth, I hope.

But it is still not as cool as Attorney General "Give 'Em Zell" woul dhave been.

Haloscan Has Its Problems

If you have posted a comment that I have not responded to in the last couple of weeks (when my blogging has been pretty intense, and it appears comments have been almost non-existent) I am not ignoring you. Some odd glitch in Haloscan is making it appear that there are zero comments for almost all the posts. You have to click on the zero befoe the comment or two that is there springs up.

I know my blog isn't Mark Shea's, but I knew I must get more comments than Haloscan is showing at first glance.

Yet, some comments are noted and recorded by Haloscan. I saw one from Mark Sullivan the other day.

I can't figure it out. "Too deep for me, Stevie."

Oh, And BTW

Keep the pressure up on Republican Senators so that they do not vote for Arlen Specter as chair of the all-important Judiciary Committee.

Either Specter as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, or any of the troika of Guiliani, Racicot, or Danforth as AG would be a betrayal of all that conservatives worked for during this election.

And yes, the spectre (pun intended) of David Souter (and also Eisenhower appointees Brennan and Warren, and Ford appointee Stevens) hangs over all of this. We did not work this hard to get liberal Republican judges appointed but card-carrying Federalist Society/Heritage Foundation/American Conservative Union/National Review types only (or until the supply runs out).

Seriously, e-mail, call, fax, and write every Republican on the Judiciary Committee (or who will be joining it) and tell them in no uncertain terms that you will withhold any and all contributions to the party, to its candidates, and especially to themselves, if they are stupid enough to elect Arlen Specter Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

The Battle of Fallujah Is Going Well

But one wonders if much of the enemy did not slip out before the cordon was drawn tightly.

Here are some vignettes from the Big Red One's sector of the offensive. Killing the bastards very efficiently, it would appear.

Bad Idea

Yeah, I know we got 42% of the Hispanic vote, but hopefully those were all legal aliens voting for our guys.

I don't care if they are mostly Catholic (but not all).

If they are here illegally, round them up, hold them, give then 96 hours and free use of the phone and computer to prove they are either citizens or here legally, and if they cannot do that, ship them back immediately. And if their home country stalls the deportation, put them on planes, and give them parachutes, fly them over their home country, and give them a parachuting lesson. And start with the ones using government services.

The INS needs to be much more aggressive in rooting out illegals, and keeping them out. It would not be a bad thing if we stationed 50,000 troops along the Mexican border to keep illegals out.

Illegals, if they vote (and there are always stories that indicate they are) don't vote Republican, and don't go to Church. So, while they may move the country a little closer to being majority Catholic, they don't contribute much to the Church, not even their unwashed butts in the pews.

Great Work By These Sisters

As part of the faith-based initiative, they have put together a health plan that does not allow funds for abortions, and 27 Illinois counties are making this plan an option for their workers.

Planned Parenthood, of course, is outraged. Anything that outrages Planned Parenthood, qua Planned Parenthood, is a great thing in my book.

Ashcroft Resigning As Attorney General

That is a bad thing.

Ashcroft was my favorite member of the cabinet, and his appoinment after the dirty tricks that denied him his senate seat showed that the President had stones. I especially loved how liberals absolutely hated this guy for his vigorous conservatism, quiet-spoken forthrightness, and straight-arrow lifestyle. He reminded me of the always-staunch Edwin Meese, President Reagan's superb AG, who was hated by the same left-wingers.

I especially don't like the names that are being floated as replacements: Racicot, Guiliani, Danforth. They are all social liberals, and the last thing we want is a liberal vetting judicial nominations for a non-lawyer President.

I have a much better idea. Anybody know if Zell Miller is a lawyer? Zell would be "Ashcroft With Attitude." That would be way too cool.

If they hated Ashcroft, I can't wait to see what they'll say about US Attorney General "Give 'em Zell" Miller!

Oh, the Pain, the Pain!!!!

Give me a break.

I saw this in Drudge yesterday but could not open the link at the time.

The USMC Is 229 Years Old Today!

Happy anniversary to those who have served!

Semper Fidelis!

Not Surprising At All

It seems my blogging buddy Ron Van Wegen is on the cutting edge.

He recently, as I mentioned yesterday, changed his blog's name and focus, going from Catholic Down Under to Australia Abortion Site.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

It Is Mighty Chilly In Boston For Only November

It feels more like December and makes me wish I was in Florida.

It also calls to mind this Thomas Hood poem:

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds!

Some Adjustments To the Links

Organizations was too unwieldy a category. So I have made it more specific.

Now there are Orgs Cath (Catholic organizations), Orgs Cons (conservative organizations), and Orgs Cult (cultural organizations).

Kerry Thinking About Trying Again

Kerry '08?

John, Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

What a field they could have: Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and, of course Clinton (Hillary! [TM], that is)!

Then there are the losers who cold not even win their nominations, Ho Chi Dean, Gary Hartpence, Dick ("Get away from me with that coffin! I still have a pulse!") Gephardt, John Edwards (because they love him so much in North Carolina, or South Carolina, or "whichever Carolina he says he's from: God knows I can't keep 'em straight"[points if you can tell me where that is from], General Wesley ("we don't need no stinkin' domestic issues") Clark, or maybe even the thing the horse dropped out his rear, Michael Moore itself.

Yes, Specter and American losses at Fallujah aside, I'm still in a good mood.

Two More Years!

For Orrin Hatch as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A Pleasant Surprise

About 2 weeks ago, I walked into St. Clement's Eucharistic Shrine for my holy hour, and found at the back leaflets with the responses for the Novus Ordo Mass in Latin.

The bulletins for the Shrine don't give much information, but I'm very curious.

If it turns out that Holy Trinity will indeed be shuttered and sold off to become condos for South End gay couples to cohabitate in (Heaven forbid! as the concept is blasphemous and outrageous, though likely to happen), with a very few changes, St. Clements would be a nice place for a new home for the Indult Mass.

You would need to put in an altar rail, and move the very large marble altar back to the place where the presider's chair is now. You could bring over some of the statuary and windows from Holy Trinity (if they will fit) as St. Clement's is a trifle plain. Otherwise, it might be a nice fit.

One fly in the ointment is that the Archbishop has said, in response to the Holy Trinity community's suggestion that the Archdiocese no longer need staff the parish, but could turn it over to the FSSP, that he prefers that diocesan priests staff the Indult Mass. That is a problem because St. Clement's is staffed by the Oblates of the Virgin Mary (and well-staffed, too, with 5-6 priests there, and another 5 at St. Francis Chapel a few blocks away).

Protesting Parishioner Arrested

The closing of Immaculate Conception parish in Winchester led to a single 69-year old man trying to stage a sit in. And he was removed from the building by the police.

What do you expect? Title to the property is vested in the Archdiocese. It is their call whether to close parishes or not. If you don't like it, try suing. You won't get anywhere because you do not have a legal leg to stand on.

I have never been in favor of the Boston parish closure procedure or decision. But I have to agree that these people who try to stage '60s style sit-ins are beyond the pale.

For about a year now, I have been a semi-regular attendee at the Indult Mass at Holy Trinity. And Holy Trinity is slated for closure next June. We are praying a Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows every Sunday after Mass so that, through her intercession, while the German parish of Holy Trinity may be suppressed (and it is hard to argue with that as it does not attact many worshippers for the German/English Mass) , the physical plant of Holy Trinity will be kept open as the Latin Mass center for the Archdiocese, and perhaps the Indult will be broadened so that we can have more than one Sunday Traditional Mass, and hold confirmations.

Continue Your Prayers For the Members Of Our Armed Forces

As they wipe out the terrorist vipers' nest at Fallujah. Fourteen brave soldiers have been killed in two days of fighting.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace.

God be with their loved ones at this difficult time.

This country cannot do enough for their sacrifice, a thought well-worth remembering 2 days before Veterans' Day.

And Another Blog Has Switched Names

I noticed that Ron Van Wegen has changed his blog's name a focus. It is no longer Catholic Down Under, but Australia Abortion Site.


If you want your Catholic blog included in my links, just let me know (gthomasjr2003@yahoo.com). I'll be happy to oblige.

New Blog

Catholic Kerry Watch has transmogrified itself into Catholics In the Public Square, with Earl Appleby, Oswald Sobrino, Jeff Miller, Christopher Blosser, and David Shrader doing the honors. Update your links accordingly, and give them a read. It promises to be well worth your time.

Well, Either Arafat Is Dead, Or He Is Not

One Palestinian source has said that Arafat's condition is worsening, which is pretty incredible when you consider that another high-ranking Palestinian has admitted that he is already dead. How much worse than dead is he, and how is that possible?

The intrigue surrounding the demise of Arafat reminds me of Robert Graves' I, Claudius and Claudius the God.

Agrippinilla: "First we put out a bulletin saying he is as well as can be expected..."

Nero: "Considering that he is dead."

I half expect to see the guy on TV saying, "I'm not quite dead, yet...I'm really feeling much better... Put me down, I want to take a walk...I feel happy!" (yes that is a Monty Python and the Holy Grail allusion for those of you who get it).

Trust the Palestinians to make the simple issue of whether the guy has assumed room temperature yet more full of drama than As the World Turns.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Pretty Mellow Weekend, News-Wise, Except Regarding Specter

The election, I think, has exhauted everyone. The upcoming attack on the insurgents in Fallujah isn't exciting much interest (though God be with and protect the brave young Americans who are about to wipe out that vipers' nest).

Only the Specter thing is generating much passion, and I think the opposition to a RINO having a virtual veto on judicial nominations is coalescing, not subsiding. I predict Frist will have to back away from the cozy, stodgy traditions and customs of the Senate to prevent a public relations catastrophe for his own possible run for the White House, and a political nightmare for the President and his judicial appointees.

By all means, e-mail members of the Senate, particularly those on the Judiciary Committee, and sign as many anti-Specter petitions as you can. Good heavens, democracy making its voice heard in the confines of a democratically elected legislative body! What will happen next?

From The Paradise of the Desert Fathers

As Abba Macarius was returning to his cell from the marsh carrying palm-leaves, the devil met him with a sharp sickle and would have struck him, but he could not.

He cried out, "Great is the I suffer from you, Macarius, for when I want to hurt you, I cannot. But whatever you do, I do and more also. You fast now and then, but I am never refreshed by any food; you often keep vigil, but I never fall asleep. Only in one thing are you better than I am and I acknowledge that."

Macarius said to him, "What is that?" and he replied, "It is because of your humility alone that I cannot overcome you."

After Apple Picking

Apple picking season is just about done here in New England, and by most accounts it was a bumper crop, due to superb apple-growing weather for the entire year.

Really cold weather is coming on, with the city's first frost likely in the next couple of nights.

So without further ado, here is Robert Frost's After Apple Picking:

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break. But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.

Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar binThe rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it's like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

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