Monthly Archives: February 2008

Barack O. sox it to blax — would hit home in Oak Park

B.O. made like Bill C.:

On the campaign trail, Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama . . . drew wild cheers as he told a mostly African-American crowd that parents need to shape up, turn off the TV, help their kids with their homework and stop letting them grow fat eating Popeyes chicken for breakfast.

“It’s not good enough for you to say to your child, ‘Do good in school,’ and then when that child comes home, you got the TV set on, you got the radio on, you don’t check their homework, there is not a book in the house, you’ve got the video game playing,” said Obama while in Beaumont, in southeast Texas.

“So turn off the TV set, put the video game away. Buy a little desk or put that child by the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don’t know how to do it, give them help. If you don’t know how to do it, call the teacher. Make them go to bed at a reasonable time. Keep them off the streets. Give ‘ em some breakfast.  . . .


His Sister Souljah moment?


He’d go big in Oak Park (IL), where getting black kids to score as high as whites is a big issue.  Nothing in this Lynn Sweet column about catching up to whites, however.  Good.  It can’t be the issue, though it’s ballyhooed as such in OP, where “the gap” has magic.


OK.  Say you want blacks not just to score better but (explicitly) as well as whites.  OK.  Get them to act white.  Let every black parent post on the bathroom mirror the new slogan for black betterment, “ACT WHITE.”  That should do it.


If the black p. says f—– it, as many will, then so be it.  We whites can’t say we didn’t try.  Black is beautiful anyway, so what’s the problem?

That antic-ridden marriage

You can’t beat letters to the editor for revealing the pulse of the nation.  As noted here yesterday, in epistola veritas (see below).  At issue is a column in Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest which referred to Hillary Clinton as a cuckquean, which is female for cuckold.

So came this protest arguing that it was “misogynistic” to define Clinton’s political success “by the unfortunate and inappropriate sexual antics of her husband.”

Here’s where the national pulse is revealed (in part), in saying that tomcatting around is “unfortunate and inappropriate” and falls not under adultery — which by definition doth cuckold or cuckquean make — but under “antics.”

The writer adds, “Had Sen. Clinton been a man, this would never have been written.”  Of course not.  He would have been not a cuckquean but a cuckold.

Meanwhile, she’s a heroine to women?  Putting up with that schmuck all those years?  How so?

Scratch a liberal and . . . what?

In vino veritas, said the old Romans, accepting strong drink as truth serum.  Now it’s In epistola veritas, as in letter to editor during a political campaign.  No?  What if you’re an Oak Parker (IL) indignant at what a columnist said about her favorite female candidate?  I discuss it in my Wednesday Journal blog:

The fire-Hubbuch movement is under way. Good. Throw him and his out on the street. It’s in this letter from an Oak Park woman whose attention he caught with a column in which he mentions Hillary as “the most famous cuckquean in American history,” explaining . . . that this is “a woman whose husband strays” from connubial obligations.

She is left holding the shame bag, as it were. 

But fire Hubbuch?  What’s that about? 

You should have pulled this [column] or excised part of it. Remarks regarding Hillary Clinton’s qualifications for president were derogatory to all women.

So.  Douse the column, says the writer, warming to the task of advising the editor.  She closes:

Hubbuch lacks intelligence and sensitivity. You have control over his employment.

There it is.  Did you get that?  She wants him not only edited but dismissed.  In epistola veritas.  She’s a Hillary supporter, a Democrat, indeed a former Cook County judge, slated by Chi Ald. Ed Burke’s committee some time back.  She’s a liberal.

BUT WHEN THE COLUMNIST WRITES WHAT SHE DOESN’T LIKE, SHE WANTS HIM OUT OF THERE!

Puts me in mind of that new book, Liberal Fascism.

Hands off!

Hot item here about saying mass, about Vatican ruling that would be widely violated, sez I:

Stricter rules for Mass including disallowing taking Communion in the hand and time limits on homilies may soon be initiated by the Vatican.

Aimed at “extravagancies.” says Divine Worship honcho in La Stampa

In sermons too:

Provisions include restricting to 10 minutes homilies and ensuring they be exclusively based on the Gospel readings.

This will call for urgent dispatching of grief counselors to rectories worldwide.  No more beginnings followed by a succession of middles-without-end, no more rhetorical flights about the world scene.

Who do they think these preachers are, “blocks, stones, worse than senseless things”?  O tempora, O mores!

As for communion:

“The Vatican wants the host placed directly into the mouths of the faithful so they don’t touch it (with their hands) because many don’t even realize they are receiving Christ and do this with scant concentration and respect,” Archbishop Ranjith said.

The anti-in-hands rationale, soon to be repeated in further rollbacks of post-Vatican II innovations:

Ranjith said the practice was “illegally and hastily introduced by certain elements of the Church immediately after the Council”.

. . . .

“Ranjith said the measures to bring back “dignity and decorum” to Mass celebrations were in line with Pope Benedict’s wishes.


But the archbishop backed off:



“The article published on Monday by Turin daily La Stampa contained a collage of phrases citing him (Ranjith) that led to conclusions which were out of place,” a Vatican Radio broadcaster said.

Archbishop Ranjith has now denied any plans are afoot, saying instead on Vatican Radio “the hope is that the existing norms will be regularly applied and that the Eucharist be celebrated with devotion, seriousness and nobility.”


A collage of phrases, eh?  Out of place, eh?  Will have to remember that one.

Modesty cops routed in Tehran

Sit as I just did, and watch the cell-phone video via YouTube of spontaneous resistance to modesty police in Tehran.

This cell phone video is of poor quality, and half the time it’s sideways, but it conveys the aftermath of the incident. At least hundreds of Iranians, if not thousands, have gathered and are chanting anti-Mullah slogans, including the one that I think must be most chilling to tyrants the world over: “How many people do you think you can kill?”

The modesty cops had tried to arrest a young woman for dressing Western, and I don’t mean sombrero and chaps.  When a young man tried to stop them, they beat him up and threw him into a garbage can.  But by then hundreds had gathered who stopped the arrest and chased the cops.

The mullahs don’t have full control.

Many experts on Iran, including Michael Ledeen, are of the view that encouraging internal resistance may be our most effective way of dealing with the current government. This video offers a window into what is happening in Tehran; for the whole story, go to Pajamas Media.

Citizen journalism of a high order.

He can run things?

We have already heard of Hillary’s incompetence as manager.  Here’s the ultimate anti-Hillary Dick Morris and wife Eileen McGann on B.O. as manager:

The best evidence of Obama’s readiness to lead the nation is the ability with which he has run for president. After all, what is more difficult, complicated, or challenging than getting elected president? What other life experience better illustrates one’s qualification to hold the office than a manifest skill in seeking it. For anyone who has ever been elected president, the race that sent them to the White House was the single most important event in their lives and dwarfs any other experience they might have had before running.

As we have watched Obama surmount the hurdles that lay in his path, we cannot help but be impressed with his judgment. Adam Wallinsky, who served on Bobby Kennedy’s staff, once singled out good judgment as JFK’s most salient characteristic. Obama has faced so many delicate questions and issues and seems always to have the right feel for how to handle them.

We will be hearing more about this about O., I think.  Already there’s a lot.

No longer a priest?

Convicted pedophile Donald McGuire has been expelled from the Jesuits.  “Defrocked” is the going term, which he is for all practical purposes.  No more ministry, no more membership in worldwide organization.

Defrocking has been advocated by bishops in recent years as a means of punishing clergy found to have abused children, but it’s not a simple procedure. Priests who do not voluntarily leave the cloth — as McGuire did not — must be forced out by official order from the Vatican.

However, expulsion automatically means suspension from priestly functions.  He lost his “faculties” worldwide, as the term used to be.  But in the Catholic scheme of things, was he laicized?  That is, reduced to the lay state, again as matters used to be stated?

Probably, almost certainly, in fact.  But the term “laicized” deserves to be part of any official statement.  If it were, the papers would use it.  Why isn’t it?

Complaint received, taken seriously

Third Sunday Lent has Jews thirsty in the desert, complaining to Moses.  Fearing violence to himself, M. asks God what to do.  God says, hit this rock with your staff, and make sure the elders of Israel are watching.  Do it and from the rock will come water.  He did it, and out came the water.  They had quarrelled with Moses and tested God; so the place was called Massah (testing place) and Meribah (quarreling place), apparently as a memorial to the experience.

 The second reading, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith
to this grace in which we stand,
and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

And hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

is not a commercial from Barack Obama, nor did he approve this message, about hope — though there are times when some of us think he thinks he did.

Tomfoolery aside, this hope business is very important.  Believers can be cast down by their belief, holding for God and afterlife but either giving up on Him and it or nervously putting them out of our minds.  This from Paul is to buck us up.  Jesus died for the ungodly, he says.  That’s us.

The third reading, from John 4, offers high drama in its account of Jesus talking with a low woman.  It has one of the top Gospel punch lines, when after Jesus tells her to call her husband and she says she has none, he replies,

“You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true.”

The air fairly crackles with tension.  What can she say?  Nothing in direct response, but instead a shot at religious history:

“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

How this much-wed woman getting water at the village well knew enough to say this — just the right thing to advance the discussion — is better left unwondered at. 

Jesus goes on to predict a new way to worship, on no special mountain but “in Spirit and truth.”  He tells her he’s the Messiah.  Convinced, she runs to tell others, just as his followers arrive, amazed that he has engaged her.  You can see the movement, the stage business.

The followers can’t even get him to eat something.   “I have food to eat of which you do not know,” he says, on a roll now with his coy semitic folk talk in which questions call forth riddles.  The harvest has arrived, etc. 

Meanwhile, the people of the town are convinced he’s the real thing.  He is “truly the savior of the world.”

Flash back to the desert, Moses trying to corral his reluctant fellow travelers on their way to the promised land.  We are supposed to get a connection here.  This is Jacob’s well, in Samaria.  The woman calls him “our father Jacob.”  It’s all one history, John’s Gospel tells us, as the other gospels and epistles also say.  It’s bigger than all of us.  Let’s get off our high horses and act that way.

Update: One preacher couldn’t abide the five-times-married part, a reader relates:

At MY parish, the Gospel was sanitized. The priest at the 7;30 read nothing about a woman married 5 times. She was just a woman. So the story had little point at all, except the back and forth about wells and living water.
 
Fortunately, I had prepared before Mass by listening to the Lutheran minister on WGN. He gets it. “Why is this woman going to the well at high noon? Everyone else would have been there in the early morning or the cool of the evening. This woman is trying to avoid people!

Then after he mentions Jesus chiding her about her 5 husbands he ends by saying, her witness was so profound when she ran to tell the villagers, that everyone believed her.

 

I think the feminists have gotten to my pastor (or to the liturgists). Maybe they don’t want negative things said about females. Maybe Adam and Eve bit into the apple at the same time, etc.

Tsk, tsk.

Tip-top reviewing

Chi Trib books section, demoted some time back to a Saturday feature and on a diet with other book sections in recent years, repays rather close attention, I am finding in recent weeks.  Today, for instance, It talks up a mystery book about Chicago written not in recent years at all:

Sixty years ago, Chicago newspaper writer Fredric Brown, a Gary teenager who’d started his career as a proofreader on a Milwaukee paper, won an Edgar Award for best first novel from the Mystery Writers of America. His book was “The Fabulous Clipjoint,” and it’s still considered one of the best crime novels about Chicago.

The reviewer, Dick Adler, reviews crime fiction for Publishers Weekly and other publications and blogs at The Knowledgeable Blogger, “for lovers of crime fiction — which he’d better update, since it calls him “a former” reviewer” for the Trib.

I have already ordered The Fabulous Clipjoint — set in the Tip Top Tap, atop the Allerton hotel on Boul Mich in 1948 at the latest — from ABE Books.  The book aims to “preserve forever, like bugs in amber, the seedy pleasures of our shared pasts,” Adler tells us — invitingly to a Chicagoan who was then in his late ‘teens.

 “We walked north two blocks on the east side of Michigan Boulevard to the Allerton Hotel. . . . The top floor was a very swanky cocktail bar. The windows were open and it was cool there. Up as high as that, the breeze was a cool breeze and not something out of a blast furnace. We took a table by a window on the south side, looking out toward the Loop. . . . ‘Beautiful as hell,’ I said. But it’s a clipjoint.”

That sort of stuff is not great, but it’s clean and clear.  So is Adler’s discussion of it:

Ed [one of two prime protagonists] knows he has to find out what happened [to his murdered father] but can’t do it himself. So he heads for Janesville, Wis., where the J.C. Hobart carnival is doing business and looks up his uncle, Ambrose Hunter, a barker and roustabout who is the smartest man Ed has ever met. They head back to Chicago, where they pick up Wally’s trail, bribe a friendly detective, act like tough guys (not easy for the boyish Ed or the short and tubby Am), meet a swell dame who loves Ed and lies to him, and actually solve the murder.

Adler sold me, and his brief account of Frederic Brown’s writing life — “a man who often told his wife he hated writing” — did the same for a man he compares to Hammett “and other crime icons.”  I look forward to the ABE copy, which I’m getting for under $5, shipped.  An excellent service, that.

Man or Superman?

Here’s a site devoted to B.O. as Him Whom We Have Been Waiting For, spouting in millenarian fashion and being received in the same spirit.  Prominent is this quote:

“… a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany … and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Obama” – Barack Obama, Lebanon, New Hampshire.
January 7, 2008.

[Frantic update: If he said this in New Hampshire or anywhere else, this web site is the only one who reported it, or heard it, for that matter.  In short, it’s a gag.]

[Another update: Hillary does it too:

In Rhode Island, Hillary Clinton took on the Obamamania that has swept Democratic primary electorates by directly ridiculing the speeches of her opponent as unrealistic appeals by someone posing as a secular saint. “Now I could stand up here and say: Let’s get everybody together. Let’s get unified. The skies will open. The lights will come down. And you know the celestial choirs will be singing. And everyone we know will do the right thing. And the world will be perfect,” Mrs. Clinton said with bitter sarcasm.

[Peas in a pod, she and the Obama-as-Messiah fellow]

Reader Nancy Thorne:

What Obama really is is a throw back to a period of unenlightenment.  His change and reform are but camouflage for 1920 – 1930 hard core socialism and isolationism.   His campaign has become a dangerous movement.  Obama is wholly unqualified and is as radical as any person who has ever run for the presidency.  He’s a 1960’s anti-war war radical with the template of a college student.  His success would not bode well for the land of the free and the home of the brave. 
Two other readers so far (responding to my earlier e-mail blast), have wondered if he’s antichrist.  That’s not language I use, but to one of them, I replied:
As they say in far lesser circumstances, it’s scary.  The guy’s self-esteem is at the heart of it, I fear.
That is, he may really believe what he’s saying about himself.
 
Here’s quite a rundown and sampling of what others worry, including a lede item from Mother Jones magazine, in “Barack Obama’s Messiah Complex.”
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