Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chant rant

This past Friday our Schola was invited to participate in Solemn Vespers and Benediction at our diocesan home for the Mass in the Extraordinary Form. The Shrine Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in Raritan, NJ is the oldest church building in our Diocese and is the only place where Mass is offered in Latin daily.

Pictured at left is a photo of the guys in action. Our group is comprised of four or five very talented church musicians who bring much to the table. There are two or three very experienced fellows from the amateur ranks who through their many years of participation in their respective church choirs have proven themselves to be tremendous musical assets in their own right. Then there is me and my buddy Nescro who struggle to keep up and are just happy to be included. There is a pecking order in the choir loft and by looking at this photo it is not terribly difficult to figure out where Nescro and I are on the food chain. At least we are in the loft and not in the parking lot.

Fire wood?

My long suffering wife routinely chastises me about my insatiable desire for gadgets. When I see a new innovation, particularly one that involves cooking or barbecue I develop an itch that can only be scratched by adding to my collection of peculiar cooking implements. I can assure you that our debate over the relative merits of tater mits was a heated one which sadly did not result in the addition of that product to my kitchen implements. But honestly, what backyard barbecue guru could resist one of these?

Toe jam?


Compliments of my friend the Colonel comes today's gun safety lesson via e-mail. While we do not have the luxury of the full story here one can easily surmise how these events unfolded.

Note the large hole in the top of the dirty shoe. While I am not a ballistics expert I would imagine the projectile employed here was a .45 caliber.

As a gentle reminder dear reader, treat all firearms as if they are loaded at all times. And please address all of your pedicure needs at the podiatrist.

Your Freudian slip is showing

Stop over to the Digital Hairshirt and check this out if you have had your morning coffee. It gave me quite a chuckle.

Symmetry

One force you can always count on. Monday, horrifyingly busy EMS shift. Tuesday, a no hitter. It all evens out in the end.

Improvisation?

Inside a Saudi palace, the scene was the bloody aftermath of an al Qaeda attack in August aimed at killing Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, head of Saudi Arabia's counter terrorism operations.

To get his bomb into this room, Abdullah Asieri, one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, avoided detection by two sets of airport security including metal detectors and palace security. He spent 30 hours in the close company of the prince's own secret service agents - all without anyone suspecting a thing.

How did he do it?

Taking a trick from the narcotics trade - which has long smuggled drugs in body cavities - Asieri had a pound of high explosives, plus a detonator inserted in his rectum.

They are animals. But you have to admire their ingenuity I suppose. These people will go to any length to kill their enemies, particularly Americans. They are not going to stop. Any of you Libs out there figuring out George Bush wasn't as dumb as you portrayed him to be or are you too intoxicated with the joy of the upcoming release of 75 animals from Guantanamo?

The rest is here
.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Farewell Cas

Though it has been twenty five years I don't think I will ever forget the first day I walked in to roll call and became a member of F squad. There were five of us and I was the youngest and the rookie by at least twenty years. It was quite an array of characters. Today we lost another of the five originals with the passing of Cas.

Always a lot of fun and armed with a quick wit Cas was a good guy. Having received his GED courtesy of the US Marines he wasn't much in to formal education until his later years. In his fifties he returned to college and earned both a BS and MS in Criminal Justice. After his retirement he went on to be a substitute High School teacher for many years. I imagine many kids were the better for his work there.

He was also a champion grower of Jersey tomatoes. With his death today there are only two of our original squad left. RIP Cas. I know I will see you again. I just hope its not too soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vast right wing conspiracy

WASHINGTON -- Bill Clinton said a vast, right-wing conspiracy that once targeted him is now focusing on President Obama.

Bill Clinton was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether the conspiracy is still there. He replied: "You bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was."




It's just the same old song. The rest here.

Wet pants

So after deciding to engage Iran in negotiations with no preconditions regarding their nuclear power program we find another secret nuclear site. The Obama Administration response?

The Iranians must "present convincing evidence as to the purpose of their nuclear program. We don't believe that they can present convincing evidence, that it's only for peaceful purposes, but we are going to put them to the test," Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation."


Wow, that will show them. The rest here.

No shrinking violet

Lets face it. If you spend more than five minutes outside of the comparative safety of your home you are bombarded with information. It is a part of the twenty first century that cannot be ignored. But I would like to implore the folks on Madison Avenue to establish just a bit of decorum.

As the title of this post will attest I am no shrinking violet. Nor am I prudish. But it occurs to me that there are a great many products being hawked on every form of media available that in the not so distant past would have been relegated to the more private areas of life.

I can still remember being appalled at the first explicit ad I ever saw for feminine hygiene products. Certainly not as appalled as the first time my wife sent me to the local store to purchase some for her. But over the years I have been desensitized to such effrontery. But by extending the limits of what we will endure in this assault on our modesty we are encouraging the madness to continue.

Now maybe you are a more accepting type than I. but I implore you to consider if we need to watch some old bat obliquely extol the benefits of her personal vibrator? Why in the course of running my child around to various appointments must I change from the talk radio station to another selection in order to avoid exposing my nine year old to a commercial for a local car dealer who is giving up sex until his crappy car dealership is number one?

The First Amendment is very precious to me and I would never do anything to impede a citizen's right to free expression. But there has to be a point where someone realizes that if we don't cut down our childrens over exposure to things that used to be private in a polite society we will soon be watching commercials for puppy blenders on late night TV.

It is bad enough that I was in line at the Wal Mart today behind a fellow purchasing a body shaver with six position versatility. When I have to have my TV viewing interrupted by a commercial by a guy with so much body hair that it looks like he is wearing mohair pajamas extolling the products virtue, that is where I draw the line.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Contradictions

Twirl of the nightstick to my friend Angus for pointing this one out.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm not wild about Harry

It would seem that in the face of the juggernaut that is rolling toward the Democrats in the mid term elections somebody has decided to throw themselves on the grenade that is ObamaCare. Harry Reid, that unapologetic geriatric Lib from Nevada has been quoted today regarding the "nuclear" option they can use in the Senate to thwart the will of the people.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened on Tuesday to use a procedural maneuver to steamroll opponents of health care reform, even as a Senate panel began delicate negotiations over a package that could have the best chance at passing.

The Nevada Democrat, who has issued similar threats before, spoke as the Senate Finance Committee began debate over Chairman Max Baucus' reform plan. Reid threatened to use a budgetary tool called reconciliation -- also known as the "nuclear option" -- that would allow Democrats to pass key parts of the legislation with a simple majority, as opposed to the 60 votes needed to avoid a Republican filibuster.

"If we can't work this out to do something within the committee structure, then we'll be forced to do the reconciliation," Reid said, adding that he views that as a "last resort."

My read (excuse the pun) is that Harry, facing doom in his own struggle to retain his seat is so desperate to change the landscape of America in his image that he is willing to pull the pin on this legislative grenade and run in to the 2010 election cycle holding in his hand. With the shallow victory of a piece of legislation that is hated by the electorate pushed through his chamber he will pray (or whatever Libs do when faced with failure) that he squeaks by with enough votes to stay on the Government tit for another six year term. Failing that he will be immortalized in the minds of fellow travelers as the man who saved the Republic from its selfish self. What crap.

Let us hope there is enough collective spine in the upper chamber of our Congress to thwart this weasel and his desperation end game politics. It is clear that even thought they have enough votes in theory to defeat a filibuster the bottom dwellers are beginning to realize that the jig is up.

The rest of Hapless Harry's sad story is here.


Washington Elitist Douche Bag

When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.

Let us see what lessons are learned in November when we voters, who the Libs assume don't know how to employ our rights as free citizens, revolt against quasi science and "parental authority".

You can read the rest here.

Foreign foreign policy?

Like many I thought that the current leftward trend in American Government had been largely a home grown affair. Drunk with power the Left has seized the reins and is attempting to push through an ambitious yet irresponsible agenda of social and economic change. After reading some European news and editorial sources I am inclined to believe that rather than catering to a local electorate, the Obamanites are rather more concerned about appearing more cosmopolitan to our European friends.

Europe has been increasingly critical of America's failures to live up to its global responsibilities. The US is not only the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases but is by far the largest per capita emitter of carbon and other pollutants. China comes close to the US in terms of total carbon emissions, but it has four times more people, who each belch far less individually. Europe, while having much the same high living standard, has an "ecological footprint" that is only half of America's, since Europe has taken leadership in implementing renewable technologies and conservation practices.

And:

Despite immense, taxpayer-financed rescue packages needed to overcome the crisis, the financial sector in the US is rapidly returning to business as usual. Indeed, three US banks – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan – which received some $45bn of bailout aid, each paid billions of dollars more in bonuses in 2009 than they earned in 2008.

Here again, Europe is leading, while the Obama administration is dragging its feet. Europe has proposed far-reaching reforms designed to impose new rules on executive pay and bonuses, requiring that banks link pay to long-term rather than short-term performance, and that they "claw back" any bonuses received in the face of losses. Europe wants a financial police force that has powers to slash payments where investments prove to have failed, and to force boardrooms to control levels of speculation. Europe also wants to block the exercising of stock options for set periods and expose top bank directors to penalties, following huge payouts to failed bank chiefs.

For a continent that has a historical need to depend on the US for safety and economic well being you would think that they would be a bit less critical. Something along the lines of "don't bite the hand that feeds you". Well, at least we now have an idea where this nonsense is being cooked up.

You can catch the rest of this anti capitalist diatribe here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fashion

Recently, a colleague of mine related to me that she was disappointed in the last several dozen posts. Apparently, politics and religion are a bit too naughty for her and she urged me to return to doing posts of a lighter nature. Never one to ignore constructive critique I would like to offer for your consideration the latest post over at Demure Thoughts.

The sites author Jen, who has a mastery of profanity that would make a sailor blush, gives the treatment to the First Lady. Not from a political standpoint (not this time anyway) but with regard to her choices in fashion. So ladies, this one is for you. It is my hope that by showing this type of topical diversity Whisper will return to the regular readership roles and stop complaining.

And if you agree with Jen or not continued visits to her site are encouraged. Views aside, those of you too well bred to personally wax poetic in words of blue can live vicariously through her. Then again if you are an experienced ER nurse you will find nothing out of the ordinary there.

It is her muse, and she owns it.

Mile marker

Not that it is a big deal but as I sat down to post this afternoon I realized that this will be post number 500 in this little enterprise. While I am certainly not the most prolific blog writer I hope some of what you have read here has been interesting. Take this afternoon for instance.

My daughter arrived home from school and since she was awarded a homework pass she went right to her new favorite activity, Wizards 101. While I remained in a quasi vegetative state since the night shift was not too great last night I was jolted from my semi repose by a loud roar outside and the ringing of my cell phone. I hustled outside in time to see two fighter jets at a relatively low level flying a lazy circle.

This week at the UN (a veritable stone's throw from my New Jersey suburb) many of the world's leaders are gathering for the General Assembly meeting. No doubt the jets were part of a huge security umbrella that will be in place during their visit.

While the phone continued to ring from a few concerned acquaintances I marveled at the beauty of these engineering marvels and took pause to remember those brave men and women who protect our country from attack. If they would do a fly by every April 15th I would probably whine a bit less about the annual check for the government. Alas, they will probably run Acorn commercials on that day instead.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

He is not really that interested.....


...in public health anyway.

(09-17) 20:36 PDT -- Calling soda the new tobacco, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will introduce legislation this fall that would charge a fee to retailers that sell sugary beverages.

Why don't they tax other lifestyles instead? Now that might help lessen impact of another expensive public health crisis. Just saying.

The rest here.

New spin on my dog ate my homework?

STUART, Fla — Authorities have filed another 90 charges of possession of child pornography against a Martin County man who blamed the crime on his cat.

According to a sheriff's report, Jensen Beach resident Keith Griffin told investigators that pornographic images downloaded when his cat jumped on his computer keyboard while he was downloading music.


The rest of the article outlining the worst defense strategy ever is here.

Friday, September 18, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things



Hard to believe it has been six years already.

Veritas Visuals

First let me let out a well deserved Wow! While perusing the local paper today I was pleased to find out that the man behind Veritas Visuals is a Rutgers University graduate. That information in many respects is ironic. Up until now I thought that all Rutgers students were whiny liberal bitches who sponged off of their hard working parents while bad mouthing their country to anyone who would listen. Clearly I was mistaken, at least where James O'Keefe III is concerned.

James O'Keefe III - who used a hidden camera to tape a Rutgers official in 2004 for his tongue-in-cheek campaign suggesting "Lucky Charms" cereal was offensive to Irish Americans - created a political firestorm with his portrayal of a pimp who accompanied a woman posing as a prostitute at offices of the controversial group ACORN.

You may not yet recognize the name but he is the genius who brought us all of that delicious ACORN footage. In addition to exposing them for what they truly are he even added in a bit of an homage to the 1970's version of Starsky and Hutch with the costumes they employed.

It is nice to know that we have such creativity in the conservative side of the equation. As an added bonus is that he is not grotesquely overweight, does not smell like fermented cheese nor does he affect a vacant gaze like his liberal counterpart Michael Moore.

Stop over at Veritasvisuals.com to see more of his work and support this fine young man who was educated "on the banks of the old Raritan".

Good quote

Found at the blog Why I am Catholic.

We all stand in a great arena of history and are dependent on each other. A man ought not, therefore, just to figure out what he would like, but to ask what he can do and how he can help. Then he will see that fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease, and following one's inclinations, but precisely in allowing demands to be made upon you, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man who "risks the fire," who recognizes a calling within himself, a vocation, an ideal he must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. As we have said, it is not in taking, not on the path of comfort, that we become rich, but only in giving.

Benedict XVI, a Pope's Pope.

The full post here.

Jerry Rivers


I'm sorry, I meant Geraldo Rivera. When I am angry with him I often refer to him with his given name.

After watching the morning chit chat on Fox News this morning and seeing Geraldo trying to obliquely support the Obama administration's refusal to carry through with our commitment for a ballistic missile shield in Poland I have a suggestion for Rupert Murdoch.

If he insists on being a clown, can't you resurrect the Bozo the Clown show. It would seem as though that might be a more appropriate format if we must continue to be exposed to him on TV.

A good fisking

A term used frequently by the great Father Z and an appropriate description of this piece from one of my favorite writers, Charles Krauthammer.

Obama doesn't lie. He merely elides, gliding from one dubious assertion to another. This has been the story throughout his whole health-care crusade. Its original premise was that our current financial crisis was rooted in neglect of three things -- energy, education and health care. That transparent attempt to exploit Emanuel's Law -- a crisis is a terrible thing to waste -- failed for health care because no one is stupid enough to believe that the 2008 financial collapse was caused by a lack of universal health care.

So on to the next gambit: selling health-care reform as a cure for the deficit. When that was exploded by the Congressional Budget Office's demonstration of staggering Obamacare deficits, Obama tried a new tack: selling his plan as revenue-neutral insurance reform -- until the revenue neutrality is exposed as phony future cuts and chimerical waste and fraud.

Obama doesn't lie. He implies, he misdirects, he misleads -- so fluidly and incessantly that he risks transmuting eloquence into mere slickness.

Slickness wasn't fatal to "Slick Willie" Clinton because he possessed a winning, nearly irresistible charm. Obama's persona is more cool, distant, imperial. The charming scoundrel can get away with endless deception; the righteous redeemer cannot.

Click here to see the entire column. It is worth the investment of your time.

Polish Alzheimers


Most of the time when I post it is largely a matter of opinion. Of course if the topic is one in which I have extensive expertise you can count on the straight and accurate scoop. Such is the case today as I recover from the news that Poland has been betrayed again.

For those of you that do not have a Polish community in your area, let me explain the ramifications of this.

The United States and Poland remain close allies despite President Obama's decision to drop plans for a missile defense shield in the Eastern European country, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk insisted Thursday.

I laughed out loud when I read that assertion. Again Poland finds herself being treated as the world's doormat. Over the centuries Poland has been invaded, partitioned and fleeced by it's neighbors. This is despite the bravery and steadfastness of the Polish people. You may be able to knock them down, but keeping them down is another story.

The Obama administration has again showed weakness in foreign policy and caved to the Soviet Union. No, that is not a typo. Don't fool yourself, they are back. I know some of my more centrist readers will look at that comment and immediately begin to consider if I haven't gone over the conservative deep end, but it would be a mistake for anyone to forget that Putin is not too far removed from the Soviet era. And it is clear from his actions that Soviet domination and a return to the good old days in Russia would not make him unhappy.

The current plan of Russia to assist Venezuela in acquiring nuclear technology is nothing short of a twenty first century Cuban missle crisis. And unlike his hero JFK (my disdain for all things Kennedy is never ending) he not only blinked but peed his pants. So now there will not be a missle shield in Europe. At least not one that will deter the Soviets from expansionist designs. And to boot Obama has alienated a ham fisted, iron spined ally that would stand up when it really counts. Who can forget the GROM commandos and their incredible heroism in the Gulf War. No French commandos there. Remember folks, in the face of the Nazi blitzkrieg and facing certain death, Polish cavalry charged Panzer tanks on horseback knowing full well they would die. This is a people that do not pay lip service to ideas like honor, bravery and loyalty.

What Obama will soon find out that for all of their loyalty, Polish people will not let anyone crap on them. They are a tremendous asset to have on your side. But let me tell you candidly, they are not a nation to piss off. And despite the assurances from the mouthpieces in the Polish Government, all is not well in greater Polonia. I assure you that even the most loyal Democratic voters in the Chicago machine will remind Obama in the next election cycle that they are infinitely more Polish then democratic.


Polish Alzheimers. We forget everything but a grudge.

The rest here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Simple pleasures

An evening off is a rare pleasure. One without family obligations more so. Tonight a bit of a bagpipe lesson and a frosty cold beverage. That and a wee dram of cask strength scotch. Single malt of course.

Sometimes I wonder

videoIs she closer to forty or four? If nothing else, it keeps life interesting around here.

Liberal scholarly publication

The simmering war that has long been waged between environmentalists and Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson escalated today when seven women from the pressure group Climate Rush arrived at his £2m Cotswolds house and dumped six bags of horse manure on his drive and front lawn.

I don't think he should be upset. They were just dropping off their carefully collected supporting scientific data.

Here for the rest.

No joke

At a briefing just now, NBC's Chuck Todd just sneezed into his hand, rather than his arm, prompting the joking disapproval of Health Secretary Sebelius and press secretary Robert Gibbs.

He was then likely hauled off to a hygienic reeducation camp.

The link.

Don't worry Nan

“I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw … I saw this myself in the late '70s in San Francisco,” Pelosi said, choking up and with tears forming in her eyes. “This kind of rhetoric is just, is really frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place and … I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made.”

I don't remember any incidents where marauding bands of conservatives rampaged through the cities of America, do you? So you don't have anything to worry about Madame Speaker. I believe liberal rioters only eat their young.

The rest here.

Coveting


From time to time you see something on someone else's blog and just want to scarf it up. I have been admiring this graphic at the Orthometer for some time. So off I went on an image search to clip it from the original source. Sorry Father Erik, I just could not help myself.

Beat the dog

You are all undoubtedly familiar with the phrase "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". I am finding that there is a great deal of truth to this assertion. For better or worse I have returned to the ivy covered halls of academia in pursuit of a graduate degree. Perhaps it would be more appropriate if I said virtual ivy as my classes are conducted online. That will help explain in some small part why posting has been somewhat erratic.

The threshold class for the program is centered around mastering a writing format from the American Psychological Association, commonly referred to as the APA format. It is hard to convey the appropriate venomous tone as I type those words.

Unlike an undergraduate program where to succeed the only real obligation is to learn facts by rote and spit them back on demand, most commonly during an exam. The hard part about graduate school is that they actually expect you to master new skill. Thus the term masters degree I suppose.

Having just completed my first written assignment for this class I wait with baited breath the first filleting of my submission. It will not be pretty. Whimper.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Amendment dangers

Ever wonder how serious our elected representatives are about guarding our right to free expression. Apparently not too serious based on a review of "banned phrases" in the House rules. The full text is at Politico.

House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has released a helpful, updated primer for members regarding their conduct on the floor and in committees.

Especially useful: The section on how to properly insult the executive branch in the in the chamber.

"Disgrace" and "nitwits" -- okay.

"Liar" or "sexual misconduct" -- ixnay.

Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:

• refer to the government as “something hated, something oppressive.”
• refer to the President as “using legislative or judicial pork.”
• refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country.”
• refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.”

Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:

• call the President a “liar.”
• call the President a “hypocrite.”
• describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
• charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
• refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
• refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”

Don't know about you but I am all for clarity. Especially when it comes to providing political direction.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Common ground?

President Obama was quoted as calling Kayne West a "jackass" after his actions on the VMA awards last night. Finally an issue on which we both agree. The story is here.

Litigating Louts?

TRENTON, N.J. — Three teenagers who say they were tossed from a New Jersey ballpark over their refusal to stand during the song "God Bless America" are suing the minor league Newark Bears.

The boys argue that their constitutional rights were violated when they were asked to leave Newark's Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on June 29 by Bears' president and co-owner Thomas Cetnar.
Cetnar acknowledged the boys were asked to leave but declined to say why. He also has denied making some statements attributed to him in the lawsuit.
The boys — Millburn High seniors Bryce Gadye and Nilkumar Patel, both 17, and junior Shaan Mohammad Khan, 16 — sued in federal court on Friday seeking unspecified damages.
According to the lawsuit, the boys were seated behind home plate when the song began playing. Once it ended, they say Cetnar approached them yelling.
"Nobody sits during the singing of 'God Bless America' in my stadium," the lawsuit quotes Cetnar as saying. "Now the get the (expletive) out of here."


Call me crazy but I don't see that Mr. Cetnar did anything wrong here. Instead of representing them in this ridiculous law suit their attorney might want to sit them down and explain terms like rude, unpatriotic and maybe even stupid. But that's just my opinion. The rest of the article is here.

Useful tools

Canem Magnus

How can you not love a big dopey dog?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

From the John McEnroe athletic etiquette guide

This was the dramatic moment when Serena Williams screamed her way out of the U.S. Open.

TV viewers around the world saw the irate Wimbledon champion launch a threatening, profanity-laced tirade at a female line judge after being called for a foot fault.

'If I could, I would take this f****** ball and shove it down your f****** throat,' she reportedly said.

The rest at the Daily Mail.


Capture the moment

As a crappy amateur photographer I am often paranoid about the shots that I take. Clearly the advent of digital photography has made life much easier in that you can take a gazillion shots and just delete those that aren't up to snuff. Once in a while though strictly by luck you are fortunate enough to catch a friend or family member in a ridiculous moment and it is cause for decades of ridicule. Really, just think about all of those seventies school photos you have tucked away.

Compliments of my favorite EMS dispatcher Monica I am happy to pass along this link to Awkward Family Photos. This is an eclectic collection of truly funny pictures with some excellent commentary. If you enjoyed the People of Walmart post this site is right up your alley. Enjoy.

And yes, I really had a hard time picking only one to post.

In charity

Take a minute and say a little prayer for the Fisherman's son Tyler. Having some major surgery tomorrow. While all is expected to go well your good intentions for his speedy recovery would be appreciated.

Truth be told

As a life long resident of New Jersey I can attest to the fact that the City of Newark is a mess. A reeking crime ridden hole that for generations has been a void that State Government has poured tax money in to all in the name of reclaiming a beautiful city. While there have been great strides to improve the downtown area (notably under the leadership of Democratic Mayor Corey Booker) the majority of the city limits is akin to Beirut during any one of the dozens of wars that have played out over the years there.

Many of my friends who work in the city can attest to the multitude of violent shootings, robberies and carjackings that occur there on a weekly basis. It is no accident that the Trauma Unit at University Hospital is among the busiest in the country. So I was a bit confused when I read this in the local paper today.

NEWARK — GOP lieutenant governor candidate Kim Guadagno, who is the Monmouth County sheriff, angered the Newark City Council after saying she had been afraid to walk across the street while teaching a law school class in the city.
Guadagno and Chris Christie, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, were in Newark to open a campaign headquarters Tuesday when she said, "I know what it's like to be afraid to walk across the street."

Afterward she was asked what she meant.

"Have you ever walked from the law school to the bus stop here, or to the subway stop here? It's a very dangerous thing to do, and one of the problems in all of our cities here in New Jersey is that we need to fix crime, we need to make it safer for people to walk in Newark so they're happier to move here and stay here," Guadagno said.

Alright. That seems accurate. So why this?

City Council members issued an angry rebuke."The people of Newark are not a photo opportunity," said Carlos Gonzalez, a councilman at-large. "We are working every day to make our residents' lives better, make our streets safer and improve our children's education.

Maybe it is time to come up with a new plan Newark. Lets start by taking off the rose colored glasses and take a tour of the City you seem to think defies Kim Guadagno's description.

The rest here.

More judicial hijinks

You will love this one.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana court has ruled that a pizza shop must pay for a 340-pound employee's weight-loss surgery to ensure the success of another operation for a back injury he suffered at work — raising concern among businesses bracing for more such claims.

Where does it end? The rest of this absurdity can be found here.

Euthanize the Old Gray Lady

Up until now, despite the fact that it would be obvious even to the most obtunded among us that the NY Times is nothing more than a printed cheering section for all things liberal, I have had the occasion to buy the paper. While I do not enjoy many Sundays off it was one of my pleasures to kick back with a copy of the paper and enjoy the book review, arts and leisure and other notable sections. I would routinely avoid any section containing what they maintain as news. After this nonsense today, well, kind of like nachos with extra cheese and sour cream. I would really like to have it but a steady diet of slop will undoubtedly lead to my early demise.

The funny thing about liberals is that when they are caught in a lie or their preposterous assertions are challenged and shown to be folly they reach for the bottom of the deck to start dealing cards. Conveniently for them, this time they were able to avoid the tiresome baby straight of mean spirit, lack of charity, close minded thinking, provincialism and conspiracy and go right for the trump card. Race.

From the Times via Fox News regarding Rep Wilson's shout of liar during the Presidents speech I submit to you the opinion of Maureen Dowd.

Dowd wrote in her column that Wilson's outburst Wednesday -- when he shouted, You lie," at the president for claiming his health care reform plan would not cover illegal immigrants -- convinced her that racial angst is the underlying motive among Obama critics like Wilson.

"I've been loath to admit that the shrieking lunacy of the summer ... had much to do with race," she wrote. "But Wilson's shocking disrespect for the office of the president -- no Democrat ever shouted 'liar' at W. when he was hawking a fake case for war in Iraq -- convinced me: Some people just can't believe a black man is president and will never accept it."


First of all, while I will agree the shouting during the speech was rude by conventional manners Mr. Wilson did not in any form insert race in to this debate. It just did not happen. It seems as though the libs in an early state of panic are pulling out the stops to shore up waning support for the ridiculous plan dubbed by many Obama Care. This folks is a sure sign that even if they ram the plan through Congress on the backs of weak and stupid Semi Conservatives and some back door budgetary procedure they fear, and rightfully so that the game is up.

I encourage all of you to remain vocal opponents of this frittering away of our kids future. If you require random entertainment on a lazy Sunday afternoon might I suggest looking for Joe Biden videos on YOUTube. That should be good for a laugh.

And no, I do not mean we should euthanize Ms. Dowd. Their editorial prejudices will take care of that soon enough.

Where the rubber meets the road

Tired of clerical downsizing? Do you feel a need to take a more active role to promote vocations to the religious life? From the Deacon's Bench an innovative way you can help out.

Gift shopping?

Perhaps a sibling is having their first child. And you know Sis. Maybe just a bit neurotic. The type that would raise their kid in a plastic bubble if it were possible. Check out this new and exciting product over at The Digital Hairshirt.

Another installment

From the reserved burner in Hell department:

TREDYFFRIN, Pa. (CBS 3) ―A suspect is in police custody after the indecent assault of a handicapped man in a Paoli restroom in August. Investigators in Chester County say they apprehended a suspect who allegedly raped a wheelchair-bound man in a supermarket bathroom.

The rest here.

Tired of spin?

So am I. And it appears that these good citizens are tired of the CNN pro Obama spin as well.

Essential tools

Starbucks Pumpin Spice latte. The Fall semester has now officially begun.

Friday, September 11, 2009

How about his civil rights?

Anyone disillusioned enough to believe the Justice Department will be vigorously investigating this case?

OWOSSO, Mich. — A man carrying grudges against several people in town set off on a shooting spree Friday morning, authorities said, killing an abortion protester outside a school because he didn't like that the activist carried a sign with graphic images of a fetus in front of students.


The rest here.

Changes

Tomorrow members of my family (not me of course, working as usual) will gather at a local spot for a farewell lunch for my Uncle Bob. No, not a funeral repast (thank God) but a last local get together before he and his bride load in to the car and head south for destination retirement.

A lot of men enjoy the moniker of Uncle these days. Whether its the absent brother of your father or your divorced mother's latest boyfriend, the title gets a bit over used. Such was not the case with Uncle Bob.

Fishing trips, a ride on his boat and always the coolest Christmas presents Uncle Bob was and is the real deal. But the sad reality is that he is moving and life being what it is we really won't be seeing each other all that much. To compound the sadness, since selling the house it is the first time since 1939 that a member of my Mom's family won't be living there.

I wish them a long and healthy retirement and hope that we will see each other again soon.

Getting older is for the birds.

Need a laugh?

Every once in a while you run in to a website that just makes you chuckle. I was sent a link to the hilarious People of Walmart by my buddy Trenton Bruce. If you are a people watcher or even the more sophisticated type that likes to strap on the Nikon and go on people safari, this is the site for you. Stop over at People of Walmart and enjoy!

Guess Who?

Twirl of the nightstick to my Favorite Friar for posting this one. See if you can guess who gave this speech on the floor of the Senate in 2006.

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies.

Over the past 5 years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is "trillion" with a "T." That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers. And over the next 5 years, between now and 2011, the President's budget will increase the debt by almost another $3.5 trillion.

Why, our esteemed President of course. You know, the man behind the multi trillion dollar bailout. The rest here.

Patience for Patients?

The next time you encounter a Medic, Nurse or EMT and it seems as though they are a bit cranky take a moment and remember this clip. They probably saw this woman just before they came to your house. Thanks to Spike for sending me this one.

Fortitudo

My daughter (then a bit less than two) napping in her playpen I was dozing on the couch. One of the detriments of being a family where both parents have to work is that you catch sleep where and when you can. I was woken by the ringing of the phone. It was my wife calling from work to ask me of all things "do you have the tv on?". After collecting my wits and putting on the television I focused my eyes just enough to catch the second airliner hitting the tower. I told her to come home from work right away.

It was a scary day here in my hometown where we can see the Manhattan skyline. It was a somber day on the 12th when I spent a twenty four hour shift at ground zero. I don't feel comfortable sharing very much of my experience. I think it cheapens the pain and loss experienced by those directly affected by the loss.

Time is a funny thing. Sometimes its passage makes us forget the terror and pain of a memory as it becomes more distant. Yet reminders of that day still persist. Witnessing both of my neices First Holy Communion in the last few years I saw many kids escorted to the altar by only a mother. You see, the town where my brother settled lost many a Dad when the towers came down.

Families and friends of the heroes who ran in while others ran out still bear the pain of that dreadful day. No doubt they will carry that cross all the days of their lives.

Merciful God, grant them eternal peace. Grant their family and friends the strength to realize that they will someday be reunited with their loved ones. Grant our Nation the strength to never forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Intellectual talcum powder

Before you get all wet in the drawers watching the President speak tonight here is a little something that you might want to read by Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner.

There is an element of convenient fantasy as well in Obama's health care statements to date. We are going to save money by spending money. We are going to solve our fiscal problems with a program that will increase the national debt by $1,000,000,000,000 over a decade. We are going to guarantee you can keep your current insurance with a bill that encourages your employer to stop offering it.

The list goes on. We are going to improve health care for seniors by cutting $500,000,000,000 from Medicare. We aren't going to insure illegal aliens, except that we won't have any verification provisions to see that they can't apply and get benefits.

Just a little something to help you watch the snake oil salesman tonight with out getting sucked in by charisma. I am sure none of the above will be addressed or acknowledged. Stay informed and go read the full article here.

Food for Judicial thought

Saw this story today on Fox News.

MOGADISHU, Somalia — A spokesman says a Somali Islamic court has amputated the hands of two men accused of theft and lashed another accused of rape.

An eyewitness says kitchen knives
were used to amputate a hand off each of the screaming men on a large table. He declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

Now like many of you I had the initial reaction that there is something fundamentally unfair that while a thief would have a body part lopped off a rapist would not share the same fate. I mean, whip versus Ginsu knife? There is no choice to be made here. But it shoes the relative value a culture puts on life. For instance. Somali A rapes a woman, physically abusing her and giving her life long Psychological scars. He gets a beating. Somali B takes and apple and gets his hand chopped off? Doesn't make a lot of sense now does it.

But then I came to the conclusion that our system is equally flawed. American A intentionally runs over a dog with his car and is convicted of animal cruelty. Result, 180 days in the county jail. American B gets pregnant unintentionally but as a result of irresponsible behavior. She has her baby killed. That's just a choice according to our judiciary. Just some food for thought.

Original post here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dems have only your best interest at heart

Families who fail to get health insurance could be fined up to $3,800 under a health care reform plan proposed by a top Senate negotiator.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is leading talks among the "Gang of Six" senators to hammer out a bipartisan compromise, offered what he described on Tuesday as a "framework" and not a "final product."

The rest here.

What is it going to take?

How deep does your hand have to be in the cookie jar before someone says enough is enough?

As lawmakers return to the Capitol for the fall’s epic battle over health care reform, Rep. CharlesRangel (D-N.Y.) appeared likely to retain his chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, despite new allegations about his tangled finances and fresh calls for the Harlem Democrat to relinquish his leadership post.

Although Rangel has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing, he has been under investigation by a House ethics committee for nearly a year, following published reports alleging a broad array of financial improprieties.

These include allegations that the chairman of the House’s top tax-writing committee failed to report income derived from a beachfront villa he owns in the Dominican Republic; falsely listed a Washington, D.C. residence as his primary address when he was living in rent-stabilized apartments in New York City; used congressional letterhead for fundraising purposes; and helped a wealthy donor to a school bearing Rangel’s name establish a lucrative tax shelter in Bermuda.

The rest here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hitting the nail on the head

Reflecting mounting GOP anxiety about how the health care debate will play out once Congress returns from recess, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., urged President Obama to scale back the legislation.

"Thumbing their nose at the American people by ramming through a partisan bill would be the same thing as going to war without asking Congress' permission," he said. "You might technically be able to do it, but you'd pay a terrible price in the next election."

The rest here.

If you're going to San Francisco

Found at Fox News:

SAN FRANCISCO — Crews working on a seismic retrofit of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Saturday found what authorities called a "significant crack" in the eastern span that could keep the California landmark closed beyond a planned holiday weekend shutdown.

Likely the only crack in San Francisco not otherwise occupied. Just saying.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hopeful sign

Has the sleeping giant awakened?

Book sales ... blog visits ... tea parties ... town halls ... a national poll ... There is increasing evidence of a shift in the political winds: the nation is swinging right after President Obama's victory last November.

A recent Gallup poll found that people who identify themselves as conservatives now outnumber liberals in every state.

The rest here.

Idle hands

Anyone remember not too long ago when the Connecticut State Legislature proposed a bill that would have trod all over our Constitutional Freedom of Religion? Fortunately religious people of all faiths rose up and defeated this thinly veiled attack on organized religion in the Nutmeg State.

If you are wondering what these geniuses have been doing to fill their time while the legislature is in progress now that they have been smacked on their collective noses with a rolled up newspaper, click here.

Prelude

One pork loin butterflied. Stuffed with sweet sausage, spinach, peppers and asiago cheese. Currently spiced and lounging in the fridge with a pair of garlic chickens. Tomorrow we roast!

How can you not admire Charles Krauthammer?

I like to write and have been told through my academic career that I do so rather well. Let there be no illusion however that I come close to Mr. Krauthammer. Today's column is as usual, insightful, well crafted and informative.

What happened to President Obama? His wax wings having melted, he is the man who fell to earth. What happened to bring his popularity down further than that of any new president in polling history save Gerald Ford (post-Nixon pardon)?

The conventional wisdom is that Obama made a tactical mistake by farming out his agenda to Congress and allowing himself to be pulled left by the doctrinaire liberals of the Democratic congressional leadership. But the idea of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi pulling Obama left is quite ridiculous. Where do you think he came from, this friend of Chávista ex-terrorist William Ayers, of PLO apologist Rashid Khalidi, of racialist inciter Jeremiah Wright?

Go to the link and read the rest. He is one of my favorite political writers.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crap, crap and more crap

It is my hope the rest of you have not been assailed with this. I have seen this identical post twice on Facebook and apparently it is the LIB talking point in preparation for when the President comes out of the bunker post Labor Day and puts his new spin on why the folks that work in this country must continue to support those that don't. This is the post.

no one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick.


My reply to both instances of my encountering this has been the same. No one should be subject to an aggregate tax rate of 57%. This is a number recently offered by the Heritage Foundation regarding what real tax rates (state, local and federal combined) will be in states like New Jersey, New York and California should Obama Care come to fruition.

While we have the obligation to be charitable but that does not give free license to the Government to dig in to our legacy to our children and grandchildren to pay for it.

Anyone remember the story of the ant and the grasshopper?

New Yorks Bravest

Ever wonder what firefighters do when they are not responding to a blaze?

Hat tip to my large and gentle Irish friend for sending me this one.

A firefighters union says a New York City engine company had to close its firehouse for 30 minutes to bathe a circus elephant on city orders.

The Uniformed Firefighters Association says Brooklyn’s Engine Company 245 didn’t want to participate in the photo opportunity with circus elephant Suzie, part of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey show in Coney Island. But it says city officials ordered the engine company to participate, the Associated Press reports.


Could have been worse. The could have been assigned to the intake line at Jenny Craig.

The article is here.

Out of sight, out of mind?

Mr. Obama, his poll numbers plummeting after a long August recess, has all but dropped out of sight, except for his appearances at the services for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. In Martha's Vineyard last week, he kept reporters far away as he played golf on Monday, and Tuesday, and Thursday and Friday.

Bad news is he left Biden the keys to the house. Here for the link.

Resume browsing

Courtesy of Drudge I was able to do a bit of resume browsing regarding a member of the Obama Administration. Now you know Van Jones is in the news as of late.....

Van Jones, the Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is Number 46 of the petitioners from the so-called "Truther" movement which suggests that people in the administration of President George W. Bush "may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war." (original here)

Well, here is a bit about the esteemed advisor from the not so recent past.

A supporter of a Pennsylvania death row inmate denied that demonstrators were trying to upstage a long-planned dialogue between Oakland police and local youth Thursday night.

Liberalism....cannabilism...what's the difference?

An opponent of government healthcare programs had part of a finger bit off during a fight at a pro-healthcare-reform rally this week in Thousand Oaks.

William Rice, 65, of Newbury Park was with a small group of counter-protesters at a vigil Wednesday night organized by Moveon.org when a man bit off part of his left pinky finger during a scuffle, authorities said. Doctors were unable to reattach Rice’s finger.

Sheriff’s detectives Thursday were still looking for the man who bit Rice. Investigators also were sifting through conflicting accounts of the incident, but Rice acknowledged that he threw the first punch.

The original article is here.


More in the battle against recidivism

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Police in Texas say a group of teenagers were trying to break into a home when a resident opened fire and killed two of the youths.

San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams says the shootings happened shortly before 2 a.m. Friday. He says two 16-year-olds died and a third teenager was seriously wounded.

The link.

And you thought you had neighbor problems

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania history buff who recreates firearms from old wars accidentally fired a 2-pound cannonball through the wall of his neighbor's home.

Fifty-four-year-old William Maser fired a cannonball Wednesday evening outside his home in Georges Township that ricocheted and hit a house 400 yards away.

Here for the link to FoxNews.

Rethinking retirement in the South

I read it. I am having a bit of trouble believing it. Is is possible that this pocket of Arkansas is stuck in a time warp circa 1920?

JERICHO, Ark. – It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.

The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.

Payne ended up in the hospital, but his shooting last week brought to a boil simmering tensions between residents of this tiny former cotton city and their police force. Drivers quickly learn to slow to a crawl along the gravel roads and the two-lane highway that run through Jericho, but they say sometimes that isn't enough to fend off the city ticketing machine.

The rest here.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Remember when?

Remember your first interaction with the internet. Probably something like my first experience where I logged in to Compuserve on my high speed 14.4 baud modem. Absent an email address as you would recognize it now (my first one was strictly numeric) after a short while we all wondered what the point was to all of it.

Now look how far we have come. Almost everything is done online in one form or another. Technology is pervasive. But it is easy to forget what the "old days" looked like. For a taste of what some very popular sites looked like when they launched, check out this link.

Post Mortem Mea Culpa

A promise is a promise but he just won't go away. From Fox News a story about an upcoming memoir from Ted Kennedy. Published posthumously it apparently contains little gems like this one.

Kennedy says his actions on Chappaquiddick on July 18, 1969, were "inexcusable." He says he was afraid and "made terrible decisions" and had to live with the guilt for more than four decades.

Forty years later and published only after it would not effect his continued service in the US Senate. A bit late, don't you think?

I wonder if he says anything about his defiance of fundamental Catholic doctrine and his unfettered support of abortion rights? Frankly, I am not curious enough give the Kennedy family any more of my money. Through their efforts in Washington they have taken enough already.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No forwarding address

For a good examination of the madness of President Obama addressing America's school children stop over and visit Jen at Demure Thoughts. While her writings are not for the faint of heart (she is a maestro of profanity) her analysis is dead on. Click here for her post.

Accepting routine

Something we all fall in to at one point I suppose. For those of you who are Catholic and have questions about Extraordinary Ministers of Communion Father Z offers some interesting insight. Just remember that it is not necessarily right even if you see it done all of the time. Check it out.

Quaeritur-extraordinary-ministers-and-approach-the-altar

Game On!

Some success has resulted from people like you and I who have been loudly protesting the Obama Healthcare plan. Things have progressed to the extent that those supporting the idea were rocked back on their heels just after the August Congressional recess. Please don't be lulled in to a false sense of security. It looks as though those who support this regressive plan that will be thrust upon succeeding generations of our families are preparing for an all out last ditch offensive ala' the Battle of the Bulge.

President Obama appears to be abandoning hopes for a bipartisan breakthrough on health care reform, as advisers say the president will try to reframe the debate by rallying Democrats around the partisan bills that have already advanced.

Top White House officials over the past few days have blasted Republicans who were part of a "Gang of Six" negotiating team on the Senate Finance Committee, accusing them of stonewalling progress on what was considered the only bipartisan package in Congress.

Two senior administration officials on Wednesday confirmed to FOX News that Obama is now actively considering a prime-time address from the Oval Office or an address to a joint session of Congress to invigorate the debate, as Congress returns from a rocky recess.

Don't be duped or fall in to complacency. They are on the run and can be defeated. This isn's about party loytalties. Make no mistake that the well being of your children and grandchildren is at stake. If we allow these people to push us further in to debt to fund their idea of a Socialist Utopia we will have no one else to blame.

The rest at the link.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Next time I complain about moving somebody

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The astronauts aboard the linked shuttle and station moved a giant chest of drawers from one spacecraft to the other Monday, and hitched it to the orbiting outpost.

The Italian-built chest — nicknamed Leonardo, as in Leonardo da Vinci — is filled with nearly 8 tons of equipment and science experiments for the space station and its six residents, including a treadmill named after Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert. Much of the gear is stored in portable racks.

The rest here.

Reason #4586 to pay parochial school tuition

President Obama will be addressing all public school students on September 2nd.

A prayer if you please

For the folks out in California. An old friend of mine posted on Facebook today that he lives a bit over thirty miles from the fire scene and thick ash is falling from the sky covering everything. The people in its path are in tremendous danger. Mother Nature is nothing to fool with.

Dumb Labor Move

Let me start by saying that I am a Union man as was my Father and his Father before him. So despite my conservative beliefs I do believe that if it were not for Organized Labor we would all be still working for a substandard wage, on a six day schedule and have no protection from the whims of robber barons.

So I am perplexed, when the trend in this country is to having pensions funded on things like 401k and 457 funds why the AFL-CIO would join with Senator Reid to propose this little brainstorm.

The nation’s largest labor union and some allied Democrats are pushing a new tax that would hit big investment firms such as Goldman Sachs reaping billions of dollars in profits while the rest of the economy sputters.

The AFL-CIO, one of the Democratic Party’s most powerful allies, would like to assess a small tax — about a tenth of a percent — on every stock transaction.

Small and medium-sized investors would hardly notice such a tax, but major trading firms, such as Goldman, which reported $3.44 billion in profits during the second quarter of 2009, may see this as a significant threat to their profits.

What is so hard to understand. All people, blue collar and white collar earn their keep. Why is it so hard to understand that keeping Washington (this time with the help of organized labor) out of our wallets? Are you that stupid?

The rest here.

This should make you wince

Crooning tunes

From the web site of the Shrine Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament in Raritan, NJ.

September 25, 2009

Military Order of the Collar of St. Agatha

On Friday evening September 25, the members of the Military Order of the Collar of Saint Agatha will hold an investiture of two new members at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. The investiture will take place at 5:00, pm during Vespers with Benediction. All are welcome to attend this event. Please Note: There will be no evening mass on this day due to the investiture.

The only site in the Diocese of Metuchen that offers the traditional Latin Mass on a daily schedule has been a nice gift bestowed upon us by Bishop Bootkoski.

At the invitation of the Shrine Rector Father Guy Selvester our Schola will be providing the plain chant for Vespers and Benediction. For those of you who pine for traditional Latin liturgy this event is for you.

Old and golden rule days

Shuffling like a convict walking the last mile to the execution chamber my youngest started off her school year this morning. Having been briefed thoroughly last night we were informed by her that at the ripe old age of nine we would no longer be allowed to escort her directly to Iris the ever faithful crossing guard. Instead we would be relegated to the periphery of the Church parking lot where shielded by various flora and fauna she would be able to deny the very existence of her parents to her assembled friends.

The house is quiet. Sigh.