Category Archives: Blithe Spirit

The good and the bad, emphasis on Trib and Sun-Times

John Gerard, S.J.: The Adventures of an Elizabethan Priest – Crisis Magazine

Originally posted on Company Man:

John Gerard, S.J.: The Adventures of an Elizabethan Priest – Crisis Magazine.

More horrors and Jesuit heroism from the time of Good Queen Bess.

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Jesuit priest defends Israel in pages of ‘America’ magazine | Catholic World Report – Global Church news and views

Originally posted on Company Man:

Jesuit priest defends Israel in pages of ‘America’ magazine | Catholic World Report – Global Church news and views.

The Rev. John J. Conley, S.J., who holds the Knott Chair in Philosophy and Theology at Loyola University Maryland (Baltimore, Md), has written a somewhat surprising—but welcome, in my estimation—piece, titled “For Israel”, in America about the constant, one-sided attacks on Israel. And by “attacks,” I’m not referring to Hamas rockets and bombs, but the typical MSM reports and Ivory Tower rants and rages.

He writes:

Several months ago I received an email marked urgent from one of the professional organizations to which I belong. Addressed to “Concerned Faculty Member,” the missive urged me to sign a statement promising that I would not teach, lecture or offer any other assistance to any school located in Israel. It instructed me to participate in the campaign to boycott, divest in and…

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Hillary, she’s quite the slugger

Made life dangerous for manchild Bill on several occasions.

Editorial wrapped around a puzzle

Conscientiously working my way through a Chi Trib editorial about the cost of a new “wonder” drug, I found myself working too hard.

There’s a new breakthrough hepatitis C drug treatment that cures — yes, cures — almost everyone who takes it. Unlike previous, far less effective treatments, patients suffer few if any side effects. The entire regimen takes only 12 weeks, much shorter than previous regimens.

The drug, Sovaldi, could save the lives of many of the estimated 80,000 people a year who die from the blood-borne liver disease. Eventually, Sovaldi could save the nation’s health system billions of dollars by preventing liver failure and liver cancer, not to mention curbing the huge costs of liver transplants.

And which blood-born liver disease is that? Oh sure, I can figure it out, hepatitis C, backtracking to solve the little puzzle the writer puts in my way. What do you think I am, stupid?

No, but I would rather move right along, In this wise:

“The drug could save the lives of many who die from hepatitis C, which is a blood-born liver disease.”

Better yet, I could have been informed at the start:

“There’s a breakthrough [not new: breakthroughs are never old] drug treatment for the blood-borne liver disease hepatitis-C,” etc.

Breakthrough is the point. A lot of us don’t know hepatitis-C from A or B, and of course we don’t like puzzles in editorials.

Writer’s run-around: hedging a bet

“Though” when you mean “because”:

The company also cites data collected by a state air pollution monitor at Washington High School, about two-thirds of a mile southeast of the Burley Avenue terminal.

The monitor has recorded no violations of the federal standard for particulate matter since at least 1993, though prevailing winds typically don’t blow toward the monitor from the KCBX site.

This is common journalese. Writer wants to question something, tosses in oppositional clause, making it an argument against something. But there’s no opposition. Both things can happen. There’s nothing in one to prevent the other.

Both do happen, of course. So what? So the one may mean little, in view of the other. “Because” says more than the writer wants; he wants to hint at it, not say it outright.

Which leads to the question whether he should say it at all — unless he can fine-tune the refutational nature of the second, so that (a) it’s clear and (b) it does not ask or require the reader to supply more than he’d care to come up with on a nice July morning.

Passed without a second (or first) reading, it’s a lovely bill

You were maybe wondering just how bad was the process and attempted implementation of ObamaCare?

Well look here and laugh or weep as the spirit moves you.

Black people in the news

Chi Trib home delivery, Chicagoland, page 4:

* Teen dies, 6 hurt in shooting, w/heart-rending pic

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* No bail for suspect in girl’s death, w/head shot of suspect


* Ethics panel still looking into Rush, w/head shot of Rush

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* Former chief’s husband gets year for fraud ploy


*Two non-black stories:U.S. tries to extradite former Chicago comptroller (Pakistani), Christie treats Rauner to $2.5M, lunch (white pols making money)

The dreary state of Illinois: Quinn says keep the momentum

2014 jobs tracker Illinois

Keep the momentum?

(From Illinois Policy Institute)

Right to Work laws no way to save right to work, says libertarian

Nice point made by free-market-oriented Mises Institute blogger, on his way to disapproving Right to Work legislation:

Right-to-work laws are attractive to some because they help undercut the monopoly powers granted to labor unions by government.

They also appeal to the more pragmatic minded because of the distinct improvements in economic growth.

A recent study by the National Institute of Labor Relations Research found that, over a ten year period, states with right-to-work laws experience significant growth in manufacturing output and GDP compared to non-right-to-work states.

This is, of course, the result we would expect from diminishing the power of government-created monopolies such as those granted to labor unions.

But it’s using government to thwart government, and therefore objectionable:

As Murray Rothbard writes in The Case for Radical Idealism, “the libertarian must never allow himself to be trapped into any sort of proposal for ‘positive’ governmental action; in his perspective, the role of government should only be to remove itself from all spheres of society just as rapidly as it can be pressured to do so.

Stubborn lot, those libertarians.

More guns, less crime, says Detroit police chief

Originally posted on Oak Park Newspapers:

He’s quite explicit:

Statistics show that Detroit, Michigan is seeing a drop with regards to certain types of robberies, and the city’s top cop attributes that new trend to the Motown residents who are taking up arms.

The strength of the Detroit Police Department is only a fraction of what it was a decade ago, and high crime rates remain a very real problem in the Motor City. Nevertheless, Police Chief James Craig now says that would-be lawbreakers are becoming increasingly hesitant to commit crimes, and a well-armed citizenry is what he thinks is responsible.

Makes sense that it would work that way.

How much are robberies down? How much burglaries?

On Thursday this week, the Detroit News reported that robberies in the first half of 2014 are down 37 percent compared to statistics from the same time last year, and homes and businesses have experienced 22 percent fewer break…

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