Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Curt Jester Presents The Amazin' Dancin' Alito

The Amazin' Dancin' Alito.

Senate Confirms Alito to Supreme Court

From CNN.com:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate confirmed Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court on Tuesday by a vote of 58-42, a day after an attempt by some Democratic senators to block his nomination fizzled.

Alito, who will be the court's 110th justice, will be sworn into office across the street from the Capitol at the Supreme Court, just hours before President Bush's State of the Union address. He will then join Chief Justice John Roberts in the House chamber for the speech. Judge Alito will be ceremonially sworn into office Wednesday in the East Room of the White House.
My Comments:
JUSTICE ALITO! For years, I've wanted to hear those words.

From Associated Press via Yahoo:
Alito Is Sworn in as Associate Justice

WASHINGTON - Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. was sworn in as the nation's 110th Supreme Court justice on Tuesday after being confirmed by the Senate ... Alito was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court building across from the Capitol at about 12:40 p.m. EST, court officials said.

Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann Bomgardner, along with other members of the court and their spouses, attended the ceremony in the justices' conference room. The 55-year-old New Jersey jurist took both the constitutional and judicial oaths so he can immediately participate in court decisions.

Alito will be ceremonially sworn in a second time at a White House East Room appearance on Wednesday.

Reality Sets in for Democrats

Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters notes that the abortive Alito filibuster has forced the left to wake up to the realization that they do not represent the mainstream:
Some of the more prominent Democrats refused to own up to reality. Every Senator who has either declared an interest in running for President or presumed to have an interest in the office voted against cloture and for a filibuster, including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Russ Feingold, and Evan Bayh -- the latter who often gets described as a moderate in the Democratic ranks. Their leadership also showed their cluelessness, with Harry Reid and Dick Durbin also supporting the filibuster -- and watching as the rest of their party decided to vote for moderation and tradition, not to mention reality.

What will this mean for the Democrats? It exposes a couple of truths, painful realizations that they have willfully ignored for the past three electoral cycles. First and foremost, the rank-and-file Democrats now understand that organizations like PFAW and NARAL do not represent "mainstream" views, but instead belong on the fringes of an increasingly incoherent left wing. Pressed to back up their rhetoric with a groundswell of public opinion, they ranted and raved on television, radio, and through a road show -- and wound up with Alito still commanding a 2-1 edge for confirmation despite their smear campaigns. They may have belatedly discovered that their worship of abortion on demand has turned off a large number of voters.

Second, the bloviating of people like Ted Kennedy does not inspire the middle to their ranks, but instead repels more and more centrists through the obvious hyperbole and hypocrisy it demonstrates.

The media predicted a permanent split on the Right over the Harriet Miers nomination, but it might be more likely that the Left will split over the failure of the Alito filibuster. The 2006 election just took an unexpected turn.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Will the left get the message and take it to heart? Somehow I doubt it.

Ed Whelan on the Achievements of the Filibuster

Ed Whelan, writing in Bench Memos at National Review Online, notes that "[b]y pushing a filibuster vote upon their fellow Democrats, John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy have achieved quite a bit already. Among other things":
1. Absent the filibuster effort, lots of attention would mistakenly have been focused on whether Judge Alito would reach the filibuster-proof level of 60 votes on final confirmation. If he were to fall short of that, the media would proclaim that the vote level sends a warning shot that another nominee like Alito could be filibustered. By forcing an actual vote on cloture, Kerry and Kennedy have deprived the Left of this pretend-filibuster argument. The starting point now for analysis of the politics of any subsequent nomination is that a nominee like Alito can expect to receive more than 70 votes on cloture.

2. Kerry and Kennedy have turned the wrath of the Left against those 19 Democrats (nearly half the caucus) who voted for cloture. (Byron York quotes one angry, obscene diatribe from DailyKos.) I don’t see how this is going to help red-state Democrats. If only Kerry and Kennedy could have been uniters rather than dividers . . . .

3. By using the filibuster weapon against a nominee whom the public rightly recognizes to be superbly qualified, Kerry and Kennedy have undermined Democrats’ future use of that weapon. Crying wolf isn’t a good way to build credibility. (Of course, the Left hopes to show over time that Alito is a real wolf, but I have much greater faith in the public’s ability to recognize good judging.)
(emphasis added)

Two Nominee Strategies - One Worked

The New York Slimes notes that "Democrats decided they should fight Judge Samuel Alito [and] Republicans let them":

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 — The week before his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. e-mailed the text of his opening statement to the White House. It included very little about his legal thinking, dwelled at length on his family and opened with a tired and rambling joke about courtroom banter between a lawyer and a judge.

The response from the White House: "Perfect, don't change a word," according to an administration official who was granted anonymity because Judge Alito's preparation sessions were confidential.

As the last obstacles to confirmation faded away Monday, Democratic aides said their party had initially expected Judge Alito to live up to his reputation as "Scalito," suggesting a conservative firebrand in the mold of Justice Antonin Scalia.
[ED: Classic Dem miscalculation to actually believe their own overheated rhetoric about - not to mention caricatures of - their opponents] Failing to adjust to his meekness, Democratic aides admit they searched too hard for scandal in Judge Alito's past.

The White House, meanwhile, sought to take advantage of Judge Alito's low-key, almost shy demeanor to build sympathy for him. They say they succeeded beyond all expectations when Judge Alito's wife, Martha-Ann, walked out in tears from his confirmation hearings.

"Any time they are yelling, preaching, lecturing, and you are cool and calm and breathing deep, you are winning," the administration official said the White House team told Judge Alito. "What that means on television sets where the American people are watching this is, you look good and they look bad. It was the central operating premise."

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, agreed. "It was a classic rope-a-dope," Mr. Manley said, referring to the boxing tactic of leaning against the ropes to let an opponent exhaust himself punching.

[Excerpt - read more]
(emphasis added)

My Comments:
"It was classic rope-a-dope."

Well, it was certainly easy enough to identify the "dopes" during the Alito confirmation hearings and yesterday's attempted filibuster.

Delusional Democrats

Schadenfreude at its funniest:
There were a lot of weird DUmmie postings on the heels of the FAILURE of the Alito filibuster attempt. However, the STRANGEST of the postings has to go to benburch who posted on this DUmmie THREAD, "Why we won today." Yeah, great win there, benburch. Oh, and did you know that John Kerry really won in 2004? And I suppose you are sitting in the backyard still waiting for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin and Fitzmas. Yes, all DUmmieland is in a deep funk but leave it to DUmmie benburch to find some silver lining in their septic tank. So let us now allow DUmmie benburch entertain us with this "WIN" in Bolshevik Red while the commentary of your humble correspondent, who wonders if the Coyote considers it a win everytime the ACME Co. package explodes in his face, is in the [brackets]:

Why we won today.

[Didn't the captain of the Titanic claim the same thing as his ship slipped beneath the waves?]

I know what you are thinking; "Has Ben finally gone around the bend? We lost today. Alito is on the bench to destroy America."

[Actually I thought benburch went around the bend LONG ago.]

But we did win, and I'll tell you how;

[And NOW the comedy starts...]

Eight days ago, there was no opposition to Alito whatsoever. No filibuster was planned, and even had one been started, there was not a chance in hell that anybody but the one Senator to propose it would vote against cloture. The Far Right had just had "Justice Sunday" an illegal use of the pulpit to promote a political agenda which they spent millions of dollars on in order to motivate their zombie-like zealots, and it looked like no opposition was even possible.

[BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Just 24 Democrats plus Jumpin' Jim vote for the filibuster and THAT is a victory? You're on a roll, benburch!]

In that eight days, we worked a miracle; We got the man who was elected President in the last stolen election to declare that he was going to filibuster, and we got MANY (I don't have the final count) Democratic Senators to vote NAY on cloture. We organized a campaign entirely through our resources here on the Internet, and swamped every fax machine and phone line in Washington DC and elsewhere with our message to vote against Alito and against cloture. We have proven that we can motivate and act with little money and few resources a campaign that nearly set the massively funded GOP Fascist Juggernaut on its ear.

[Yes, tremendous filibuster attempt by John Kerry (D-Davos) from the Swiss ski slopes. He got only a little over half of the Democrats to go along with the filibuster. But but continue with your win spin...]

[Please read more - it's hilarious]
My Comments:
Conservative bloggers band together to oppose the Harriet Miers nomination and are rewarded for our efforts with a withdrawal of the nomination and, in its place, the nomination and probable confirmation of a jurist "in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas".

Leftist bloggers band together to oppose the Alito nomination by pushing for a filibuster and consider it a "win" that a measly 24 (count 'em) Democrat Senators voted against cloture today.

I'll take several more of those kinds of wins for conservatives and those kinds of "wins" for leftists, thank you.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Nominations for 2006 Catholic Blog Awards.

(Hat tip: The Cafeteria Is Closed)

Nominations are open for The 2006 Catholic Blog Awards. Nominating will end on Friday, February 3, 2006 at 3:00 PM CST.

Categories include:
  • Most Informative Blog
  • Most Humorous Blog
  • Most Bizarre Blog Entry
  • Best Presentation
  • Most Devotional
  • Best Blog by a Group
  • Best Blog by a Man
  • Best Blog by a Woman
  • Most Insightful Blog
  • Best Blog by a Priest or Religious
  • Best Blog by a Seminarian
  • Best Political Analysis
  • Best Apologetics Blog
  • Most Intellectual Blog
  • Best Blog Design
  • Best New Blog
  • Best Social Commentary Blog
Not that I'm hinting around for a nomination in one or more categories or anything.

Democrat Senators Abandon Kennedy and Kerry

Looks like a surprising number of Democrats who had previously indicated that they would support the filibuster of Samuel Alito are jumping ship. Kennedy and Kerry are being left in the lurch (no pun intended).

Massachusetts really should consider finding a new pair of Senators. The current ones thoroughly embarassed themselves and their state today on the floor of the Senate. They were both caricatures of themselves as they accused Alito of all manner of things from poisoning the air and causing asthma to hating disabled people.

It is sort of a shame that the filibuster fight couldn't take place here at this moment in time. It's merely being kicked down the road and certainly will take place when it comes time for one of the more liberal Justices to be replaced (assuming Bush or another like-minded Republican gets to make the nomination).

Filibuster Prediction

I'm going to make a prediction that there will NOT be enough votes for cloture (i.e. Republicans won't be able to shut off debate) when the vote is taken at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon. Momentum seems to have shifted toward the side of those who want to filibuster the Alito nomination. Many of the Democrats who initially came out against a filibuster are now flip-flopping and signing on to the attempt to debate the Alito nomination to death.

There will probably be 59 votes for cloture - all 55 Republicans, the 3 Democrats who haves stated that they will vote for Alito, and then perhaps 1 Democrat member of the "Gang of 14" (it WON'T be Mary Landrieu who will, before the day is out, flip-flop on her opposition to the filibuster).

The Republican members of the "Gang of 14" will be outraged by this betrayal by their Democrat counterparts - who, by filibustering Alito, will have made it clear that "extraordinary circumstances" means any conservative to the right of Sandra Day O'Connor - and will vote for the so-called "nuclear option" to end the unconstitutional judicial filibuster once and for all. Alito will eventually be confirmed with 57 votes.

Republicans will again make the judiciary and Democrat obstruction of judicial nominees the centerpiece of their Senate election efforts, making 2006 a reprise of the Senate elections in 2002 and 2004. Republicans will have a net pickup of 1 seat in the Senate, giving them a 56-43-1 majority.

George W. Bush, emboldened by the pickup of another Senate seat, will nominate 2 conservative judges from the 5th Circuit - Chief Judge Edith Jones and Judge Emilio Garza - to replace retiring Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens. Both judges will be confirmed with 55 and 65 votes, respectively. David Souter will soon follow Ginsburg and Stevens out the door, to go live in a log cabin in the woods after his New Hampshire home is taken to make way for a Kelo-style development. President Bush will replace him with Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who will be confirmed with 52 votes.

Democrats Are Shameless Hypocrites

A bill that seeks to limit travel by judges to legal conferences has been proposed by John Kerry while snowboarding at a world economic conference in the Swiss Alps:
Three senators on Friday proposed new limits on expense-paid trips for federal judges and a system to let the public know about potential courthouse conflicts.

Judges would be barred from taking free trips to seminars sponsored by special interests, although they could participate if their courts paid their ways, under the proposal by Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, all Democrats.
My Comments:
Shameless doesn't even begin to describe the hypocricy and mendacity of these jerks.

A Catholic Supreme Court?

Get Religion has a post titled "A Catholic Supreme Court" detailing an Economist piece on whether the soon-to-be Catholic majority on the Supreme Court will translate into "a Catholic influence". Here's an excerpt from The Economist:
Above all, Catholics are becoming ever more mainstream. The Catholic electorate is probably not that different from the population as a whole, even on issues such as abortion and euthanasia. Millions of traditional Catholics manage to ignore the “crazy aunt of Catholic dogma” on matters such as birth control. The court’s Catholic majority is unlikely to vote as a block, even though they were all appointed by Republican presidents. Antonin Scalia (Reagan 1986) opposes the legalisation of sodomy, but Anthony Kennedy (Reagan 1988) supports it. As for following Rome, Mr Kennedy has upheld Roe and Mr Scalia has blasted the papal line on the death penalty. Clarence Thomas, who has returned to Rome since being appointed to the court, has generally stuck to the Scalia line on matters Catholic.

Mr Alito’s arrival on the court may be more of a swansong for Catholic America than the beginning of sustained popish hegemony. The America that produced so many Catholic intellectuals — the parallel America of Catholic schools and Catholic youth organisations — has dissolved as Catholics have moved out of their urban ghettos and into the anonymous suburbs. The Catholic faith is becoming ever less distinctive as conservative Catholics slide into the pews with conservative evangelicals, and liberal Catholics swap ideas with liberal Protestants. Three of Mr Alito’s most bitter critics in the Senate were fellow Catholics — Edward Kennedy, Patrick Leahy and Richard Durbin. Which is surely a triumph for the American way.

Conservatives See Court Shift as Culmination

Another Alito hit piece from the so-called "newspaper of record":
Last February, as rumors swirled about the failing health of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, a team of conservative grass-roots organizers, public relations specialists and legal strategists met to prepare a battle plan to ensure any vacancies were filled by like-minded jurists.

The team recruited conservative lawyers to study the records of 18 potential nominees — including Judges John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — and trained more than three dozen lawyers across the country to respond to news reports on the president's eventual pick.

"We boxed them in," one lawyer present during the strategy meetings said with pride in an interview over the weekend. This lawyer and others present who described the meeting were granted anonymity because the meetings were confidential and because the team had told its allies not to exult publicly until the confirmation vote was cast.

Now, on the eve of what is expected to be the Senate confirmation of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court, coming four months after Chief Justice Roberts was installed, those planners stand on the brink of a watershed for the conservative movement.

Judge Alito's ascent to join Chief Justice Roberts on the court "would have been beyond our best expectations," said Spencer Abraham, one of the society's founders, a former secretary of energy under President Bush and now the chairman of the Committee for Justice, one of many conservative organizations set up to support judicial nominees.

He added, "I don't think we would have put a lot of money on it in a friendly wager."

My Comments:
Another Slimes attempt to gin up last-minute Democrat support for a filibuster of Alito's nomination. You see, the Alito nomination is all part of the vast right-wing conspiracy to take over the federal courts.

UPDATE (31 Jan):
Apparently, this is the story that sent the Swimmer over the edge during his speech in favor of the attempted filibuster.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

How I Know Senate Democrats and the Catholic Bishops are Reading from the Same Playbook

The Cafeteria Is Closed has a post on the new English translation of the Mass, and there appears to be some similarity between what about half of the Catholic Bishops are saying and what we are hearing from the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee:
The irony? About half the American bishops oppose the proper translation because...people have been used to the bad one...for 40 years! Heh, they didn't have a problem dumping all over hundreds of years of tradition but now - gasp! it's 40 years old! Can't change that! The barbarian radicals from then are now the reactionaries.
Sound familiar? It should. That's exactly the same reasoning used by those advocates of the "living breathing Constitution" serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee who suddenly have a newfound affinity for the doctrine of stare decisis now that the President has nominated people to the Supreme Court who are potential votes to overturn Roe v. Wade.

It's been pretty obvious for a while that some of the staff working for the USCCB are sympathetic to the Democrat Party. But I have to scratch my head when the Bishops adopt the same strategy to oppose conforming to an accurate translation of the Mass as the Democrats are using to contort the Constitution to keep abortion as the law of the land.

And before I get any comments about it, I realize that the USCCB fired Ono Ekeh for his pro-Kerry advocacy. But I'm not stupid enough to believe there aren't more Ono Ekehs working for the USCCB who have the sense to not be so open about their loyalties to the Party of Death.

Frist: Government Unwanted in End-Of-Life Cases

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who took a leading role in the Terry [sic] Schiavo case, said Sunday it taught him that Americans do not want the government involved in such end-of-life decisions.

Frist, considered a presidential hopeful for 2008, defended his call for further examinations of the brain-damaged Florida woman during the last days of a bitter family feud over her treatment. Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state.

The case became a rallying point for right-to-life advocates, an important segment of the Republican Party. It also drew interest from those supporting the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment and led to charges that the GOP was using a family tragedy for political gain.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he had any regrets regarding the Schiavo case, Frist said: "Well, I'll tell you what I learned from it, which is obvious. The American people don't want you involved in these decisions."
My Comments:
Just shut the hell up and go, Frist. You are so over. Over the last few months, you've shown yourself to be the primary care physician for the culture of death.

Pro-Aborts Say They Are Losing

From Reuters:
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Reuters) - In Wichita, Kansas, abortion rights supporters held a "chili for choice" fund-raising dinner. In Pierre, South Dakota, they plotted strategy in the "Back Alley" meeting hall. And in Minneapolis, volunteers led women past protesters into an abortion clinic.

It was just a typical week in Middle America where the decades-old debate over abortion rights has become a full-blown battle. But even as they continue to raise money and march around state capitols, the view from the pro-choice side is this is a fight they are losing.

The expected Senate confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court of conservative jurist Samuel Alito, who is favored by anti-abortion advocates, is seen as a key turning point. Yet it is only the latest in a series of blows to abortion rights advocates.

The pro-choice groups find themselves facing a virtual avalanche of state legislation that ranges from laws banning abortions in almost all circumstances to laws limiting the disbursement of birth control and restricting sex education.

President George W. Bush is a vocal supporter of the anti-abortion movement. Conservative church groups across the country increasingly oppose abortion.

"I think Roe in the short term will be dismantled," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "We have an anti-choice president, an anti-choice Congress and now ... with the confirmation of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court, we are seeing the potential for a very right-leaning, anti-choice Supreme Court."

My Comments:

Tilting at Alito

From the Boston Globe:
IN MASSACHUSETTS, old liberals never die. They just keep tilting at windmills.

At the last minute, Senator John Kerry called for a filibuster to stop the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr. Senator Edward M. Kennedy joined the fight.

The initial reaction from fellow Democrats was tepid. Tepid it should remain.

Alito is conservative. But radical? The Democrats failed to make the case during hearings which proved only one thing beyond a reasonable doubt: their own boorishness.

Calling for a filibuster is a late, blatant bow to the left. It seemed more theatrical than realistic. Still, any such bowing from Massachusetts helps the Bush administration. ''Bring it on," chortled the Wall Street Journal after Kerry announced his effort to rally fellow Democrats from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. There, the Journal snidely observed, he was ''communing with his political base."

Calling for a filibuster makes political sense for Kennedy, who is adored by every left-wing constituency in America. He isn't running for national office; he can afford to stick to strict liberal principle. He wants to go down fighting. For Kennedy, a filibuster call mollifies the left at no political cost. It is also an attempt to make up for the obvious: He used the wrong tone and tactics during the hearings. Going after Alito as a bigot backfired. Forget about Mrs. Alito's tears. The moment Kennedy was exposed for belonging to a discriminatory college fraternal organization, it was over. He lost the moral high ground.

Kerry's enthusiasm for a filibuster is harder to fathom, except as more of the same from a perpetually tone-deaf politician.

My Comments:
Even their own liberal hometown newspapers recognizes Kerry and Kennedy for the idiotic blowhards that they are.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Week In Review

Katelyn Sills covers the March for Life West Coast ...

... and so does Zombietime.

Feminists exposed as allergic to the truth.

New York Slimes exposed as allergic to the truth: here, here, here and here.

Michael Schiavo gives Catholics the finger: here and here.

Buddy Jesus makes an appearance.

Robert Burns makes an appearance: here and here.

More "God talk" from Colorado Senator Ken Salazar.

John. Kerry. Is. So. Lame.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Pope Coming To Baltimore

News of a Papal visit to the United States, which I hope will include other cities in addition to Baltimore (Cleveland or Toledo would be nice):
Pope Benedict XVI will be making a trip to the United States in 2007.

William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, says that while he was in Rome two weeks ago, he inquired about the Archdiocese of Baltimore's invitation for the pope to visit Baltimore in 2006. Keeler says he had a suspicion that the holy father's schedule was beginning to fill up for 2006.

Officials in Rome confirmed that the Pope's commitment to travels in Europe would prevent a trip to the U-S this year.

However, the Cardinal was told that a Papal trip to the United States was being planned for 2007and Baltimore would be part of the program.

An exact date will not be known until early next year.

Filibuster Dead on Arrival

From Reuters:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on Friday he and fellow Democrats lack the votes to block President George W. Bush's nomination of conservative appeals judge Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Everyone knows there is not enough votes to support a filibuster," Reid said, referring to the procedural roadblock that some Democrats said should be used to put off a vote on Alito.

Democratic Sens. John Kerry and Edward Kennedy, both of Massachusett, publicly pushed for a filibuster on Thursday, drawing scorn and ridicule from Republicans and opposition from some of their own colleagues.

Kerry, who unsuccessfully challenged Bush for the White House in 2004, made his pitch for a filibuster while overseas for a world economic forum.

"I think it was a historic day yesterday," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan. "It was the first ever call for a filibuster from the slopes of Davos, Switzerland.

"Maybe Senator Kerry needs to be spending more time in the United States Senate so he can refresh his memory on Senate rules," McClellan said. "The Senate rules say you have to have the votes in order to filibuster."
My Comments:
Three-quarters of the members of the U.S. Senate just rolled their eyes and shook their heads when they got the news of Kerry's Alpine fullabluster.

Father Neuhaus: Jesuit Magazine America Misses the Point

Father Richard John Neuhaus notes that the editors of America, the official publication of the Jesuits, seem to have completely missed the point of Rome's recent instruction on homosexuals in the preisthood:
The editorial response in America pointedly does not affirm the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. It does emphasize the number of “excellent priests” who are “gay,” and caution against animosity toward them and other gays. Then there is this:

There is a valid concern that the priesthood should not become exclusively or even predominantly the domain of gay men. In the same way that one would not want to see all or most priests coming from a particular ethnic group, or from a particular region of a country, one hopes that the priesthood reflects the great diversity of Catholics.

So the response of the official magazine of the Society of Jesus in the U.S. would seem to be that homosexuality is no more morally problematic than one’s ethnic identity or geographical origins, and that there should be room in the priesthood also for men who are not gay. Rome says gay men should not be admitted to the priesthood. The Society of Jesus, insofar as it is represented by America, responds that men who are not gay should not be excluded from the priesthood. There would appear to be a problem here.
My Comments:
If you think that's bad, there's no telling how the America crowd is likely to misconstrue a Papal encyclical dealing with eros entitled "God is Love".

NY Slimes Editorial Slimes Scalia

The New York Slimes continues with ABC's character assassination attempt on Justice Scalia:
Justice Antonin Scalia certainly has poor judgment when it comes to vacations.

Justice Scalia was apparently unchastened by the criticism of his 2004 duck-hunting excursion with Vice President Dick Cheney, one of that term's most prominent Supreme Court litigants. Last September, he skipped the swearing-in of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. because of another ethically dubious trip, this time to the posh Ritz-Carlton at the Beaver Creek ski resort in Colorado.

He was there to teach a 10-hour seminar over a couple of days for a conservative group, the Federalist Society. "Nightline" recently reported that the gig had left Justice Scalia plenty of time for tennis, fly-fishing and socializing with seminar participants, some of whom may have business before the Supreme Court. One Federalist Society cocktail reception was sponsored in part by the lobbying and law firm that used to employ Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay's convicted pal and benefactor for golf trips.
My Comments:
Is there a more unethical major newspaper in America than The New York Slimes?

BB&T Refuses to Fund Kelo-Style Development

(Hat tip: A Face Made 4 Radio, A Voice Made 4 the Internet)

BB&T respects property rights, won’t fund eminent domain abuse:
Arlington, Va.— BB&T, the nation’s ninth largest financial holdings company with $109.2 billion in assets, announced today that it “will not lend to commercial developers that plan to build condominiums, shopping malls and other private projects on land taken from private citizens by government entities using eminent domain.”

In a press release issued today by the bank, BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison, said, “The idea that a citizen’s property can be taken by the government solely for private use is extremely misguided, in fact it’s just plain wrong. One of the most basic rights of every citizen is to keep what they own. As an institution dedicated to helping our clients achieve economic success and financial security, we won’t help any entity or company that would undermine that mission and threaten the hard-earned American dream of property ownership.”
My Comments:
Who says big business can't be good corporate citizens?

3rd Annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

The 3rd Annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast will be held this year on Friday, April 7 at 7:00 a.m. in Washington, D.C.:
The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast was created in response to the call of Pope John Paul The Great for a "New Evangelization, new in ardor, methods and expression." Catholics will gather from across the United States for worship and fellowship. We will gather to thank Our Lord for his abundant blessings upon this Land.

Through the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast we reaffirn our faith in Him and renew our dedication to this great Republic. We commit ourselves to providing for our brothers and sisters who are the most vulnerable in society, and we commit our country to the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
My Comments:
I've never been to one of these breakfasts, but I'm assuming there'll be no eggs and bacon, since this is on a Friday during Lent.

Kerry Takes His Cues From Left Wing (Doing the Bidding of the Pro-Aborts)

From Human Events Online:
Sen. John Kerry (D.-Mass.) is traveling in Davos, Switzerland, but that didn’t stop him from launching what conservatives are calling an “international filibuster” against Samuel Alito.

As CNN reported Kerry’s plans to filibuster Alito’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, the liberal People For the American Way reacted with glee to the news. Kerry’s cohort from Massachusetts, Sen. Teddy Kennedy, also offered encouragement.

Was it a coincidence?

At 5:31 p.m., the National Abortion Federation (the professional association of abortion practitioners) released the following statement:

"Today, the National Abortion Federation calls on Senators to use the filibuster to stop the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito because of his extreme views on the right to privacy and Roe v. Wade. We don't take this step lightly. In our 29 year history, NAF has never advocated for the filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, but these are extraordinary circumstances. Now that the Senate leadership has publicly announced 51 votes in favor of confirming Alito, we must urge Senators who care about preserving women's reproductive freedom to use the filibuster to stop Alito's elevation to the Supreme Court."

At 5:52 p.m., Kennedy’s office mailed the following statement to reporters:

"Other than voting to send our men and women to war, there is no more important vote in the Senate than our vote on a Supreme Court nominee. This is a vote of a generation and a test of conscience. Judge Alito does not share the values of equality and justice that make this country strong. He does not deserve a place on the highest court of the land.

"We owe it to future generations of Americans to oppose this nomination. If Judge Alito is confirmed, he will serve on the court long after President Bush leaves office, and the progress of half a century on the basic rights of all Americans is likely to be rolled back. He’s the wrong Justice for justice and the rule of law in America."

Then, at 5:53 p.m., merely a minute later, this release arrived from People For the American Way:

Senator John Kerry has called for a filibuster of the Alito nomination, heeding your calls to do everything possible to defeat it. He has asked that activists now help convince his colleagues to join him.

Please contact key senators who can provide critical support to the filibuster effort!


Then forward this email to anyone you know who is worried that Alito would likely condone the abuse of power by the president, vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, and help curtail Congress' ability to protect the civil rights, health, safety, and welfare of the American people.

We need to act now to prevent Senate Republican leaders from ramming this nomination through the Senate -- time is of the essence.

I don’t have foggiest idea if this is a vast left-wing conspiracy, mysteriously orchestrated by Kerry as he snowboards in Davos.

But the sudden embrace of Kerry’s action by the pro-abortion professionals' group, the liberal People For the American Way and Teddy "Windbag" Kennedy seems to suggest this idea was at least floated (and probably well scripted) amongst some of the country’s top left-wing decision makers.

As Sen. George Allen (R.-Va.) so eloquently said today: “Senator Kerry must be feeling lucky because he wants to make my day.”

So, do you feel lucky, punk?
My Comments:

John Kerry directs long-distance fullabluster while snowboarding in the Swiss Alps

Somebody remind me again why the Church allows Kerry and Kennedy to call themselves "Catholic" while they continue to do the bidding of the professional abortionists.

Haggis Targeted in Anti-Obesity Drive

Next they'll be outlawin' the wearin' o' the tartan and the playin' o' the pipes:
Scotland's national dish, haggis, has become the latest foodstuff to be targeted as part of a drive to combat growing levels of obesity among British children, prompting outrage among producers.

According to health officials in Scotland, the delicacy -- a sheep's stomach lining stuffed with offal, oatmeal, onions and seasoning -- contains too much fat and salt and should only be given to youngsters once a week.

But the guidance has angered makers of the "love it or hate it" foodstuff, which is traditionally eaten with a tot of whisky on Burn's Night, the annual celebration on January 25 of the life of the legendary Scots poet Robert Burns.

"With good neeps and tatties [turnips and potatoes], there's nothing more nutritious than haggis," said Alan Pirie, of butchers James Pirie and Son, the current holders of the sought-after title "Scottish Haggis Master".

"It's made of all natural ingredients -- there's no rubbish in it at all. To compare it with processed meat like chicken nuggets or hot dogs is just ridiculous. It's a big knock for us for it to be compared to those."

Haggis was placed on a "restricted" list of foods issued to nurseries, playgroups and childminders as part of a drive by the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh to improve the health of pre-school children under five.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Outlawed lungs in outlawed tripes.

What is the world coming to when a Scotsman can't enjoy a little organ meat with his whiskey and porridge? I mean, what harm can be done by a little lung, heart, liver, blood, and oats stuffed inside a sheep's stomach?

Perhaps Scottish poet Robert Burns best summed up the Scotsman's love affair with this fair delicacy:
Address To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!
Aboon them a' yet tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin was help to mend a mill
In time o'need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin', rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit! hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad make her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckles as wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash;
His nieve a nit;
Thro' blody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' hands will sned,
Like taps o' trissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer
Gie her a haggis!

That's me about 3 days before my first encounter with a haggis, which took place during my honeymoon in Scotland.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Catholics and Guns

College Catholic has a good post on Catholics and gun control. I'll say here what I said in the comments over there:
Any man who thinks it's the job of the cops to protect his family is no man at all.

If you have a wife and kids, it should be mandatory that you keep a firearm in your home (stored in a safe place away from the kids, of course, but where you can reach it quickly if you need it in an emergency).

Kerry Will Try Alito Filibuster

(Hat tip: Fumare)

Looks like John F. Kerry will be "reporting for duty" to do the pro-aborts' bidding:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John Kerry will attempt a filibuster to block the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

"Judge Alito's confirmation would be an ideological coup on the Supreme Court," Kerry said in a written statement explaining his support for a filibuster.

"We can't afford to see the court's swing vote, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, replaced with a far-right ideologue like Samuel Alito."

Kerry, in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum, was marshaling support in phone calls during the day, Democratic sources told CNN.

Sources said Kerry talked to a group of Democratic senators Wednesday, and urged that they join him. He also has the support of fellow Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Some senior Democrats told CNN they are worried that the move could backfire.

Republicans would need 60 votes to overturn a filibuster -- a procedural move that extends Senate debate indefinitely, effectively blocking a vote. Senior White House officials said the move would make the Democrats look bad, and that Republicans believe they have enough votes to overcome any filibuster attempt.
My Comments:
Something told me this was going to happen. Part of me hopes there aren't enough votes to kill the filibuster by traditional cloture. I'd love to see the Republicans go nuclear on the Dems' sorry pro-abort asses. It's time to kill the judicial filibuster once and for all. It's not like the Republicans have the testicular fortitude to use it themselves, so it will always be a weapon that exists only in the Democrat arsenal. Let's knock it out now.

The most positive aspect of this development is that the November elections (at least where the Senate is concerned) will once again focus on Democrat obstruction of the President's judicial nominees. And we know what happened in 2002 and 2004 when the Republicans were able to take advantage of that to make significant gains in the Senate. Let's just say I wouldn't want to be a red-state Democrat running for reelection to the Senate.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer is apparently reporting that there are more than 60 votes - maybe as many as 70 votes - for cloture. If so, Kerry has just shown himself to be a posturing buffoon (actually, he did that a lot in 2004, too).

Or, maybe he just has really bad political instincts. We saw a lot of that in 2004, as well.

New York Slimes: Benedict's First Encyclical Shuns Strictures of Orthodoxy

No bias here:

Pope Benedict XVI presented Catholicism's potential for good rather than imposing potentially divisive rules for orthodoxy.
My Comments:
What a crap newspaper!

Carl Olson at Ignatius Insight sifts through the crap that makes up the Slimes editorial.
(Hat tip: The Curt Jester)

Abortion Stops a Bleeding Heart

Paul at Thoughts of a Regular Guy has an excellent post discussing Ann Coulter's opinion piece in which she asserts that liberals may be starting to "go soft" on abortion.

Paul ain't buying it, and neither am I.

The Roberts-Alito Court

The Wall Street Journal editorial staff says a big "Thank you" to Teddy Kennedy and Ralph Neas:
With at least 52 Senators already on record in support, it's clear that -- short of some smear ex machina -- liberal Democrats can't stop Samuel Alito from being confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court. So it's a good moment to consider what this says about our politics and what it means for the Court as it enters a new era.

One conclusion is that the confirmation of both Chief Justice John Roberts and Judge Alito marks the most important domestic success for President Bush since his 2003 tax cuts. These look like legacy picks. Despite the Harriet Miers misstep, Mr. Bush has now fulfilled one of his campaign promises. And with two distinguished conservative jurists joining Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Court is closer than it's been in 50 years to having a majority that can restore Constitutional interpretation to its founding principles.

In this sense, the Alito-Roberts ascendancy also marks a victory for the generation of legal conservatives who earned their stripes in the Reagan Administration. The two new Justices are both stars of that generation--many others are scattered throughout the lower courts -- and they are now poised to influence the law and culture for 20 years or more. All those Federalist Society seminars may have finally paid off. Call it Ed Meese's revenge.

The Roberts-Alito Court also represents a notable, and greatly satisfying, rebuke for the legal left and its "borking" strategy. They have long thought of the courts as their personal legislature, and they have shown they will do and say anything to keep control of it. But this time they lost, and on their own ideological terms.

Senator Chuck Schumer declared in 2001 that he wanted to turn judicial confirmations into battles over "ideology." The New York Democrat succeeded in doing so, but he ended up losing in a self-knockout. One reason Democrats couldn't defeat Chief Justice Roberts or Judge Alito, despite near party-line opposition, is that their filibuster strategy had made judges a top-line election issue in both 2002 and 2004.

The battle over their unprecedented filibuster of 10 appeals-court nominees helped to sweep Democrats out of the Senate in Bush-leaning states and give Republicans a larger majority. The Democrats who remain in red states--five of whom are up for re-election in November--saw all this and had no appetite for a repeat in 2006. The liberal interest groups that devised the filibuster strategy and wrote the anti-Alito talking points for Senators Ted Kennedy and Patrick Leahy thus contributed as much as anyone to Judge Alito's confirmation. Congratulations, Ralph Neas. It's your finest hour.

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
This is why I hope the Dems follow through on their "strategy" of making Alito an issue in the upcoming elections. As Sen. Lindsey Graham stated in response to this threat:
"If Democrats want to make judges a campaign issue, we welcome that debate on our side. We'll clean your clock."

New York Slimes "Frightened" of Mild-Mannered Alito - Urges Democrat Filibuster

The New York Slimes editorial staff in need of a new schtick:
Senators in Need of a Spine

Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work...

A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
My Comments:
That Alito is one scary dude. I mean, the American public saw right through his mild-mannered routine and recognized him for the monster that he really is.

The Slimes really is pathetic. The newspaper of record, my ass! It's nothing more than a leftist mouthpiece.

Southern Appeal takes on the Slimes editorial here and here.

For Scarlette and Rhonda

This is a family blog (yes, I know I need to clean up my language a little). Therefore, there was no way I was going to post this photo. I hope the link will suffice to satisfy your curiosity.

Colorado Senator Ken Salazar Calls Justice Thomas "an Abomination"

From the Rocky Mountain News:
Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., today called current U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an "abomination" when compared with the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
My Comments:
There goes Ken Salazar again. Using those big religious-sounding words, of which he, as a member of the secularist Death Party, obviously has no real understanding.

On second thought, as a Democrat, he probably is familiar with all kinds of "abomination".

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Which Canon of Statutory Construction are You?

(Hat tip: Professor Bainbridge)

Another quiz:
You are the Plain Meaning Rule! You interpret
statutes according to what an ordinary
speaker of English would understand from the
text. You're upfront and direct. You claim
that you're just following the rules, but
often find a clever technicality to interpret
the rules however you want.

Which Canon of Statutory Construction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
My Comments:
Based on this result, can you guess who my favorite Supreme Court Justice is?

Federalist Society Slams ABC's Scalia Story: Repeat of Rather-Mapes

(Hat tip: Steve Dillard at Southern Appeal, who is on this story - as my H.S. football coaches used to say - "like stink on you know what")

From Human Events Online:
The conservative Federalist Society, the centerpiece of an ABC News story questioning Justice Antonin Scalia’s ethics, today compared the network’s reporting on the story to the infamous Dan Rather and Mary Mapes episode regarding President Bush’s National Guard records.

ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross reported Monday for ABC’s “Nightline” that Scalia was out of town at a Federalist Society legal seminar on Sept. 29, 2005—the day of Chief Justice John Roberts’ swearing-in ceremony. The piece contains video footage of Scalia on a tennis court at the Colorado hotel where he was presenting for a Federalist Society legal seminar.

Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard Leo on Tuesday released a detailed rebuttal (see below) to the ABC News segment. He said it grossly distorted Scalia’s involvement in the two-day Federalist Society conference and exaggerated his time on the tennis court. Leo also questioned the legality of the video footage, which he called an invasion of privacy.

“Justice Scalia taught a comprehensive course about the separation of powers under our Constitution,” Leo said. “Reminiscent of Dan Rather’s and Mary Mapes’s false National Guard story, ABC Nightline knew in advance of airing its program that he did not simply ‘attend’ a ‘judicial education seminar,’ and it grossly misled viewers by suggesting that the event was a ‘junket’ rather than a serious scholarly program that required much work and advance preparation.”

Prior to the story’s airing Leo said he spent time on the phone on multiple occasions with ABC News Producer Rhonda Schwartz to clarify errors in the story, including her belief that Scalia was on a tennis excursion. He said Schwartz and her colleagues showed no interest in correcting the errors.

My Comments:
A disgusting smear job by ABC. Luckily, the blogosphere is here to make sure that the dirtbags do NOT get away with this.

My Kind of Bishops

(Hat tip: Vatican Watcher via an email from Rick Lugari)

An interesting interview with Bishops Bruskewitz and Corrada at Alan Keyes' Renew America:
Catholics of the "hermeneutics of reform" (orthodox) variety have long viewed Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., as a model father and pastor in the postconciliar era. And Catholics of the "hermeneutics of discontinuity and rupture" (dissidents) may rightly identify him as a combatant and as "preconciliar."

But Bishop Bruskewitz is not alone. The Cardinal Bernardin factor, which has dominated the makeup of the USCCB for the past 30 years, is finally giving way to younger prelates much more in line with the perennial teachings of the Church. Quietly, but assuredly, Bishop Álvaro Corrada of Tyler, Texas, is indeed one of these quiet, unknown bishops. His and Bishop Bruskewitz's perspectives on the Pope's recent remarks follow.

Bishop Bruskewitz and Bishop Corrada share their unique and complementary perspectives on the Second Vatican Council and Pope Benedict's December 22 address. This first interview deals specifically with the reception of the Second Vatican Council.

Q. Your Excellencies, Pope Benedict XVI's pre-Christmas Roman Curia address had a theme of the competing claims, and subsequent struggle, for the true Second Vatican Council. Do you have any comments?

Bishop Corrada: The Holy Father has been following this theme, and he picked it up from Pope John Paul II, but has emphasized it more. I think that Pope Benedict XVI has a very deep insight because of his philosophical and theological formation that the authentic teachings of the Church have to be followed, and that the Church has to come back to certain disciplines that some bishops and many of the faithful and priests have gotten away from.

And that discipline is the discipline of the sacraments, the discipline of the liturgy, and even the discipline of the Latin language. I think that is what he is making reference to, and I think it is wonderful that he is making that emphasis.

There have been some tendencies that have vitiated the Second Vatican Council with some of the thinking of bishops and theologians.

And it is more than that. It is secularism as an ideology. The Catholic Church sees the secular world as the place of the kingdom. But when secularism as an ideology comes and turns the world into a place where there is no transcendental relationship to God, where there is no respect for the dignity of the human person, with abortion and the whole culture of death, that is where I think this Holy Father is asking us to go back to the culture of life. And the evangelization of the Church needs to be directed in that internal reform if we are going to be effective in the world against the ideology of secularism.

Bishop Bruskewitz: The majority of the Second Vatican Council fathers and the Popes never saw the council as discontinuous and as a rupture with the past. The emphasis was always in accord with the Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council — the unbroken continuity of Catholic Tradition, both in doctrine and in many other areas. There are those who understood, and still understand, the Second Vatican Council as some sort of revolutionary destruction of the past — a sort of French Revolution — that we are destroying everything in the past and starting new all over again, with a whole new [liturgical] calendar and everything.

It is not at all what the Second Vatican Council [fathers] understood themselves as doing.

What happened, however, is there was a para-council of periti, of experts, who all dominated through the whole matrix of media representation of what was going on at the council. Because of that, there were horrible distortions in the popular imagination, including the clerical imagination, including the priests. Even they saw this as a complete rupture. Emotionally and psychologically, people who intellectually might understand that the Mass is the same if you offer it in English or in Latin, [nonetheless] thought, "We have a whole new world here, and this doesn't really mean what it said."

We had this whole rising expectation, this para-council that gave this impression to the world that there was this big revolution. So, when this revolution hit some blank walls like "no women priests" and "no married priests," I think what happened was that then these expectations were frustrated. Then, people got all upset and more in a dissenting and rebellious mood.

When the history of the council is explained, it will be clear that Pope John XXIII never thought he was going make a tabula rasa by throwing away everything in the past and starting all anew, that this wasn't his idea at all. In fact, Pope John XXIII was super-traditional in many of the things he said and did.

(emphasis added)

My Comments:
I grew up near Tyler, TX, in the diocese that Bishop Corrada now leads. So I've been paying attention to Bishop Corrada's leadership of that diocese for some time. In fact, when Sarah and I first started talking about relocating from Virginia, we considered going to East Texas since that is where my family is located. You can bet that the first thing I did was find out who the Bishop down there was (just like I made sure Bishop Blair was one of the "good guys" before relocating to Ohio).

Ready To Celebrate St. Thurgood's Day?

At least the Whiskeypalians get the "important" things right:

WASHINGTON - Could Episcopalians soon be celebrating the Feast of St. Thurgood?

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington is to consider a resolution this Friday recommending that the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall be considered a saint.

A press release from the diocese said: "If the resolution passes, and is approved by consecutive meetings of the Church's national convention, Episcopal churches will have the opportunity to celebrate May 17 as Marshall's feast day."

On that date in 1954, Marshall, who was later to become the first black Supreme Court justice, won the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case.
My Comments:
What the hell?

A pro-abort saint. How fitting for a dying denomination. Are the Whiskeypalians even Christians anymore?

Birthday of Robert Burns - 25 January 1759

In honour of the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns (and to placate the demands of Scarlette), I am posting this wedding photo of yours truly attired in semi-formal Highland dress (no, not a Highland dress):

That's me - with facial hair and a little less gray than I am now.

And now for my favorite Burns poem/song:
Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled,
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to victory!

Now's the day, and now's the hour;
See the front o' battle lour,
See approach proud Edward's power—
Chains and slavery!

Wha will be a traitor-knave?
Wha can fill a coward's grave?
Wha sae base as be a slave?
Let him turn and flee!

Wha for Scotland's king and law
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
Freeman stand or freeman fa',
Let him follow me!

By oppression's woes and pains,
By your sons in servile chains,
We will drain our dearest veins,
But they shall be free!

Lay the proud usurpers low!
Tyrants fall in ev'ry foe!
Liberty's in ev'ry blow!
Let us do or die!

School to be Named After Johnnie Cochran

Los Angeles middle school previously named for the plantation of a slaveowning President to be renamed in honor of the greatest lawyer of the 20th century:
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles middle school attended by high-profile attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. will be renamed in his honor, officials said.

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to rename the 1,900-student Mt. Vernon Middle School after the attorney best known for representing O.J. Simpson.

Besides Simpson, Cochran's celebrity client list included football great Jim Brown, who he defended on rape and assault charges, actor Todd Bridges, who faced attempted murder charges, rapper Tupac Shakur on a weapons charge, rapper Snoop Dogg on a murder charge and rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs on gun and bribery charges stemming from a nightclub shooting.
My Comments:
... and lest we forget, as an anonymous commenter pointed out, Cochran defended the "gloved one", Michael Jackson, on child molestation charges.

Egypt Split Over Naked Lovemaking

From Dutchnewz.net:
'Any muslim who has naked sex makes their marriage invalid'. That is at least the view of the conservative Egyptian koran learned Rashad Hassan Chalil. He announced recently a fatwa against naked lovegames.

Sheik Rashid is a former deacon for islamic law at the al-Azhar university in Cairo. He calls for this fatwa not from the koran, but from a hadith tradition of the prophet Mohammed.
My Comments:
And this is what the American Taliban has in store for us if Samuel Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Who's Outside the Mainstream?

Courtesy of Zach Brissett posting at Southern Appeal

Pope Benedict's First Encyclical: "Deus Caritas Est"

Available here.

Tom at Disputations notes an interesting reference to the motto of the Dominican Order located within the Pope's encyclical.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Alliteration is a Life-Long Love of this Loser ...

... in case you couldn't tell from the last few posts.

More on Murderer's "Marriage"

Amy Welborn has some great links with more information concerning Michael Schiavo's "Church marriage" to his paramour. Or is it, indeed, valid? Questions are raised about whether it violates canon law.

Battle of the Babes by the Bay

Who "won" the Walk for Life West Coast? Was it the pro-life marchers? Or was it the pro-abort counter-demonstators?

There's only 1 way to determine the outcome: a "Battle of the Babes". Go here to find out who won.

UPDATE (25 Jan)
Darwin Catholic thinks Rick Lugari, late of De Civitate Dei, would approve of this post. I agree.

Rick, it's pretty bad. We're talking about you as if you're dead or something.

Nebraska Senators Object to Morning Prayer on Abortion, Evolution

Preacher stirs of some trouble in Cornhusker country:
LINCOLN (AP) - A prayer made before the start of Tuesday's legislative session asking forgiveness for abortions and the teaching of evolution drew the ire of at least one senator and disapproving comments from others.

The prayer was delivered by Tom Swartley, a minister at First Christian Church in Elm Creek. Standing at the front of the legislative chamber with his comments broadcast statewide, Swartley asked God for forgiveness for abortion, which he called a "33-year-long nightmare."

"We go to work and school and come home and watch TV while genocide, infanticide and homicide is being committed against our own children," he said.

Swartley also asked forgiveness for "teaching the religion of evolution to our young citizens."

"We put our children in the same category as other mammals and then we wonder why some act like animals," he said.

Omaha Sen. Ernie Chambers, who makes it a point not to be present during the daily prayer, rushed from his first-floor office up the stairs to the chamber in time to criticize the remarks shortly after they were completed.

Sen. Jim Cudaback of Riverdale, the lawmaker who invited Swartley, said Swartley had stepped over the line... "You don't bring that kind of subject," Cudaback said of Swartley's prayer. "You're here to make us feel good."

(emphasis added)
My Comments:
Regardless of what you think of the preacher's comments, they make for great soundbites.

And then there's this: "You don't bring [up] that kind of subject... You're here to make us feel good."

"You're here to make us feel good."

Alito Nomination Goes to Full Senate After Party-Line Vote in Judiciary Committee

From Associated Press via Yahoo:
WASHINGTON - The Judiciary Committee favorably recommended Samuel Alito's Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate on a party-line vote Tuesday, ensuring prospects the conservative jurist will join the high court bench.

All 10 Republicans voted for Alito, while all eight Democrats voted against him. The partisan vote was almost preordained, with 15 of the 18 senators announcing their votes even before the committee's session began.

The full Senate expects to take a final vote on Alito's nomination before the end of the week, said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the committee chairman. That vote is also expected to follow along party lines, with only one Democrat — Ben Nelson of Nebraska — coming out so far in support of Alito. Republicans hold the balance of power in the Senate 55-44, with one independent.

But Democrats are fretting that the 55-year-old jurist and former lawyer for the Reagan administration will swing the court to the right and help overturn precedent-setting decisions like Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's abortion rights case, although he refused to talk about that decision at his confirmation hearing.

"He still believes that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion, but does not want to tell the American people because he knows how unpopular that view is," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

In a statement after the vote, the White House said: "The negative tone, relentless attacks and distortion of Judge Alitos career confirmed what we already knew from the hearings: Judge Alito had an open mind but the Democrats, beholden to their interest groups, did not."

Republicans and Democrats are preparing to use the partisan battle over judicial nominations as a campaign issue in the midterm election this year. Republicans say the Democratic filibuster of lower-court judges helped them knock off former Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle of Sout Dakota two years ago.

If Democrats want to make judges a campaign issue, "we welcome that debate on our side. We'll clean your clock," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
(emphasis added)

Supreme Court Overturns Decision Barring Wisconsin Anti-Abortion Ads

Great news from the Supreme Court yesterday:
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court said Monday that a lower court should take a new look at a challenge to federal restrictions on political advertisements, delaying a major ruling on the constitutionality of ad limits until after this year's elections.

Justices could have used the case, brought by an anti-abortion group, to spell out when so-called grass-roots ads are allowed at election time.

Without dealing with that issue, the court overturned a decision that barred Wisconsin Right to Life from broadcasting ads that mentioned a senator during his 2004 re-election campaign.

In an unsigned opinion, justices said that the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling upholding a federal campaign finance law left the door open for future challenges that the law, in practice, violated free-speech rights.

"This could be an important first step toward undermining (the 2003 ruling) without overruling it," said Richard Hasen, an election law expert at Loyola Law School.

My Comments:
Wow! This one's like a double-stuff Oreo. A pro-life victory coupled with a victory for the 1st Amendment against the pernicious McCain-Feingold law.

Democrats Don't Need Hearings

From TownHall.com:
Judging from the microseconds between President Bush’s announcement of Samuel Alito to be the next Supreme Court Justice and the hysterical howls from the multitude of leftist organizations in the quickly formed anti-Alito chorus, it is clear that no matter how Judge Alito performed in the hearings, the Left would not be remotely interested in a fair confirmation process. It has been this way since the beginning of the Bush administration.

The left quickly discovered that the judicial nominations issue was a fundraising cash cow. Alliance for Justice, a leftist coalition led by Nan Aron, grew dramatically in budget and staff members, starting the Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary and Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary under the watchful leadership of their friends at PFAW. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights’ Wade Henderson, not to be outdone, started the “Save Our Courts” organization. Armed with shiny new organization names, fistfuls of fundraising cash from Theresa Heinz Kerry and George Soros and a sense of outrage at the outcome of the 2000 presidential elections, they set off on a course of obstruction that continues today.

It has never mattered who President Bush nominated to the courts, only that it was President Bush who nominated them. Faced with devastating electoral losses, but flush with near record-breaking numbers of judges appointed by President Clinton, these leftist organizations had long depended upon activist courts to enact their radical agenda.


Alito Vote May Be A Factor in Senate Races

From Cybercast News Service:
(CNSNews.com) - The Washington Times reported that both Republicans and Democrats plan to use the Alito vote as a campaign issue in this year's Senate elections.

[Read more]
My Comments:
Let's just say I wouldn't want to be a red-state Democrat having to defend what went on in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. I don't think too many voters in red states will be impressed with Teddy Kennedy's ability to make a nominee's wife burst into tears.

Apparently, Sen. Lindsey Graham had this to say in today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearings (the Alito vote is today) about Democrat plans to turn Alito into a campaign issue:
"We'll clean your clock if you make judicial appointments a campaign issue. We welcome that debate."

Bishops' Film Office Lists "Narnia," "Crash" Among Top Films Of 2005; Also Hails Best Family Films

(Hat tip: Catholic World News)

From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Media Relations:
NEW YORK (January 23, 2006) - The Chronicles of Narnia, based on the C.S. Lewis classic, and Crash, a searing study of racial prejudice, stand among the top 10 films of 2005 hailed by the U.S. Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting.

The Office also listed top 10 family films of 2005.

"There were some wonderful movies this year that presented a strong and clear moral vision even as some dealt with adult themes," said Harry Forbes, director of the Film and Broadcasting Office. "While much on theater screens is reprehensible, it is important to acknowledge those outstanding pictures from Hollywood and abroad that not only exhibit high artistic merit, but also reflect gospel values."

Below are the films in alphabetical order with the classification from the Film and Broadcasting Office and their rating from the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America):

[Click here for list of movies]
My Comments:
Missing is "Brokeback Mountain", which had originally received positive reviews from the USCCB before being reclassified as "Morally Offensive" after a wave of protests from family advocacy groups.

More of the Same at Our Lady's University?

Oswald Sobrino notes at Catholics in the Public Square that "Notre Dame Queer Film Days" will be back again this year.

Meanwhile, the Curt Jester blogs on a speech by Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins concerning the University's stance on the performance of both the "Queer Film Days" and the "Vagina Monologues" and, while giving Jenkins a "modified bravo", contrasts his "long and drawn out" statement to the "clear and precise ... statement of Father Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of Providence College, who unequivocally called off the play ..."

Amy Welborn also has a post praising Fr. Jenkins' speech.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Shamed Priest Who Made His Married Cousin Pregnant Faces Defrocking

(Hat tip: Catholic World News)

Things that make you go "hmmmmmm":
A PRIEST who made his first cousin pregnant during the course of an affair has been told he is unlikely ever to be allowed to return to his parish.

Father Roddy MacNeil - nicknamed "Father Flash" for his flamboyant lifestyle - has been suspended from the Our Lady Star of the Sea parish in Barra after it emerged his married cousin, Hilda Robertson, was carrying his baby.

Father MacNeil, 45, who was a close friend of Princess Diana's late mother Frances Shand Kydd, is understood to have left the island. Last night Father Paul Conroy, the general secretary of the Bishops' Conference, said there appeared to be little chance of Father MacNeil being able to return to the priesthood.

"In moral terms it would be unacceptable to get anybody pregnant if they are married and you are a priest," he said.
My Comments:

How Does Something Like This Take Place In A Catholic Church?

Want your blood to boil like mine is now? Read this.

This is beyond depraved. The priest who allowed this to happen should be excommunicated. So should Bishop Robert Lynch, while we're at it.

A Day of Penance and Prayer

From the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:
In November, 2001, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the adaptation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Following confirmation by the Holy See in February, 2002, the following became particular law for the dioceses of the United States of America:

In all the dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when the 22nd falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass "For Peace and Justice" (no. 21 from "Masses for Various Needs") should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day.

On January 22, a "day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life" will be mandatory in the dioceses of the U.S. for the first time. As an "Optional Memorial," the Mass celebrated that day may be the Mass "For Peace and Justice" or follow the normal weekday Mass readings and prayers for the day found in the Ordo, with or without optional prayers related to St. Vincent of Saragossa whose Feast Day falls on January 22.
(emphasis added)

NY Slimes: Judge Alito's "Radical" Views

The New York Slimes editorial staff apparently hasn't yet realized that their side got creamed during the Alito hearings, and that his confirmation is going to happen regardless of their sniping:
If Judge Samuel Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearings lacked drama, apart from his wife's bizarrely over-covered crying jag [ED: do you think the Slimes would have characterized it this way if the Republicans had roughed up a Democrat nominee, causing his wife to cry?], it is because they confirmed the obvious. Judge Alito is exactly the kind of legal thinker President Bush wants on the Supreme Court. He has a radically broad view of the president's power, and a radically narrow view of Congress's power. He has long argued that the Constitution does not protect abortion rights. He wants to reduce the rights and liberties of ordinary Americans [ED: Exactly which "rights and liberties" does Judge Alito hate so much?], and has a history of tilting the scales of justice against the little guy [ED: Got evidence of this? No, because it's a lie.].

As senators prepare to vote on the nomination, they should ask themselves only one question: will replacing Sandra Day O'Connor with Judge Alito be a step forward for the nation, or a step backward? Instead of Justice O'Connor's pragmatic centrism, which has kept American law on a steady and well-respected path, Judge Alito is likely to bring a movement conservative's approach to his role and to the Constitution.

Judge Alito may be a fine man, but he is not the kind of justice the country needs right now. Senators from both parties should oppose his nomination.

My Comments:
Or, perhaps, the Slimes is just doing its thing as official mouthpiece of the DNC (after all, those tired talking points the Slimes is using in its editorial sound awfully familiar), and going along with the strategy to oppose Alito so that they can turn him into a political football this fall.

Jesus Christ's Existence Going On Trial This Week

You may remember that a few weeks ago, I blogged about an Italian judge ordering a local priest to "prove Christ exists". I was pleasantly surprised a few days later when my parish priest's homily for the Feast of the Epiphany covered this exact same topic (I don't think he reads my blog, however, so he didn't get it from me).

Well, apparently, Jesus' "trial" begins this week. This one promises to be almost as farcical as the one He faced 2000 years ago.

"Why have the heathen raged, and the people devised vain things?"
- Psalm 2:1

Feminists Can't Handle the Truth

Paul at Thoughts of a Regular Guy has a post on "Why Feminists Can't Be Taken Seriously".

You want some evidence of what Paul's post says about feminists' allergic reaction to the truth? Check out the Amazon "reviews" of Kate O'Beirn's latest book "Women Who Make the World Worse : and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports". Apparently the radical lefty feminists, not content with harassing peaceful pro-life marchers, have organized an effort to give Kate's book an average rating of 1 star.

By the way, if you look hard enough and sift through enough of the leftist invective, you'll find my 5-star "review" of this excellent book that I never read. Hey, someone has to counter the digital book-burning of the Feminazis.

Katelyn Sills on the West Coast March for Life

Katelyn Sills (of Loretto High School fame) blogs on her family's experience at the March for Life West Coast at Stand Up and Speak Out.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Catholic League: Democrats, Catholics and Abortion

(Hat tip: Catholic Fire)

From the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights:
January 20, 2006


Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“Now that we’re on the eve of the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the time is apropos to investigate whether the Democratic Party is (a) making an effort to reach out to Catholics, and (b) rethinking its position on abortion.

“After a majority of Catholics voted for a Protestant over a Catholic in the 2004 presidential election, it was widely reported that the Democrats were going to initiate new efforts to reach out to Catholics. To see if this was happening, I went to the website of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) today and typed the words ‘Catholic outreach’ into its search engine. One item turned up: a statement opposing a voucher program designed to help Catholic schoolchildren who were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So this is what the Democrats mean by ‘Catholic outreach’ — sticking it to innocent Catholic kids.

“On the home page of the DNC’s website, there is a section called ‘Interview with Eleanor Smeal on Samuel Alito.’ Smeal is the same person who, on October 31, warned her fellow feminists that if Alito were to become a Supreme Court Justice, ‘the majority of the Court would be Roman Catholics, which would underrepresent other religions, not to mention nonbelievers.’ And this is the person the DNC decided to highlight—an anti-Catholic.

“It’s not just the DNC that doesn’t get it. Consider that the following members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have already declared their opposition to President Bush’s Catholic nominee to the high court: Dick Durbin, Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy and Ken Salazar. All are Catholic and all are Democrats. Following Smeal’s logic, are there too many Catholics on the Senate Judiciary Committee?

“Catholic outreach and rethinking abortion—this is what the Dems preached after they got whipped in 2004. So far, nothing has changed.”
My Comments:
The Democrat "Catholics" on the Judiciary Committee are the "right" kind of Catholics - ones who consistently give the 1-finger salute to the Pope and who never met an abortion they didn't think should be federally funded.

Peggy Noonan On The Alito Hearings ... And More

Peggy Noonan takes the Senate Judiciary Democrats' measure and finds them wanting:
I don't think Democrats understand that the Alito hearings were, for them, not a defeat but an actual disaster. The snarly tone the senators took with a man most Americans could look at and think, "He's like me," and the charges they made--You oppose women and minorities, you only like corporations and not the little guy--went nowhere. Once those charges would have taken flight, would have launched, found their target and knocked down any incoming Republican. Not any more. It's over.

Eleven years ago the Democrats lost control of Congress. Then they lost the presidency. But just as important, maybe more enduringly important, they lost their monopoly on the means of information in America. They lost control of the pipeline. Or rather there are now many pipelines, and many ways to use the information they carry. The other day, Dana Milbank, an important reporter for the Washington Post, the most important newspaper in the capital, wrote a piece deriding Judge Alito. Once such a piece would have been important. Men in the White House would have fretted over its implications. But within hours of filing, Mr. Milbank found his thinking analyzed and dismissed on the Internet; National Review Online called him a "policy bimbo."

Could Democratic senators today torture Clarence Thomas with tales of Coke cans and porn films? Not likely. Could Ted Kennedy have gotten away with his "Robert Bork's America" speech unanswered? No.
Peggy also offers some advice on leadership to the Republicans:
But where does this leave us? With our mass media busy with reluctant reformation . . . with the old network monopoly over and done . . . with something new, we know not what, about to take its place . . . with the Democratic Party adjusting to the loss of its megaphone . . . Where does that leave us? I think it leaves us knowing that, more than ever, the Republican Party -- the party ultimately helped by the end of the old monopoly and the reformation of news media -- must be a good party, a decent one, and help our country.

That it regain a sense of its historic mission. That it stop seeming the friend of the wired and return to being the great friend of Main Street, for Main Street still, in its own way, exists. That it return to basic principles on spending, regulation and state authority. That it question a foreign policy that often seems at once dreamy and aggressive, and question, too, an overreaching on immigration policy that seems composed in equal parts of naiveté and cynicism. That its representatives admit that lunching with lobbyists is not the problem; failing to oppose the growth of government--so huge that no one, really no one, knows what is in its budget--is. That they reduce the size and power of government. That they help our country.

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