Sunday, May 31, 2009

This was well thought out

CAIRO — A 25-year-old Egyptian man cut off his own penis to spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family, police reported Sunday.

After unsuccessfully petitioning his father for two years to marry the girl, the man heated up a knife and sliced off his reproductive organ, said a police official.

Read the rest at

Father Jay on EWTN

A day or two ago while posting I mentioned Father Jay who was celebrating the 11th anniversary of his Ordination. I read on his blog today that he is enroute to Alabama to be interviewed for a program on EWTN called The Journey Home. While there he will be the celebrant of Daily Mass at 8am tomorrow and a guest on the program at 8pm.

Father Jay was the host of what he describes as "the best radio show ever aborted by a Diocese" and for an older guy (I am thinking this picture is probably 11 years old) is a pretty accomplished hockey player.

Best wishes for a safe trip!

Siege Warfare

After a double with Eric, so heinous that I overslept and missed Mass, now I do penance attempting to banish Weedy Muldoon an his clan from Castle Cranium. I hope I am not damned to Hell for eternity. For there are surely weeds there that need plucking. And probably an endless supply of Spackle.

Dr. George Tiller - Late Term Abortionist

While the death of Dr. George Tiller will certainly result in a monumental reduction in the amount of late term abortions performed in this country I take no joy in his passing. Though this is not without personal struggle. Mindful of John Cardinal O'Connor's admonition to be unambiguously pro life I have to prayerfully accept that Capital Punishment is the moral equivalent of abortion. And while I still possess blood lust in my heart for those who would victimize children, serial murderers and the like I find myself having to "walk the walk" and learn to be horrified by state sanctioned murder, no matter the motivation behind it.

So as Christians, please find it in your heart as you pray for the millions of innocent victims of people like Dr. Tiller that you pray for his soul as well. Perhaps at the moment of death he experienced a clarity of thought that allowed him to realize the heinous crimes he has committed these many years against the unborn. Also in charity remember the person who commited this murder. In the zeal to protect the innocent sometimes we lose sight of our Faith and do stupid things.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Monsignor Edward J. Dalton

Sometimes I can't help but be nostalgic. There are a number of different triggers that will prompt me to churn up fond memories. While cruising the blogsphere this afternoon I made a visit to Father Jay over at Young Fogeys where he posted about this being the 11th anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood. Congratulations Father Jay! It prompted me to think, as I do from time to time, of the Pastor of our Parish during my childhood and adolescence.

Monsignor Edward J. Dalton (Father Dalton to us old timers) was old as long as I can remember. He was ordained in 1932 and served fifty years at our Parish from 1949 to 1989 when health issues forced him to retire. During his tenure our Parish saw unprecedented growth. Father Dalton was a builder. Not just of buildings (there he was no slouch) but of community. No matter who you were in this Parish of probably two thousand families he always knew your name and who your parents were. It was a treat to serve Mass for him. If you were lucky enough to go to the Parish School you couldn't wait to be one of the older kids so Father would send you to Wellers Pharmacy to get him a pack of cigars.

I can still see him walking the schoolyard in cassock and biretta reading his office. Often you would see him and his elderly sister parked in his big old car (I think it was a Buick) watching the kids play little league while he enjoyed a cigar.

His success was notable in other regards. Without fail when a new class of Priests was ordained he would undoubtedly get one of the "rookies" for their first Parish assignment. He must have been doing something right. In addition to the many fine Pastors he molded over the years I think he probably deserves credit for influencing the youngest Monsignor ever named in our Diocese and our current Episcopal Vicar. Both of whom came to him as young Deacons or Priests.

Our Parish Center is named in his honor. I just thought in this joyous Ordination season that I would take a minute to ensure that the memory of a great man and holy Priest would pop up should someone Google his name. It has been seventeen years since his death and the fruits of his fifty year labor still stand.

Congratulations to Father Jay on his anniversary. Ad Multos Annos to him and all of the newly ordained. And always remember, support your Priests!

Best foot forward?

I think it is fair to say that envy creeps its way in to every one's life at some point. No matter how much material wealth you gain in the course of your life you always want more. I guess it is human nature. Maybe you scrimped and saved for months and finally bought that 47 inch plasma TV you have been coveting. Then the next week you go to a friends house and he as a 53 inch. Things just get out of hand.

Sometimes people literally take matters in to their own hands and help themselves to other peoples possessions. Its a crappy thing to do. And when you hold a job as a public servant there is no room for thievery. It is the worst form of violating a trust. So when I found this on today it really irritated me.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A former St. Lucie County firefighter who admitted taking a man's severed foot from an Interstate 95 crash scene last year has been sentenced to six months probation.

You have got to be kidding me. After twenty five years in law enforcement and over twenty in EMS I have seen more than my share of unsupervised valuables. I can tell you I have never even been tempted to pocket Grandma Sophie's diamond bracelet or a small stack of cash on some one's dresser. The thought never entered my mind. Similarly, I have seen my share of persons with body parts detached. Again I can say with conviction I never thought "hey that large interesting would make a good garden hose" or "maybe I could compost that pancreas".
Sometimes you wonder what motivates people. She said she wanted it to train her cadaver dog. My ass.

This one should worry you

As is usually the case I was perusing the morning news offerings on the computer when I came across a piece on The Drudge Report. From Pravda (you remember them, the mouthpiece of the Soviet State) an opinion piece in which the author Stanislav Mishin details the spiraling of America in to a Marxist Regime. Think I am kidding. Read on.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

Remember that these are the folks that lived through Lenin, Stalin and the rest of the boys. Presumably they possess an insight that merits a bit of attention. Do us all a favor and invest five minutes or so and read the entire piece here. If the Russians can get it figured out why can't our electorate?

Arabic Appelate Division

Clearly there will be no concern about recidivism from this offender.


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi authorities beheaded and crucified a man convicted of brutally slaying an 11-year-old boy and his father, the Interior Ministry announced.

According to the statement issued by the ministry Friday, shop owner Ahmed al-Anzi molested the boy and then strangled him with a length of rope. He then stabbed the boy's father to death when the man came looking for his son.

He hid both the bodies in his shop, the statement said, adding that al-Anzi threatened police with a knife when they came to arrest him.

Al-Anzi had previously been convicted of sodomy and owning pornographic films, a crime in conservative Saudi Arabia.

Crucifying the headless body in a public place is a way to set an example, according to the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islam.

Normally those convicted of rape, murder and drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia are just beheaded.

According to an Associated Press count, Friday's execution brought the number to 35 beheading this year in the kingdom. In 2008, 102 people were beheaded.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Rub a dub dub

My wife and I have engaged in camera sniping since we have known each other. Sometimes there is no greater joy then catching a loved one in a less than elegant posture and capturing the moment on film or digital media. Such was the case just the other day when I found myself confronted with a few hours of down time, a rainy day and a very large smelly dog.

For those of you who are not dog lovers you may not be acquainted with the intricacies of canine hygiene. The basic rule is, no matter how well you keep up on the grooming, sooner or later your dog is going to get in to something it shouldn't and as a result will stink to high heaven. Apparently the Circus must have been through town as Inkey had taken on the less than delicious aroma of the Ringling Brothers elephant train car. So on a very warm but rainy day I robed myself accordingly and headed to the back yard for cleaning operations.

Complete with flip flops, overalls and my Harvard on the Hudson sweatshirt the dog and I went for the best of three falls. I guess I won. She is now clean and dry and dozing at my feet while I type this.

And since turnabout is fair play I decided to memorialize my wife's clever ensemble as she engaged in drying operations. At first glance you might think this is a recent immigrant from Eastern Europe with one of her farm animals. No, it is my lovely wife and my big wet dog. Please note the rolled up sweat pants, duck boots and trench coat. Apparently this is the latest fashion for dog drying.

And what does a 130 pound imbecile do after being cleaned within an inch of her life? Why escape of course!

Another Kevlar Crozier

Archbishop John C. Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis recently responded to a group called the Rainbow Sash who wrote to inform His Excellency that they planned to conduct their annual appearance at the Cathedral of Saint Paul on Pentecost Sunday at the Noon Mass. Annually, this group, who publicly protests the Church's position on homosexuality presents themselves for communion at various Masses while wearing their tasty rainbow sashes to show their displeasure at the long held tradition of the Church with regard to homosexuals. In the past they have been given Holy Communion. Well.......there is a new Sheriff in town.

With a hat tip to Father Z here is the Archbishop's letter in full .

Dear Brian,

I write to acknowledge your letter of May 10, 2009, alerting me to the fact that you and some fellow protesters will be wearing rainbow sashes at the noon Mass on Pentecost in the Cathedral of St. Paul. I ask you to refrain from such a public act of dissent, especially as it so clearly shows disrespect and irreverence for the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.

Anyone wearing a “rainbow sash” will not be permitted to receive Holy Communion, since their dissent is a sign that they have publicly broken communion with the Church’s teaching. I also ask that those not wearing the sashes refrain from sharing the Holy Eucharist with those who do. Such an action is unbecoming the dignity of the sacrament.

With regard to the dialogue you request, it would first be essential that you state clearly that you hold with the conviction all that the Church teaches on matters of human sexuality. If you do not believe, then there cannot be dialogue, but only debate. The truths of our faith are not open to debate.

Again, I hope you will see how disruptive your planned protest will be for those who will gather on Pentecost to pray. I ask you to refrain from being the cause of such disruption.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Catholics often forget that their Bishop, in addition to being the leader of a Diocese also bears the responsibility of teaching and defending the Faith. Clearly Archbishop Nienstedt does not shrink from his Episcopal responsibilities.

If you have time stop over to Father Z's blog for his always insightful commentary on the matter.

One Upped

Not long ago I proudly posted about my lunch meeting with former US Attorney and future NJ Governor Chris Christie. I must admit I was kind of proud to have been invited and became an instant fan of the guy. And of course its always nice to brag to your friends about meeting a public figure.

Well, as the title says, I have been one upped. Perhaps more appropriately I have been two upped. My old friend Jerry is also a Dirty Copper and works on the side as a Paramedic. We have worked together for many years as EMS prostitutes (per Diem medics), though of late that has been a fairly rare occurrence. Largely because we each have geographical preferences for which unit we like to work, he the north and I the south. Though I also suspect part of the reason we are rarely scheduled together is that putting us together and letting us loose amongst the Volunteer Squad folks would be like having Heydrich and Himmler cater the Rosenberg Bar Mitzvah, but again I digress.

So here are two nice pics he sent me via email and I will officially add him to the rolls of people I know who have met famous people.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Time to pay the tab

It was inevitable. Spending like drunken sailors on leave the Congress and our esteemed President have doled out BILLIONS of dollars in "stimulus money" to every Tom, Dick and Harry. And now, panic has set in. Not the 1930's bank panic but the liberal elite kind of panic when the realization sets in that now someone has to pay for their version of Utopia. Apparently word has leaked that the Obama Administration is quietly exploring the idea of a National Sales Tax to be heaped upon the shoulders of taxpayers on top of the load of taxes that currently keep us in servitude until about June 1 every year.

Think of the prospects of this proposal. In a time where almost no one has a spare cent and we are all living check to check in order that we can keep putting money in our 401k accounts so it can disappear with the rest of it, everything you buy would increase in price. This in order to keep funding government programs that reward inactivity and tax the rest of us to the point that the "Great American Success Story" will become the thing of fable. Just think of it. Stopping at the local hot dog cart and spending three dollars for a tasty Sabrett. A Dunkin Donuts morning coffee for a reasonable four dollars. Like a metastasized cancer this tax will spread throughout the fabric of every household in the country and slowly kill us all. Not to mention that it is another slip of a few feet down the slippery slope of Socialism.

I finally have HOPE. Hope that the overt thievery pervading Washington will ensure a coup via ballot and will put a stop to this nonsense.

A more thorough view of this proposal can be found here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

And you thought murdering the country was a euphemism

Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama's Double-Homicide

WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama's cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

"I know there's a story in there somewhere," said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama's home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. "Right now though, it's probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation."

Added Meacham, "It's not so cut and dried."

You can read the rest at the

Happy Memoral Day Veterans

All gave some, some gave all. Happy Memorial Day to all of our Veterans. Eternal rest grant unto the O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the departed, Rest in Peace.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shear Genius

From the Drudge Report:

In a sobering holiday interview with C-SPAN, President Obama boldly told Americans: "We are out of money."

No Shit!
So we have a short-term problem and we also have a long-term problem. The short-term problem is dwarfed by the long-term problem. And the long-term problem is Medicaid and Medicare. If we don't reduce long-term health care inflation substantially, we can't get control of the deficit. So, one option is just to do nothing. We say, well, it's too expensive for us to make some short-term investments in health care. We can't afford it. We've got this big deficit. Let's just keep the health care system that we've got now.
So the answer is that when you are out of money, spend more. Isn't that what got the country in the fiscal mess its in now? Shear genius!

If you think you can endure the rest of this riveting interview it can be found here.

When a 130 pound dog beats on the door...

and really wants to get out what do you do? You let her out. After she leaps in the pool in the middle of a thunderstorm and does about six laps then presents herself at the back door soaking wet your response should be? Smile, life is too short. Happy Summer Inky, I will get the towels.

Heroic Priests

Anyone who has been a visitor to my blog should notice that in the side bar I have a picture of Father Vincent Capodano a Medal of Honor Winner from the Vietnam War. There is a link embedded in his photo that leads to a web site about efforts to have him named a Saint.

While visiting McNamara's Blog, my favorite Catholic History site I read a story about Father Emil Kapaun a US Army Chaplain that died in a Prisoner of War Camp during the Korean War. It is an interesting and heartwarming story about another good man living his life as a Priest to the fullest, or as I like to say, he proudly walked the walk.

Please visit the link and read his story of heroism. Its a good reminder of the reason for Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

From Fox News:

MILWAUKEE — Within a 3-square-mile area of Milwaukee's north side an unknown man strangled six women police say were prostitutes between 1986 and 2007. But it wasn't until this past week that the city's top cop said recent DNA tests had linked the killings.

Some people in the community, including the women's' families, wonder why it took police so long to discover the DNA link and announce it, and whether some officers' biases against the victims' lifestyles and race kept them from focusing their attention on the crimes.

"Crack whores," is how some officers in past decades referred to prostitutes, said LaVerne McCoy, who retired as a sergeant in January after 25 years in the Milwaukee Police Department.

Defecate or Abdicate

A nicer way of expressing a less than delicious euphemism that my Dad used to use. I was reminded of the phrase when reading this story from the AP via Fox News.

BEIJING — Chen Fuchao, a man heavily in debt, had been contemplating suicide on a bridge in southern China for hours when a passer-by came up, shook his hand — and pushed him off the ledge.

Chen fell 26 feet onto a partially inflated emergency air cushion laid out by authorities and survived, suffering spine and elbow injuries, the official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday.

The passer-by, 66-year-old Lai Jiansheng, had been fed up with what he called Chen's "selfish activity," Xinhua said. Traffic around the Haizhu bridge in the city of Guangzhou had been backed up for five hours and police had cordoned off the area.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Fighting for their Faith

Found on the site of my favorite West Coast Blogging Barrister is this CNN piece about the underground Church in China. There are two Catholic Churches in China. The Official State sanctioned Church in which the Bishops are picked by the Communist Government and the Underground Church which is unquestionably loyal to the Holy See and thus constantly harrassed by the Chinese Government.

Eight years ago when my wife and I spent two weeks in China to adopt our daughter it was culture shock in the most profound sense. For the first few days we were appalled by the big things that were readily apparent. Pollution, poverty, and interestingly enough not one free bird to be seen anywhere. Late in the first week there having had time to acclimate ourselves to the environment (and people looking at me like I was Gulliver) we began to pick up on things, subtly absent that were shocking if you took the time to pay attention.

In our two weeks in China where we stayed in two huge cities we did not see one Christian Church of any type. This clip, which I would have missed had it not been for the Digital Hairshirt, illustrates the fact that there are many people who have to struggle with many obstacles just to practice their Faith, our Faith.

Its a good clip to bookmark for the next time you contemplate blowing off Mass in your magnificent climate controlled church or leaving early after Communion because you don't want to miss the pregame.

Since for some reason I can't get the embed code to work in this post you can view the video here until I figure out what the hell I am doing wrong.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Were they supposed to wish her to the morgue?

The Marion County Coroner's Office has come under fire after it was revealed that an obese woman was dragged from her home and hauled away on a trailer in front of family members following her death.Teresa Smith, 48, who weighed 750 pounds, died Tuesday in her apartment on Indianapolis' northeast side.

You would think that a story like this is unusual. Sadly I can tell you that it is not unusual to be sent to a call involving persons who weigh in at this monumental size. Its a very complicated issue. People of this size suffer amazingly debilitating health issues in addition to the wear and tear on their frame from carrying this much excess weight. Think about how the extra twenty or thirty pounds most of us carry around makes it that much harder to function. Now multiply that by ten.

Invariably when we are called these folks live in one spot in their home, usually in an over sized easy chair and their quality of life sucks. Their hygiene is abysmal and on top of that when they eventually have to be taken to the hospital it involves a great deal of firemen, power tools and unfortunately a substantial media presence.

What kills me is the enabling behavior. At some point, probably three hundred pounds ago this woman lost all of her mobility. In order to maintain this enormous weight she had to have a daily caloric intake measured in the tens of thousands of calories. Who the hell was bringing her all of this food. This is the worst form of enabling.

You can read the whole story including the family whining about dignity after they had deprived it from her during her life here.

And speaking of enabling behavior

Its one thing to love your kids. Its clearly another to enable extremely bad behavior. Its things like this that keep Juvenile Bureaus across the country very busy places.

From the Associated Press:

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Authorities are searching for a 555-pound South Carolina teen who disappeared with his mother.

Police say 14-year-old Alexander Draper is with 49-year-old Jerri Gray. She faces a charge of violating a custody order.

Greenville County Sheriff's Lt. Shea Smith says the teen is considered to be at a critical stage of health risk but could not provide details about his medical condition.

The state Department of Social Services contacted deputies Tuesday after Gray failed to make a scheduled court appearance so officials could begin investigating claims of child neglect and endangerment.

A judge ordered the teen be taken into protective custody once he's found.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Job Security

I saw something like this once in the Primate House at the Bronx Zoo.

From the Associated Press:

N.J. man charged in police station restroom rampage


A South Jersey man is in a mess of trouble for allegedly making a mess inside a police station.

Gloucester Township police say 24-year-old Jason Detora of Westville was at the station early Sunday with his girlfriend, 22-year-old Nicole Leadbeater, who'd been arrested for driving under the influence. She'd gone to pick him up at a bar where he couldn't pay his bill.

Police say Detora went into the men's room, defecated on the floor, smeared feces on the walls and set fire to paper towels and toilet paper.

She is free on bail. He's being held at the Camden County Jail on arson and criminal mischief charges. It wasn't known if either had retained a lawyer.

Mr. and Mrs. Detora must be very proud.

Let Me In, Immigration Man

The Crosby, Stills and Nash tune is certainly outdated. It seems that our porous borders are letting anyone imaginable in to the country. Now I am not one to eschew immigration and being only a fourth generation descendant of immigrants myself I am not too far removed from the occasion where I can see why poor people living in a poor country want and need to come here. If there were to be one segment of my characterized as liberal it would be my attitude to immigration. Nonetheless, the law is the law and from time to time we run into a person who pops up on the computer during a street encounter that the Federal Government has an interest in deporting. Or do they?

Case in point, some weeks ago one of my men encountered a fellow depositing construction debris in a dumpster which he was not entitled to use. Not a capital offense by any stretch of the imagination. Just after issuing him a summons and kicking him loose there was a "late hit" on the in car computer that indicated that the Immigration folks had an interest in deporting him. Following procedure, I called the toll free number and spoke to a fellow in a control center in Burlington, Vermont. I explained that we had a guy on a stop and there was an active deportation order and I wanted to know how to proceed. His response was to question as to if we had him in custody. I responded no and he told me that they were not interested. I asked if they would like the address where the subject resided so they could come and scoop him up. He explained to me that unless the subject was in our custody and would be charged with a crime they would do nothing to enforce the order. H explained that these were the rules of engagement that the Immigration Officers had to operate under. After contemplating this absurdity for a moment or two I terminated the call and made some "alternative arrangements" that effected the removal of this fellow the following day. But the point is, if we have reams of immigration law and aren't going to enforce it maybe its time to rethink the policy one way or another. If not its kind of like having a law on the books requiring all drivers to have gloves in the glove box.

And now, a musical interlude.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another reason I don't admire the Kennedy's

As I often do when the shift slows down I find myself taking a bit of time over lunch to read the days newspapers. While I read most of my news online there are always a few old fashioned newspapers laying about for my perusal while I dine. Today I was reading the NY Daily News and on the page where you can track the latest celebrity sighting or debauchery I came upon the headline “Ted’s Kopechne talks came to grief”. It was a short article in which Edward Klein the author of “Ted Kennedy: The Dream that never died” wrote “the burden of guilt sat on Ted’s chest like an anvil”.

The book apparently details in some fashion the two visits Kennedy made to the Kopechne family in the aftermath of the crash in which the 28 year old woman drowned. Klein says Kennedy twice went to the family to explain what really happened but “he could never find the words to confess how the 28 year old died”. Gee, I wonder why? At a time when he in the early stages of his juggernaut of a political career I guess it was an inopportune time for honesty.

Maybe his conduct served as inspiration for Al Gore’s book. Apparently what happened on that bridge on July 18, 1969 was an inconvenient truth.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lullaby and Goodnight

One of the down sides of being a night shift guy is the need to get your sleep when the rest of the world is running all around you. Take this morning for instance. As I stumbled through the door my wife was in the kitchen getting breakfast ready for my daughter and the big lazy dog that lives with us. Interesting that we never know who will be last down the stairs though the large one is usually the least interested in starting her day. So, after playing with the beast who would not take no for an answer I went upstairs to dynamite my oldest from his bedroom as he has to be at training for his new summer job this morning and does not know how to tie a necktie. I would have just tied it on me and left it but though he is a strapping lad his neck is like a stack of dimes compared to mine.

After finally dozing for a much needed twenty minutes I was gently awakened by my blushing bride. It seems Junior needed his Social Security Card for his first day at the new job and I had to join in the frenzied search. That having been accomplished my ass had not yet reconnected with the couch before he came flying in the door to report that he had rear ended a neighbor from up the street. Great news, eh? So, since his bumper is rubbing on his front tire my wife volunteered to drive him, I called the nice young lady with the damaged car and made arrangements for its repair and am sitting here blogging with full knowledge that at some point I will have to take his car and magically get it fixed before tomorrow so we do not have a repeat of this mornings frenzy in the AM.

Sounds like I am off to a real home run of a day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We know not the time or the hour...

Just the other night I was working with MacGyver and the shift started off pleasantly enough. It was almost 8:45 and we were catching up with some things in preparation for assuming the Paramedic position (horizontal). I had occasion to glance across the room in search of a form I needed when I noticed my partner had taken his boots off violating a cardinal rule of EMS night shift superstition. Shoes stay on until 9pm or the night will generally go down the crapper. Sure enough before I could formulate the correct profanity with which to address him (you know I am a stickler for good grammar) the pager went off and we were on our way to a rather heinous traffic accident.

Gory details aside, in addition to two critical patients we had a sixteen year old DOA. One minute sitting in the back seat of a friends SUV cruising down the highway then roll over, seconds of terror, then dead. Someone at the scene pointed out that at that moment somewhere in the vicinity were two parents sitting on a couch thinking that their biggest problem in the world was that they would have to wait until September for the new episodes of LOST.

There's no place like home

For the first time in way too many weeks I am home with the family just enjoying some time with them. I guess Dorothy was right. I just hope a house doesn't suddenly fall on me. Oh no, a Judy Garland reference. I think I have been working Station Two a bit too much.

Whats in your pocket?

I found this one over at The Deacons Bench. Kind of cool and thought provoking. I think this is how we will find more Young Fogeys.

More Job Security

Its because of people like this that I have gainful employment. This video is from an appearance by a Heavy Metal band in a Best But in California. Thanks to Digital Hairshirt for finding this one.

I have to start getting out more

Last night my wife and I had the pleasure of attending a fund raising dinner for our daughter's Catholic School. For those of you unfamiliar with parochial schools, in addition to paying tuition, parents must think of new and sometimes creative ways in order to fund our children's education. Since no politician will challenge the status quo and allow education vouchers we have to do quite a bit extra in terms of financial support in order to keep our kids out of a failed and largely morally bankrupt public education system.

At our table were two other couples whose kids along with our daughter make up a kind of intellectual access of evil in the third grade. This is the first time since pre school that all of us have been able to get together in the same place without the kids, enjoy a bit of open bar and just hang out a bit. Without boring you with the details let me just tell you that the other two fathers were just two of the funniest guys I have ever had the pleasure of hanging out with. Wit, whiskey and of course the companionship of three lovely women. Adult interaction. Who knew?

Three Cheers for Old Notre Shame

And how does the University of Notre Dame, a Roman Catholic University treat Priests who would dare join a demonstration against abortion on their campus? Does anyone else think Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC should start polishing his resume? Or should he be more concerned about eventually having to answer for his conduct before his Maker? You be the judge.

The Bitter Herb

This just in from the Dumb Ass criminal department, three young men looking forward to effecting the transfer of ownership of a pretty large bag of weed tooled around our town searching for a dark side street on this pleasant spring evening. On settling on their site for this little bit of commerce they pulled in front of a nice well kept brick house, turned on the interior light and began their deal. Sadly for them, they chose to park in front of the home of our Narcotics Bureau Sergeant. After a brief chase through surrounding streets they were subsequently provided overnight accommodations in our county lock up known by us in the trade as "The Radish Farm".

Let us remember to thank our maker for providing the world with so many stupid people. Without them I would probably be working as a greeter at Wal Mart.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anyone Want a Chip?

Currently Pope Benedict is touring the Middle East an area that has been in conflict for many generations. From the Crusade through today the Church has been smack in the middle of the whole affair. Regrettably, not all of the conduct conducted on the part of the Church has been in the best interest of humanity. I mean after all, slaughtering cities full of people in the name of God may have been acceptable foreign policy back then but clearly we as a people have grown well beyond that period. Clearly the Pope is an emissary of Peace. He does not take sides. His mantra like any of the modern Popes before him has been in the interest of peace and justice for all. There are and candidly in our faith cannot be any distinctions. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Despite best intentions and the apparent adjustments to the Holy See PR apparatus the trip has had the result of the Holy Father being used like a cheap prop in a grammar school play. Both sides, the Israeli and Palestinian have attempted to manipulate each and every public event to their political advantage while alternately bashing the Pope in the press for failure to show proper remorse.

Pope Benedict has made numerous, heartfelt and thorough apologies to both the Muslims and Jews for events that have transpired throughout history. He has maintained the posture that was employed by John Paul II in that no matter what stupidity the Church or people in her name have done, He as the Vicar of Christ would make amends, apologize and perform whatever acts of institutional or personal mortification had to be accomplished to show the true sadness and sorrow for these sins. Current events however beg the question, when is enough, enough?

His remarks at Israel's national Holocaust memorial were almost immediately condemned as incomplete citing the absence of the phrase "Nazi" and "murder". Israeli newspaper columnist Tom Segev wrote "One would have expected the Vatican's cardinals to prepare a more intelligent text for their boss.". Clearly, no effort on the part of this Pope or anyone else seems to be enough anymore.

Pope Benedict XVI went to the Middle East with the clear aim of promoting Peace, Love and Reconciliation between the Muslim and Jewish communities. By their conduct it is apparent that rather than embrace this message preached by Christ himself the vocal leaders of these two peoples just can't get that chip off their shoulder. It seems as if no matter what we as Christians try to do they still want to sack our cities or nail us to a tree.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

The name is really not important. In the news this week some kid about sixteen was detained by Federal Agents under the authority of the Patriot Act. After being whisked away to a Federal Juvenile Detention facility his Mother leapt to his defense telling any elected official or news outlet about her son’s innocence and the ongoing erosion of our Constitutional rights under the “guise” of fighting terrorism. Mother opined that someone had hijacked her boys IP address and he was a victim of circumstance.

All of the clamor has come to a screeching halt since today the Justice Department released to the press some relevant facts of the case detailing not only Juniors cottage industry in a threats for pay scheme but Moms knowledge and consent of his criminal activities. And people wonder why the world is in the shape it is.

That aside let me offer a heartfelt Happy Mothers Day to the real Moms out there. Women who work their behinds off either outside the home or in it and in many instances managing both. Women who are juggling careers, households and probably the most challenging of all demanding husbands. Moms who see the potential in their kids and are also keenly aware of their limitations and stand ready to make the necessary corrections so they don’t wind up like Junior in the first paragraph of this post.

Soldier or Statesman, Janitor or Jurist, every child no matter their age should take pause not just today, but everyday and give thanks for that nurturing love that only a Mother can give.

Liturgical Pole Dancing

For the better part of the last forty seven years I have gone to the same Parish. So as you might assume I have become accustomed to what the celebration of Mass should be. From time to time due to travel or family commitments I have had the occasion to join other communities in their own particular celebration of the Mass. None of those experiences could have possibly prepared me for what I saw today.

To be fair I was out of town and out of the Diocese for the First Holy Communion of my youngest niece. The church, which incidentally for a suburban parish was the largest I have ever been in was packed with people. Limited to just one pew for the family I found myself with my wife and kids in what used to be the choir loft. The Pastor who is new to the Parish took some time before the celebration to offer some ground rules involving what appropriate behavior should be and he reminded everyone how serious and solemn this occasion was. Wistfully I remembered a time where such a series of announcements would not be necessary but I digress. Then it began.

As we sat overlooking the assembly it became abundantly clear why there was no further use for a choir loft. In a niche near the front of the church was an organ, a piano and a drum set. Yes, a drum set. Apparently all integral components of our two music ministers who could have been the Captain and Tenille had one of them been male. Okay, so Toni Tenille². Soon the gentle strains of some unidentifiable schlock began to float across the chatting assembly with the dominant beat smartly punctuated by the sharp slap of a tambourine.

Probably the first thing that I witnessed that should have had me donning my shower cap in case my head should explode was as the procession in the church began. Proceeded by the cross several altar boys in surplice and cassock proceeded up the main aisle only to be jostled aside by one late arrival that had to take a direct approach to his promised family seating. Why he chose not to use the ample side aisles for his entry is a beyond me.

Without chronicling each of those things that just did not mesh with my very conventional ideas of what Roman Catholic Mass should be let me sum the experience with what my eight year old whispered to me about an hour and ten minutes into this event. She tugged the sleeve of my sport coat and as I leaned over she whispered “Dad, I thought Father said that this was supposed to be a solemn and serious occasion”.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Still have HOPE?

Another little nugget from today outlines how President Obama will begin to trim the fat from the Federal Budget.

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is asking Congress to slash almost in half a 43-year-old Justice Department program that provides death, disability and education benefits to the families of slain police and public safety officers.

Isn't it nice that the President and Romulus and Remus.....sorry, I meant to say Pelosi and Reid can spread around Trillions in tax dollars to shore up continued societal dysfunction but elect instead to gut federal monies intended for the families of those Cops and Firemen who make the ultimate sacrifice for their communities. Well, there is change for you.

You can catch the rest of the spin here at the link.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Garden State

As we in New Jersey continue to ride the crest of the wave that is circling to that large opening in the bottom of the toilet it is sometimes easy to forget what a really nice place this is to live. Here in the Central part of the State there are some pockets of nice that haven't been bulldozed in to self storage sites or strip malls. But from Monmouth County on up it gets progressively worse as you move closer to NY City. Those of us who are lifers are accustomed to the view on the NJ Turnpike that makes folks from other parts of the country shudder as they watch the opening minutes of any Sopranos episode.

As fortune would have it today we had to transport a patient to the Deborah Heart and Lung Center deep in the pines of South Jersey. After getting off the Turnpike and on to Route 206 it was like walking from darkness in to light. Incrementally the normal sightings of fast food places and convenience stores fell away to reveal some great farming communities and some really picturesque views. We rolled through a few old downtown areas that would have seemed more at home in the Midwest. Small shops, an old theater or two with only one movie on the marquee instead of twelve. And just enough signs of human habitation to make it interesting.

So contrary to popular belief there are still nice areas of the State outside the Jersey Shore. You just have to keep driving until you hit the 609 area code, and hope they don't tax them out of existence before they are all gone.

Facebook Follies

Like anyone I like a good story. A nice tale recounting a funny encounter often acts as the springboard to good conversation and a nice laugh. Every once in a while though you get hit with one that leaves you slack jawed and dumb founded. Case in point, a story told to me just this afternoon.

A friend of mine (who will remain nameless) maintains a web presence on FaceBook. In the scope of web based socializing you would have to characterize him as a casual user. Like the rest of us he logs on almost daily to post nonsense. Its like the CB radio of the 21st Century.

He was very excited today to receive a message in his in box as this is a novelty to him. On opening the note his surprise was changed to alarm, and a bit of a cold sweat. The message was from a half sister some five years his senior that he is unacquainted with. It seems that dear old Dad enjoyed a brief assignation with a young lady some years before meeting the woman he would marry the product of which is now trying to connect with a family she never knew she had. I guess its just a little something that his Dad never got around to telling him before he shirked his mortal coil.

Oh did I forget to mention that this tattooed right wing arch conservative now has a big sis that is a liberal activist in a committed lesbian relationship? Needless to say he is not in a very good place right now. But on the bright side I am reasonably sure after the formalities of becoming reunited he can avail himself to a nice collection of power tools.

Might be time to rethink rifle ammuniton

Thanks to the Cambodian for forwarding this story to me.

From the Akron Beacon Journal:

Man accused of killing wife is still in jail Published on Wednesday, Jan 21, 2009Beacon Journal staff report The man accused of shooting his estranged wife and holding their son hostage from police remains jailed. Daniel Tice, 32, appeared in Akron Municipal Court Tuesday morning still showing the gunshot wound that ended an eight-hour standoff with police this month. He is charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of his wife, Brandi Tice, 28. Daniel Tice was shot by police once in the forehead while he was holed up in the basement of his Martha Avenue home. The shot fractured his skull. Tice underwent surgery at Akron City Hospital and was taken Friday to the Summit County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of a $1 million bond set by visiting Judge Michael McNulty. Family members say Tice was angered over his wife's affair with a family member and her demand for a divorce. He is accused of shooting his wife in the living room, taking his son and holding police at bay for eight hours. His 4-year-old son was not harmed. The couple's two daughters, 8 and 7, were kept from the home when they returned from school. SWAT members worked their way inside the home and shot Tice with an MP5 assault rifle after failing to subdue the 6-foot-1, 280-pound man with nonlethal bean bags fired from a gun.

Of course any other productive member of society would get a splinter while doing yard work between shifts and die of a raging infection. Who said life is fair?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gun Control Video