Monthly Archives: July 2008

A PBS person hits Big O. on the head

Thanks as often to WSJ.com’s Political Diary for this:

“The cracks are growing in the Democratic unity dam. And McCain may be on the verge of getting his act together. Sen. Barack Obama needs to step off his ‘holier than thou’ platform and get his designer shoes dirty. He needs to let voters catch a glimpse of the regular guy who may actually lurk under his veneer of superiority.

From using a logo resembling a presidential seal at one speech earlier this year (an obvious error and never seen again) to addressing a crowd of 200,000 in Berlin and meeting with heads of state before he has reason to, Obama’s puerile self-absorption may backfire on him and turn off the very voters he needs to turn on: the white working class.

Obama needs to humanize himself. His campaign has done too good a job of apotheosizing him”

— liberal columnist Bonnie Erbe, writing in U.S. News & World Report.

“Puerile self-absorption” says a lot. 

Among Erbe’s accomplishments, etc. is that she  hosts PBS’s weekly news analysis program, To the Contrary with Bonnie Erbe.

Add this to the mix:

A new CNN/Opinion Research poll out Wednesday shows that despite nine solid days of blanket media coverage from overseas with Barack Obama cheered by adoring throngs of Germans and parlez-vousing with the French, making a three-point shot in the Middle East and standing outside No. 10 Downing Street, the freshman Illinois Democratic presidential nominee to be Senator Barack Obama of Illinois stayed static in the polls despite his well-covered long foreign tripsenator is stuck right where he was in the polls before he left.

No bounce. Not even a roll.

Woe is he?

Roeser again to the ramparts

Tom Roeser, Chicago’s ultimate curmudgeon, continues to bull his way into readers’ hearts and minds.  Or at least their minds, after which he is confident, I am sure, hearts will follow.

His latest incursion into Chicago consciousness, especially its Catholic consciousness — forget conscience, which may follow or may not, who’s to say? — is his “personal aside” of today in which he reports Robert Novak-like but with more verve, gusto, in-your-facedness, whatever, that the Catholic Diocese of Rockford is pulling its seminarians from St. Mary of the Lake University, Mundelein, otherwise and generally known as Mundelein Seminary.

Why?  Because “Two upperclassmen propositioned a Rockford youth for homosexual favors.”

Uh-oh.

Thus the Rockford diocese has decided it is finished with Mundelein.

This is not good, in itself and in its public relations aspect.  At the heart of this debacle, not counting chancellor Jimmy Lago, is the archbishop — “the parser” in Roeser’s lexicon, he who must be obeyed but who, in the words of “an authenticist bishop in another diocese,” i.e. conservative, given to conserve Roman Catholic identity, “can’t run a two-car funeral” and should be gotten to a university, where he can parse things, says Roeser.

Later: Pardon me for second-guessing myself, but what’s a blog for, anyhow?  In this case I am wondering about the quote from Tom Roeser, “Two [Mundelein seminary] upperclassmen propositioned a Rockford youth for homosexual favors.”

2nd guess: a Rockford seminarian?  We have to presume that from the context, but commenter Charles Goodacre (DDS? of Loma Linda U.?) doesn’t.  I have asked Roeser for help on this.  Goodacre seems to have missed the point, but I’d rather be sure.

I have also asked the official Rockford diocesan newspaper, The Observer, to confirm the Roeser report that the Rockford bishop, Thomas Doran, will no longer send candidates to Mundelein.  More later, I hope.

Yet later (12 days later): Nothing yet, nor anything expected.  Cat has tongue of both teller and told-about.  Sorry.

Blogged with Flock

Elementary, my dear Holmes . . .

, . . . , which wasn’t named for Sherlock

Oak Park’s Holmes School is named for Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., a medical doctor and magazine columnist who combined the two skills to help make childbirth safer for mothers.

As a medical man, he taught at Dartmouth and Harvard, serving at Harvard for a time as dean of its medical school. He made his mark in medical history with his landmark 1843 essay, “The Contagiousness of Puerperal Fever,” about the “black death of childbed,” which was taking a terrible toll on mothers giving birth. Doctors and nurses were to blame who did not wash their hands before helping a woman deliver, he argued.  . . . .

If this be the Wednesday Journal column for July, which it be, make the most of it.

Obama’s world — at your doorstep

. . . . Opened my “Obama’s World” yesterday and found his pic big and clear and colorful. Some call it the Sun-Times, but they are woefully misinformed or wrongheaded. He “faces tough questions,” I read, wondering who will have the effrontery. “Honeymoon over,” says harsh critic Mary Mitchell — unconvincingly.  But how she gets away with her irreverence beats me.

. . . . For honest-to-God irreverence, on the other hand, consider this from a London newspaper, namely that O. stiffed the folks (favorite word — he uses it for Mideast heads of state) back home (where his father grew up and had his first dreams):

[A] bucolic scene in his father’s village of Kogelo near the Equator in western Kenya conceals a troubling reality that, until now, has never been spoken about. Barack Obama, the Evening Standard can reveal, after we went to the village earlier this month, has failed to honour [British spelling] the pledges of assistance that he made to a school named in his honour [again] when he visited here amid great fanfare two years ago.

At that historic homecoming in August 2006 Obama was greeted as a hero with thousands lining the dirt streets of Kogelo. He visited the Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School built on land donated by his paternal grandfather. After addressing the pupils, a third of whom are orphans, and dancing with them as they sang songs in his honour, he was shown a school with four dilapidated classrooms that lacked even basic resources such as water, sanitation and electricity.

He told the assembled press, local politicians (who included current Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga), and students: “Hopefully [gives him his out?] I can provide some assistance in the future to this school and all that it can be.” [Noble words, well spoken!]  He then turned to the school’s principal, Yuanita Obiero, and assured her and her teachers: “I know you are working very hard and struggling to bring up this school, but I have said I will assist the school and I will do so.” [Italics added]

. . . . In an even more irreverent vein, is this the campaign weapon we’ve been waiting for?

Case v. B.O. 

. . . . Cutting to today Obama’s World, we find a 2/3-page headshot of Michelle in trademark tight grin. Had lunch with dutiful chronicler Lynn Sweet and others at the Palmer House, pulling in $1 million, said food is an “issue” — “one . . . we have to address.” She and O.? His cabinet? The nation? Below it,same page: O’s “to-do list” — Select running mate, take vacation.

. . . . Also in O’s World, back to being just Sun-Times: “Pop, juice risky for black women” on p. 9 — raising diabetes risk. Maybe, but not as risky as black fetuses, more than half of whom are aborted, per Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning, citing Sheryl Blunt, “Saving Black Babies,” in Christianity Today.

. . . . Meanwhile, black life goes on, per “Fatal shooting closes [black] club” in Chicago Heights on p. 10. Are these events more common in black clubs than, say, Asian clubs?

. . . . And on p. 25, an editorial mocks Todd Stroger, which is what I call grabbing low-hanging fruit, and another takes Rev. and Sen. Meeks to task — gently: “Good cause, bad idea” — for his plans to bring black kids to Winnetka to register on first day of school. Meeks seeks statist solution to black learning problems — jiggle taxation to shift money around — but also takes a page from Alinsky, who bused black women to M. Field’s in the ’40s to try on dresses, back when the issue was blacks’ being waited on.  In this case, it’s pure show biz.

. . . . On p. 27 we have everyone’s favorite columnist, Rev. Jesse Jackson, telling us about O. unleashing hope for the world, not just for us hopeless in U.S. Jesse, feverishly trying to make up for wanting O.’s nuts in a scissors, is identifying him as the world’s Savior, a la Farrakhan’s Savior Day motif.  In fact, F. called him “the hope of the world” last February. 

But if O. loses, we will need a savior badly, when we get multiple dirty looks from 200,000 once-cheering Germans — or was it 20,000, as has been alleged? And were they there for him or for beer, brats, and rock & roll music?  People being what they are, it’s a fair question.

. . . . Finally, in another vein entirely, another Larry Finley obit got me reading about someone I neither knew nor had heard about. As has happened several times, I read, then looked to see who did it. Him again. He’s an old Daily News hand, long time on real estate beat for S-T but now making a very good thing about praising famous or not famous men and women.  Clean copy there.abor

Several times a father

Hot, hot, hot:

MILWAUKEE – The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has hired a married Roman Catholic priest with children — a first in the archdiocese’s history.

The priest, Father Michael Scheip, and his wife have juvenile and adult sons and are moving from the Diocese of Venice, Fla. She has accepted a job here.

Former Lutheran minister, he became a Catholic in 1988, was ordained in 1993 for Newark.

Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., by now-retired Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., Dolan’s letter says. He is also a former Lutheran minister.

He’s one of about 100 married priests ordained in U.S. since John Paul II created an exception in 1980 that allows married Lutheran and Anglican or Episcopal priests who have converted to Roman Catholicism to become priests,

God hath wrought something here of more than usual importance, I’d say.

From the other side . . .

In the admirable tradition of “We report, you decide,” in this case “I (moi) report,” etc., here is a pro-O. site that some may call toxic. 

It’s called The Smirking Chimp | News And Commentary from the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy, raises money for the Big O. — “Summer fund-raiser, Day 20: We’re $430 short of our goal” —  and has a head shot of GW Bush with this truly engaging subhead: “Ask not for whom the Chimp smirks — he smirks at you,” which we have to admit is darn clever.

Among its features is “SmirkingChimpWire,” with links to:

# Are you ready to live in McCain’s world? — Jul 27 2008 – 11:35am (3 comments)
# Troubles fail to drive down Hummer owners’ passion — Jul 26 2008 – 9:23pm (7 comments)
# Regulators Close Two More National Banks — Jul 26 2008 – 3:04am (6 comments)
# Reward offered for citizen’s arrest of Rice — Jul 25 2008 – 5:20pm (3 comments)

and other stories, including a staple of current talkable points,

# Traders manipulated oil prices – U.S. — Jul 24 2008 – 9:40pm (11 comments)

At page bottom are links to:

All Recent Posting Activity | Topics & Issues | Events | Polls | Chimp 1.0

About | Contact | Advertise | Shop | Donate

All one can say is, no wonder O. raises so much from the ‘Net.  He knows his constituency and solicits accordingly.

Comes the unravelling?

Steve Sailer sights and cites a mainstream beginning of the end of the (love) affair:

Gabriel Sherman’s article “End of the Affair“ in The New Republic recounts a lot of gripes reporters have with the arrogance and secrecy of the Obama campaign. Most of it is the usual dull whining, but this is interesting: . . . .

Read on.

What helps

THIS HELPS . . . . A line from the Gospel that rang true for me was “I believe, Lord. Help thou my unbelief.” Another, from St. Paul, says we will see things clear in heaven but now only “through a glass darkly.” Not to worry, you who think you are of little faith.

ASSESSMENT . . . . Here’s an aptly stated judgment, rendered at the end of a Power Line dissection of Obama’s claim for Banking Committee membership as part of his newly discovered toughness toward Iran:

Barack Obama has proved himself an extraordinarily cynical politician. He doesn’t believe in much, but he certainly believes in his own power to make voters believe whatever he says, even when what he says today contradicts what he said yesterday, and even when it constitutes a bald fiction, such as his claim that the Senate Banking Committee is “[his] committee.”

Some day it may begin to dawn on attentive observers that Obama represents a type that flourishes on many college campuses. The technical term that applies to Obama is b.s. artist. Obama is an overaged example of the phenomenon, but his skills in the art have brought him great success and he’s not giving it up now.

Some day.

REACTION . . . . I told an Oak Parker about recent armed robberies in the village, including one in the block next to hers, and she said, “People are really getting desperate,” identifying instantly with the guy holding people up. She also wants to fight terrorism by going after the root causes?

ANTIDOTE . . . . Here’s a possible antidote to this people-getting-desperate approach: Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self Defense, by Charl van Wyk. He was a missionary in S. Africa in 1993 when terrorists attacked his church during worship. He shot back and saved lives, though not all, and it’s called a massacre. In his book he makes

a biblical, Christian case for individuals arming themselves with guns, and does so more persuasively than perhaps any other author because he found himself in a church attacked by terrorists.

“Grenades were exploding in flashes of light. Pews shattered under the blasts, sending splinters flying through the air,” he recalls of the July 25, 1993, St. James Church Massacre. “An automatic assault rifle was being fired and was fast ripping the pews — and whoever, whatever was in its trajectory — to pieces. We were being attacked!”

But van Wyk was not defenseless that day. Had he been unarmed like the other congregants, the slaughter would have been much worse.

“Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me,” he writes in “Shooting Back,” a book being published for the first time in America next month by WND Books. “I would have felt undressed without it. Many people could not understand why I would carry a firearm into a church service, but I argued that this was a particularly dangerous time in South Africa.”

During that Sunday evening service, the terrorists, wielding AK-47s and grenades, killed 11 and wounded 58. But the fact that one man – van Wyk – fired back, wounding one of the attackers and driving the others away.

SITTING, KNEELING . . . . Reading in May ’08 New Oxford Review of Donna L. Kruger’s complaint about half sitting, half kneeling worshipers — “Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament must surely be offended” — instead of sitting straight up if you have to if elderly and/or with “sore or weak knees,” I was offended mightily, being one of the last mentioned, though also elderly, I guess.

Then imagine my delight in reading the July-August issue with two excellent letters, one from a 71-year-old arthritic male from West Palm Beach, Florida, “with a knee wrecked in a skiing accident fifty years ago,” who does the half and half, partly out of concern for the worshiper kneeling behind him, presumably with strong, healthy knees, for whom it would be “awkward” otherwise. As for offending the Lord, “Who knew?” he asks.

The other letter, from a Very Reverend in Vladivostok, notes perceptively that Americans are getting “bigger year by year” and “half and half may be the only way some of us will be able to kneel” in the churches he visits in Eastern Poland, where kneelers are squeezed in for space considerations.

THOUSAND-WORD SPECIAL . . . .

Kc CHIX

These animal activists can get active whenever they want, as far as I’m concerned.

This guy has my vote too:

BATMAN COMIC

GOOD BOOK . . . . Only at page 548 of Prince of Darkness, Robert Novak’s memoir, did I encounter the second name that I did not recognize. The individual had been identified a few pages earlier, but it hadn’t stuck. That’s how good a book this is: it keeps you attentive and it makes identities clear along the way — two signs of clean copy.

QUOTE . . . . And our wise(guy) quote of the day about newspapers:

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read:  “President Can’t Swim.”  ~Lyndon B. Johnson

Light has come to the world

The U.S. editor of Times of London has blessed us with a marvelous rendition of a recent non-political trip by a U.S. senator:

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.

Etc.  Read it here.

Like Hamlet, with all those timeworn phrases

The life of the recently deceased Jerry Holtzman had its up and downs:

“Like so many who worked with him, I respected and loved Jerry Holtzman,” Michael Davis writes. “That may explain the pain of awakening Tuesday morning to read his obituary posted on the Tribune’s Web site. The story suggested Jerry had been run out of the Sun-Times in 1981, into the welcoming arms of the Tribune. It implied he had been a victim of neglect at the hands of know-nothing editors on Wabash Avenue.

“While it’s true Jerry was shunted aside in the mid-1970s by sports editor Lewis Grizzard, within a few years his career bounced back as if he had Flubber on his heels.”

Grizzard was a perfectionist as to writing style, the story goes, and got after Holtzman for using cliches.  Holtzman told him they were cliches he had invented.

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