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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Given the Week's Events, We Need a Little Levity....Maybe Levity is Not the Proper Word


The way to plug the levies in New Orleans.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:24 PM. |

Homosexuality And The Clergy Abuse Crisis

Following up on Boethius's post, I am amused at the lengths some will go to get around the conclusion that homosexuality is a major, though not exclusive, cause of the clergy sex abuse crisis in this country. Even groups like S.N.A.P. (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) tend to avoid this politically incorrect truth.

I have posted these numbers before, but they are worth posting again. According to the John Jay Report, 81 percent of the minors abused by Catholics priests since 1950 were male. Of those male victims, 85.8 percent were 11 or older, meaning the vast majority of those cases fell outside the clinical definition of pedophilia. Yet we constantly hear this scandal labeled as a pedophilia crisis.

If the vast majority of these sexual predators are not pedophiles, what are they? Since the majority of these crimes are committed against post-pubescent members of the same sex, one might conclude that these folks are homosexuals. Some, however, would prefer to call them ephebophiles, which has the benefit of avoiding the naughty 'homosexual' label. Now, even granting that men who are primarily attracted to post pubescent boys have developmental issues with power and control, are they not, at bottom, homosexuals? Homosexuals with a specific age preference?

I find attempts to shove these folks into a separate, airtight category unconvincing. Bob Dole drooled while watching Britney Spears. Sleazy co-workers read Barely Legal (warning: do not google this). And some homosexuals are attracted to teenage boys. Distinctions should be made, but for the sake of our children, let's call a spade a spade.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 11:54 AM. |

Seminaries Should Accept Pedophiles

There has been much discussion of a recent Church document (not yet released) which calls on seminaries not to admit homosexuals, whether they are chaste or not. I join with those bishops and priests who are questioning the Church's policy. In fact, not only should the Church admit those with the disordered sexual attraction to other men, it should also admit those with the disordered sexual attraction to children. After all, why should a few bad apples spoil the bunch? Sure, some men with pedophilia may be incapable of living chastely, but why should we punish all of them? It's so unfair to the chaste pedophiles.

Also, I'd hate to see this whole pedophilia thing go underground. This is something pedophiles seeking admission to the seminary should be comfortable discussing with their spiritual directors. A policy actively weeding out pedophiles would surely have a chilling effect on dialogue between seminarians and their spiritual directors. And why should the chaste pedophiles be scapegoated for the sins of their similarly disordered brethren?

In conclusion, if a pedophile or a homosexual thinks he can live chastely, we should admit him to the seminary. Anything less would be unfair. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?

We are an Easter people!

Fumed by Boethius at 10:30 AM. |

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Big Media, Big Government

Peggy Noonan has done it again--another insightful piece into what's wrong with America.

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 11:17 PM. |

Rice Memo

MEMORANDUM
To: Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni of Ave Maria School of Law
From: Professor Charles E. Rice
Date: 09/29/2005


I cannot express adequately my gratitude for your support, encouragement and especially prayer with respect to my removal from the Board of Governors. Ave Maria School of Law is a most extraordinary place, not because of money or imposing agendas but because of its students, faculty, staff and alumni who believe in its mission and are willing to put themselves on the line for it.

As St. Maximilian Kolbe said, "God permits everything in view of a greater blessing." That greater blessing is already evident in your fidelity and concern. You have provided to me a moving experience of faith and an example I hope to emulate. Please be assured of my appreciation and respect.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:51 PM. |

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Judge Bork for SCOTUS?

Okay, so it won't happen, and frankly I doubt Judge Bork would want to go through that gauntlet again. But at least we can have fun imagining the collective apoplexy of the radical left if Bush righted past miscarriages of justice and re-nominated our Law, Ethics, and Public Policy professor to the Supreme Court of the United States. Whatever you do, though, don't tell Arlen Specter and Diane Feinstein that on top of everything else he's a recent convert to Catholicism! Horrors!

Don't just imagine it...let your opinion be known! Go to The Onion, which has a poll on the far right column of the today's new homepage entitled If you were president, whom would you nominate to the Supreme Court? And behind door #3, with 18% of the vote at the moment? "Robert Bork, just to see if I could get away with it this time."

UPDATE: It's come to my attention that -- like much of the content on The Onion website -- this is not a real "poll." The results are carved in the Internet version of stone, and no amount of voting will change what cannot be changed. Judge Bork will be forever stuck at 18%, and the world will have to wait to learn what Onion readers really think of the idea of re-nominating the man who should be (Chief?) Justice Bork.

Fumed by Ryder at 10:54 PM. |

A sad turn of events.

Like some on this blog, I was reticent to air the "dirty laundry" of our alma mater for the rest of the world to smell. In retrospect, that was probably the wrong decision. Only pressure in the form of likely damage to its vaunted image will apparently speak to those in power at Ave Maria School of Law. Today, as one commenter to another post pointed out, the Board of Governors made an unnecessary change to its bylaws in order to release a man who has lent his time, talents, and reputation...as Catholic author and professor emeritus at Notre Dame Law School...to helping me, my classmates, and the entire Ave Maria community in countless ways. For those unfamilar with Professor Rice, just search the name "Charles Rice" or "Charles E. Rice" on Google and you will quickly realize just how influential this man has been in serving the Culture of Life.

The Board of Governors has demonstrated its ability to change the bylaws as it sees fit. It's not too late to fix what was done today, and perhaps to retain some semblance of credibility.

In contemplating today's action by the Board of Governors of an alma mater I love and want to respect, I am reminded of Mr. Knightley's line from my favorite Jane Austen film adaptation: "It was badly done Emma! Badly done indeed!" Thanks Buttercup's old roommate!

Fumed by Ryder at 6:26 PM. |

LACRIMOSA DIES ILLA

It has come to my attention that the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors has voted Professor Charles E. Rice off of the Board of Governors. I am confident in saying that most of the AMSOL community--especially the alumni--are royally pissed off (pardon my use of the vernacular). I understand that many letters of support were forwarded to the BoG advocating of behalf of Professor Rice. Reproduced below is the letter/resolution that was passed by the Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association. It is my understanding that the Board of the Alumni Association called an emergency meeting to pass this resolution and send this letter to the BoG.

September 24, 2005

Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors
3475 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

Dear Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors:

Over the course of the past several days, we have been inundated with telephone calls and e-mails from alumni within our Ave Maria School of Law family. The calls have universally called for our Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association to become actively engaged in the effort to retain the guidance of Professor Charles E. Rice on the law school's very distinguished Board of Governors.

As an alumni organization that has been, and will remain, committed to the mission of Ave Maria School of Law, our Association has accepted responsibility for assisting the school's student recruiting, career placement, and financial development efforts. In fact, we look forward to celebrating with each of you when, as we hope, later this autumn, Ave Maria is announced as the top law school in the nation for percentage of alumni participating in annual giving.

Today, our desire, as well as our fiduciary obligation, is to become informed and proactive in matters directly impacting our constituency. To this end, we write to respectfully express the collective voice of the overwhelming majority of Ave Maria School of Law alumni who wholeheartedly support and endorse the continued service of Professor Charles Rice as a member of the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors.

Not only has Professor Rice been an exceptional role model for aspiring attorneys, but he has been and continues to be a resource to many of us as we pursue employment, prepare for the bar, and even as we embark upon our chosen professions. His willingness to actively support each and every aspect of our formation and development as principled young lawyers has been invaluable to countless Ave Maria students and graduates. An essential part of Professor Rice's support to us and our alma mater has been as a member of the Board of Governors where he is able to contribute his vast experience in Catholic legal education and his commitment to the Ave Maria mission. Further, we are mindful of the impact a decision to conclude or a failure to renew Professor Rice's tenure of service on the Board may have on our ability to effectively perform our responsibilities in areas of student recruitment, career placement, and alumni giving.

Finally, Professor Rice's outstanding reputation as a legal scholar, retired military officer, and passionate defender of our Faith and freedom requires that we unambiguously call on each of you to renew his term of service on the Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors.

Sincerely,

Ave Maria School of Law Alumni Association


Apparently, the letter (and others like it) fell on deaf ears. The BoG voted 12-2 against retaining Prof. Rice. Ultimately, it seems that the law school is turning out to be a "sole proprietorship." The major constituencies are not being listened to. It is time to tell certain individuals that the institution is not one man's (or several men's) individual project. All of us have a stake.

It is time for an independent Alumni Association! It is time for AMSOL to wake up and smell the coffee. A dark day indeed.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:41 PM. |

Level 2 Notice

Gents,

It appears that Operation Rice has garnered some attention. The Counsel Elect recommends intercession, or perhaps even termination, should too much light come to bare. Regardless, the HAARP project is nearly complete, and I recommend that we retire to the Siple Dome Station as previously agreed. Advocatus Militaris shall oversee the withdrawal.

Fumed by Thursday at 9:31 AM. |

Scalia Gems

The Guardian offers a description of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's recent speech at Julliard. Here are a few gems.

-----------------------------------------

``The First Amendment has not repealed the ancient rule of life, that he who pays the piper calls the tune."

***

In the late 1980s, the National Endowment for the Arts sparked a public and political uproar when it helped fund exhibits of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's homoerotic images and a photograph by Andres Serrano of a crucifix immersed in urine.

***

Scalia said Thursday he believes the government did not violate the First Amendment in the case of the Serrano photo - it did not pass any law to throw the ``modern day DaVinci'' into jail nor did it stop him from displaying his art, he said.

***

``I can truly understand the discomfort with government making artistic choices, but the only remedy is to get government out of funding,'' he told the audience.

***

``The line between protected pornography and unprotected obscenity lies between appealing to a good healthy interest in sex and appealing to a depraved interest, whatever that means,'' Scalia said in stating the court's position.

The result is that every small town in America must tolerate the existence of a porn shop, he said.

Fumed by Boethius at 9:00 AM. |

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Michigan to Join MAC Conference?

For those who follow the more mundane (and arguably more important) issues in life, the "victors" of Ann Arbor have fallen to a sad 2-2 record in college football, with handy victories over the likes of Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan, while struggling against Notre Dame and Wisconsin. Their unceremonious tumble out of the top 25 ends the current longest-running streak of consecutive weeks in the top 25, going back several years.

It promises to be an entertaining weekend in East Lansing with the eleventh-ranked Spartans taking on the sore squad from Ann Arbor. One keen observer longed for such failure in Michigan's season that coach Lloyd Carr might lose his job, only to be replaced by a less talented coach, thus condemning the Wolverines to a rut of mediocrity, the likes of which have been on display in recent years at Nebraska and Notre Dame (and now Oklahoma, too?). Though it is poor form to wish ill on anyone, the prospect does sound rather tempting.

In the heartwarming news department, you might have heard the story out of Washington this week about Notre Dame strangely executing a pass on its first play from scrimmage. Opening with a pass is not necessarily unusual, however ND's first possession of the game began on its own 1-yard line--in such a situation, most play-callers would execute a run in order to minimize the risk of a safety. Nevertheless, Charlie Weis called for a pass right, and here's why.

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 11:24 PM. |

"Sheets" Byrd to Run Again!!!


Wow! At 87, the Energizer Bunny never quits!!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:38 PM. |

The Clinton Precedent

See Sean Rushton's post at Bench Memo's regarding Clinton's failure to preserve the "balance" of the Court when he replaced anti-Roe Justice Byron White with Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Fumed by Boethius at 10:40 AM. |

Monday, September 26, 2005

Brownback Wants Anti-Roe Justice

The following excerpt is from the AP:

Sen. Sam Brownback voted Thursday in favor of Judge John Roberts to become the next chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court but said he wants to see future nominees more clearly oppose abortion rights.

"The next nominee should let the political branches make political choices and should have a record of devotion to life and liberty that our Constitution protects," the Kansas Republican said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

And this excerpt is from the New York Times:

In an interview last week, Brownback said he would vote against a nominee who was not "solid and known" on cultural issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and religion in public life.

"If the president doesn't nominate a solid nominee, that is going counter to what he campaigned on," Brownback said. And if such a nominee "involves a contentious battle, then let it be."

The President needs to take Brownback's statements seriously. If pro-lifers like Brownback don't support the President's nominee, then it is likely that his nominee will not gain majority support. The President cannot risk fracturing the party's base. I expect the President will heed Brownback's wishes and nominate someone pro-lifer's feel they can trust. If he does, the Left will go batty, but I believe the President can weather that storm. Senate Democrats are loud, but that's merely there attempt at compensating for their lack of numbers.

Fumed by Boethius at 4:45 PM. |

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Gruss Gott!

Hey Fumaristi, I thought I'd try Euro-blogging a bit. The title of this post is "Gruss Gott!" or "Grüß Gott!," which means, literally, "greet God" and is the traditional form of "hello" in Bavaria and parts of Austria. In case that didn't tip you off, I'm in Bavaria at the moment (a small resort area near the southern Germany-Austria border called Garmisch), and spent much of the day in Salzburg, Austria. How uplifting, in these often-negative times, to greet everyone with those words!

Tomorrow I will visit Dachau. site of possibly the worst concentration camp during WWII, and Nuremburg, the setting for the trials of those who killed at Dachau and elsewhere. It should be a very interesting day and I hope to share the highlights with Fumare readers at some point.

Today, though, was a bit more upbeat, and much of this will bring back memories to any Franciscan University alumni reading this post. In Salzburg, we saw several places important in the life of Mozart, including the home where he was born. We saw the cathedral, too, and the dome which was destroyed by bombs in 1944. The Dom did not open to worship again until 1959. Finally, we were able to see several places well known to lovers of The Sound of Music, including the Residenz Square and Fountain made famous when Maria dances through Salzburg, guitar case in hand, singing "I have confidence."

The highlight of the day, though, was back in Germany, where we had the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Pope Benedict XVI, Marktl. Though the Holy Father (Heilige Vater) lived just a few years in Marktl, it is regarded to be his "hometown" and the pilgrims have been keeping the place busy. Among the attractions are the birthplace of "Papst Benedikt" (now adorned with an "I Love My German Shephard!" bumper sticker (no kidding...we left one on top of the mailbox to the right of the door!), as well as the parish he was baptized in, St. Oswald. We were able to make the end of evening mass at the parish, and it was great seeing the statue of St. Joseph there...one which Frau Ratzinger must have prayed before when her Joseph was born.

After Dachau and Nuremburg tomorrow, we will be returning to Ramstein AFB, near Frankfurt. On Saturday, it's back to the Munich area, this time by bus, for some Oktoberfest fun. Fumare readers and contributors will be toasted throughout the day, individually if at all possible.

Well, the Internet cafe is about to boot me, so I'd better cut this short. Visit Bavaria sometime if you get the chance! The Alps are gorgeous, and the rest of the sights are well worth the trip. Until I sober up and return to US soil next week, auf Wiedersehen!

P.S. Can somebody tape The Apprentice for me tonight? I'm serious. One of the female contestants, Jennifer Murphy, is an alumna of Christendom College, my alma mater, and I'd love to see the show. If you're able to do this, please let me know: charlesryder@gmail.com. Thanks!




Fumed by Ryder at 6:29 PM. |

Committee Approves Roberts 13-5

By a vote of 13-5, the Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended Judge John G. Roberts for confirmation as Chief Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three Democrats (Leahy, Kohl, and Feingold) joined the ten Republicans on the committee in voting in favor of Roberts. Democratic Senators Feinstein, Durbin, Kennedy, Biden, and Schumer opposed Roberts' confirmation.

By opposing Roberts, these Senators have really boxed themselves in regarding future nominations. Despite Roberts' excellent credentials, his impressive performance before the committee, and his overwhelming popularity with the rest of the nation, these Democrats still refuse to support him. Unless President Bush were to nominate a bona fide liberal to replace Justice O'Connor, it is clear that these Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will not support the President's nominee.

This is extremely shortsighted of these Senate Democrats. With 55 Republic Senators and an agreement from 7 Democrats not to filibuster absent "extraordinary circumstances," President Bush does not need the Democrats' support in order to have his nominees confirmed. Furthermore, though their votes against Roberts will satisfy their liberal base in the short term, Senate Democrats need to start thinking of the precedents they are creating. After all, it is possible that one day a Democrat will be in a position to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, and that that Democrat will need Republican votes in the Senate in order to achieve the needed majority to have the nominee confirmed. Are the Senate Democrats prepared to live with the precedents they are setting (or perhaps they really see no possibility of sending another Democrat to the White House)?

Fumed by Boethius at 4:53 PM. |

OPERATION: RICE

....continues....(see below)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:28 PM. |

Country Club Republicans = Liberals

Read about them here.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:33 PM. |

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

OPERATION: RICE

I think that you all know what I am talking about!

UPDATE: Having spoken to the Great One last evening, he informed me that he wore the signature Campbell on his first day of class of the semester at AMSOL. His allegiance to our noble order demands our swift action!!! D-Day is Sept. 28.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:18 PM. |

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Morning Pick-Me-Up

"This earth is a place for meriting, and therefore it is a place for suffering. Our true country, where God has prepared for us everlasting peace, is paradise. We have but a short time to stay in this world, but in this short time we have many hardships to undergo...We must suffer and all must suffer, be they just or be they sinners. Each one must carry his cross. He who carries it with patience will be saved; he who carries it with impatience will be lost. Saint Augustine remarks that the same miseries send some to paradise and others to hell. 'One and the same blow lifts the good to glory and reduces the bad to ashes.' The same saint observes: 'By the test of suffering the chaff in the Church of God is distinguished from the wheat. He that humbles himself under tribulation and is resigned to the will of God is wheat for paradise. He that grows haughty and is enraged and so forsakes God is chaff for hell.'"

--St. Alphonsus Ligouri

Fumed by Sine Metu at 2:04 PM. |

Friday, September 16, 2005

Honorary Host Committee indeed!

Ave Maria School of Law is celebrating its 5th anniversary and full ABA accreditation soon, and I just noticed some of the names on the Honorary Host Committee. The full list is below, and you will likely recognize some names.

The Honorable and Mrs. Robert H. Bork
Senator and Mrs. Sam Brownback
The Honorable Maura D. Corrigan*
Mr. and Mrs. Carey DeWitt
Dean and Mrs. Bernard Dobranski
Mr. and Mrs. John Donahue
Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Leo
The Honorable and Mrs. Stephen Markman*
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Monaghan
Mr. and Mrs. Edwin L. Pear
Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Rassel
The Honorable and Mrs. Antonin Scalia
The Honorable and Mrs. Clifford W. Taylor*
The Honorable and Mrs. Clarence Thomas
The Honorable and Mrs. Robert P. Young, Jr.*

* Denotes a justice serving on the Supreme Court of Michigan. Justice Corrigan, former Chief Justice of the court, is named by many as a possible candidate for Justice O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

It's quite an honor (no pun) to have these folks lend their names to Ave Maria School of Law, and a testament to the success of our alma mater. If you're thinking of law school, make sure to consider AMSL.

Fumed by Ryder at 2:06 AM. |

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bishop: "...(sip)...Wonderful Champagne, Ms. Sanger...(sip)...so, shall we discuss our plans for the Church after tennis in the morning?"

Hat tip to Uncle Diogenes on this one. It never ceases to amaze that our shepherds still like to jump into bed with the most unsavory elements of society--liberal politicos, feminists, and homegrown wimps. It seems now that they are also taking their marching orders from them--or at least indirectly. I could never understand why the bishops are so fascinated with the "glitterati/intelligentia" and choose them to attempt to solve the problems of the Church, when what we really need are saints.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:03 PM. |

The JFK Question

See this Manuel Miranda op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on the "JFK question" asked during the John Roberts confirmation hearings.

Fumed by Boethius at 11:35 AM. |

Probes, Gays, Seminaries (KY Jelly?)

Now that I have your attention, did anyone else notice the unfortunate wording of this piece. Typical.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 7:45 AM. |

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hail To The Victors

Looks like a Catholic school is the best school in Ann Arbor.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 4:55 PM. |

No Surprise...It's Rio Linda!

This really isn't news. Rush had it right about Rio Linda all along.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:51 PM. |

What is so special about Calvin & Hobbes?

Devil's Advocate: Regarding your post below...what a non sequitur! You act as though these two guys have been the source of much good in your life...as though their books are the stuff of coffee-table decor, with excerpts adorning everything from cubicle walls to refrigerator doors. You also act like this material is suitable for children, almost as though it is on par with Mother Goose and Grimm's fairy tales. But I just don't see it. Hobbes especially...the drawing on the cover of that one book he wrote (about Levis or some such thing) really kinda freaks me out. But reading Calvin is no jaunt to the throne on a Sunday morning either, mind you.

Suit yourself, advocatus diabolis. Stick with the far side of Christianity and political philosophy, if it floats your boat. I'd prefer to stay close to home with some Aquinas or John Paul II.

Of course, I might have just misunderstood your post....

Fumed by Ryder at 10:13 AM. |

Is it Satire? Or Just Pat Leahy?

"Some answers have raised other questions . . . In some ways, it seems the more he's asked and the more he answers, the less clearly the real John Roberts is in focus."

(From Foxnews.com)

Fumed by Boethius at 8:43 AM. |

Welcome Back!

You may have noticed in your weekly paper that Calvin & Hobbes has reappeared on the comics pages. According to press reports, Watterson has agreed to allow a seventeen week re-run of the strip from September through December in what appears to be a bit of a 20th anniversary celebration of the cartoon's debut and a 10th anniversary celebration of its departure. It is a welcome piece of levity.

Like youth itself, and unlike many other comic strips that have long overstayed their welcomes (some having outlived their creators), Calvin & Hobbes was only with us for a short while, and every panel celebrated the joys of childhood. Certainly a candle that has burned twice as bright but half as long. What fun to see it back in newsprint! God bless Bill Watterson.

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 1:31 AM. |

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Roberts Hearings: Tuesday Evening

Tonight, senior Illinois Sen. Dick "Mad Regime" Durbin brought up the Lemon Test, leading to a great quote from Judge Roberts regarding this legal "survivor" (which he suggested would have been overruled by now if the justices had been able to agree on an alternative).

"The good thing about the Lemon Test," Judge Roberts said, "is that it is very sensitive to factual nuances, and the bad thing about it...is that it is very sensitive to factual nuances." This has led, Roberts continued, to a situation with Ten Commandments cases this past term where "exactly one justice believes both cases were correctly decided."

Sad. True.

I also appreciated a moment in Sen. John Cornyn's "questioning" (a.k.a. the half-hour "phone-a-friend"), wherein he asked Roberts which of the following umpires he most resembled:

First umpire: "Some are balls and some are strikes, and I call them as they are."
Second umpire: "Some are balls and some are strikes, and I call them as I see 'em."
Third umpire: "Some are balls and some are strikes, but they ain't nothin' 'til I call 'em."

The question came from a Volokh Conspiracy blog post Sen. Cornyn read last night...a nice little factoid that raises the prestige of the blogosphere just that much more. Not surprisingly, Roberts chose the middle option and eschewed the two examples of judicial hubris on either side. But his reasoning for doing so was refreshing. Paraphrasing Roberts here, the judge said that he believed that regardless of whether he called strike or ball, there was a correct answer and an incorrect one. "I believe that there is a right answer," he said, "and that when Congress passes a law it means something in particular." He then took to task those who argue that "there are no right answers," saying that he does not subscribe to their legal thinking.

A Chief Justice who believes in objective truth? It wouldn't be the first time, of course, but considering who we almost had to deal with as president, I'm relieved to hear Roberts has a working intellect.

Fumed by Ryder at 7:36 PM. |

Why am I still not Convinced?

Ryder has done his best to try to persuade me, and I know that the Conservative establishment has generally rallied around Roberts, J. But, there is something about the guy that still doesn't settle well with me. I think it is the whole Washington establishment thing. Joseph Farrah brings up some interesting points. Echoes of Ann Coulter.

I am not an Ann Coulter sycophant, but I still think that she had an excellent point in being cautious about a person who has not uttered a controversial statement in his fifty years of life. I need brighter lights to tell me why I should be excited about Roberts.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:45 AM. |

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Hearing: Day I

Happy 50th Birthday, Sen. Sam Brownback. Sorry you had to spend it listening to a bunch of liberal blowhards act like they haven't made up their minds already to vote against Judge Roberts. If you decide to run, buddy, I'm behind you all the way. You had me at, well, your address to the first Ave Maria School of Law graduating class, entitled Living the Christian Life in the Public Square. Good job today, too. Thanks for taking Roe and Bolton to task, and for telling those who will listen that nearly forty million children have been killed because of those cases. And thanks for mentioning that stare decisis has not kept the Supreme Court from overruling itself in 174 cases, "many of those cases involving constitutional not statutory issues."

Schumer's a creep. Really, truly, the most evil senator in the republic. Moreover, he's an egomaniacle creep. I was in New York on business when Schumer was running for the first time, and I'll never forget the campaign spot I saw on my hotel television. The man ran an entire spot on how dedicated he was to preserving the "right" to abortion! Only on New York would that win you a veritable landslide, taking out senior Republican Sen. Alfonse D'Amato with 55% of the general election vote.

Biden is a creep too. Enough said.

And Dick Durbin? This gent is the senior senator from Illinois? Many things to take issue with in his preamble, but I'll just pick on the most critical...critical, that is, to anyone who has recently taken a bar exam. Durbin said that Article II of the Constitution is "not tested on any bar examination." Oh yeah???

Fumed by Ryder at 11:54 PM. |

Liturgical Rubrics are "Worrisome"

Dennis Coday of the National (Liberal) Catholic Reporter is worried that the Church might be focusing too much on rubrics. You see, Coday's parish is finally attempting to implement the changes required by Redemptionis Sacramentum (I say "finally" because the document is already two years old). Coday explains:

I left the meeting worried on two levels. I worry about those who think these changes are just another passing fancy. I also worry about what seems to me a renewed focus on rubrics. Are we returning to a church concerned about the position of fingers and how far apart a priest holds his hands during the Eucharistic prayer? I had thought we had dumped that baggage long, long ago.

Terrifying, huh? Coday continues:

I have to question how a focus on folding linens to catch crumbs and keeping the unordained out of the sanctuary until the right time will lead us to a Jesus who preached the Beautitudes and lived a healing ministry.

Well, in fairness to Coday, I guess that if I didn't believe in the Real Presence, I wouldn't understand what all the fuss about rubrics is either.

Fumed by Boethius at 10:28 PM. |

Virgines Candidae



How is this for a contrast to my previous post! This is the 2005-2006 Postulant Class for the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist! If ever there was a case for the time honored principle of Res Ipsa Loquitur, this is! Simply put: Fidelity to Our Lord and Holy Mother Church. The secret of sucess: Adoration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Mark my words: The next powerhouse order that will restore the glory of women's religious life. Support them all you can!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:21 PM. |

From the Fat Women in Stretch Pants Department


"We are not going anywhere,"added Mary Ann McCarthy, of FutureChurch, a national coalition of parish-centered Catholics incorporated in 1993. "We are staying here, in this church, to help make it a better place."

Poor Mary Ann. Apparently, the Church founded by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ isn't good enough and has to be made better. The last time I checked, Jesus was God and not the birkenstock-wearing, gray-haired, '60's Shalom crowd. Maybe I'm crazy, but I'll stick with Our Lord on this one. I am loathe to say anything positive about Luther or Calvin or Hank VIII, but at least they had the intellectual honesty to leave.

Unfortunately, these types tend to dominate parish life and we are treated to their verbal ruminations of being "an Easter people," or being "eucharist to one another." These are--tragically--the ones who "Sack Rome" every Sunday in their oh so flattering tent-sized blouses and XXL polyester on their way up to the Sanctuary...oh...sorry...worship space. The strains of their preferred liturgical substandard lounge music reinforces the notion that during the seventies, these people were probably toking up and discovering new universes in their fingernails.

C'mon folks, you've had thirty years to destroy the Church. It's not working, nor will it. You can't get much better than the Deity Himself establishing the institution. Now, lest anyone think that I am being uncharitable, I am not. I am just observing.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:32 PM. |

"It came down to giving people the basic human right to die with dignity."

The Culture of Death in New Orleans. Ok. Let me get this straight. It is not permissible to murder terminally ill patients. But in the event of a vis maior (or force majeure), such as a hurricane, it is permissible provided that the end contemplated is the relieving of suffering. Or, perhaps, was it something more sinister--maybe the doctors wanted to abandon their posts and save their own skins as opposed to guarding and protecting their charges as was their duty. But, I guess we can always justify it with an appeal to the "basic" human right to die with dignity.

If I recall, Hippocrates said something different: "...I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 9:37 AM. |

The Essence of the USCCB

Diogenes has captured the essence of the USCCB (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) and of the so-called "social justice" crowd with this quote:

-------------------------------------------------------
And the multitude asked him: "What then shall we do?" And he answered them, "He who has two coats, lobby the government to set up a program for him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."

Or words to that effect. Compare Luke 3:11.

Fumed by Boethius at 8:58 AM. |

Friday, September 09, 2005

Breaking News: Mike Brown of FEMA is Off the Job

Foxnews.com is reporting that FEMA Director Michael Brown is being removed from Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however. As I explained before, the problem goes much deeper.

No one should be satisfied until Rumsfeld, Cheney, Chertoff, Rice, Rove, Gonzales, John Roberts, Halliburton, and Bush himself are all exposed as the frauds they are. They stole the election in 2000 when the conservative Supreme Court headed by Justice Rehnquist (at least that partisan hack is gone) usurped the will of the people and gave the election to Bush. We must not let them get away with this. Bush's feigned compassion for the people of New Orleans is politics as usual. Thank goodness we have sincere politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy to rise above petty partisanship and hold King George (aka "The Shrub") accountable.

Fumed by Boethius at 2:05 PM. |

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Big Yawn with Big Ten

With all of the justifiable coverage surrounding Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath, as well as the sad news of the passing of Chief Justice Rehnquist, y'all may have overlooked another critical piece of news breaking last weekend: college football season has started.

Yes, boys and girls, it is that time again. Time to break out the marching bands, beer, and bratwurst, and eventually, for those in the northern climes, the hot chocolate. Time for half-face sunburns in the early season, and sweatshirt-worthy afternoons in the late season. Time for reliving those glory years of college, and call to order a new season of bickering over supremacy in a league of hundreds of teams with an 11 game season.

Which brings me to my first gripe: the big ten. Of the ten (of eleven) big ten teams active last weekend, they went 10-0. This would be impressive, if not for the lineup of opponents: Rutgers, Central Michigan, Ball State, Northern Illinois, Kent State, Tulsa, Ohio (not "THE" Ohio State U.), Miami (of Ohio), South Florida, and Bowling Green. Not exactly a who's who lineup of college football powerhouses. In fact, the big ten teams outscored their largely MAC conference opening weekend opponents by a collective 383 - 167 (that's an average score of 38.3 - 16.7 for those not good at math).

The big ten stands in sharp contrast to other major conferences in this regard. While not all teams in the ACC, SEC, and Pac 10 necessarily play ranked opponents opening weekend, there's at least some variety in their schedules, and no other conference had a "perfect" opening weekend (in fact, teams in the MAC went 1-10, Toledo drubbed Western Illinois for the sole bright spot on their collective record).

Let's hope for a little more excitement on future labor day weekends in the big ten.

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 10:30 PM. |

Solicited Advice

Gentlemen,

It has been a while. I hope you will forgive my absence; various developments have kept me away. For now, however, I need the advice of distinguished and diverse gentlemen, such as yourselves.

The question is this: If one intends to subscribe to three periodicals, and only three, to which should he subscribe?

Anticipating an interesting discussion,

Thursday.

Fumed by Thursday at 3:12 PM. |

Religious Blogs

Today's Detroit Free Press has an article on religious blogs. One of the blog's discussed in the article is Fr. Andrew Bloomfield's Blog. Please pay a visit to both the article and the blog.

Fumed by Boethius at 8:55 AM. |

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More Uncle Ted

Diogenes has provided us with a wonderful service (and visual) with more gems from Ted Kennedy. Perhaps we can have a caption contest with the picture.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:08 PM. |

Pope Rejects Cardinal McCarrick's resignation

Pope Benedict is rejecting Cardinal McCarrick's resignation as Archbishop of Washington, D.C, so says the Archdiocese.

Last night, during the annual Labor Day gathering for the priests of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick told them he had been notified that Pope Benedict XVI has decided the Cardinal should continue as Archbishop of Washington at this time.

I seem to recall, however, that last summer, Cardinal McCarrick misinterpreted a Cardinal Ratzinger letter on the Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion. Does anyone have a copy of the letter rejecting McCarrick's resignation? I find Cardinal McCarrick's credibility as to letters from Cardinal Ratzinger to be sorely lacking.

Fumed by Boethius at 9:04 AM. |

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Orleans, Halliburton, and . . . Dick Cheney

I think it's time to start asking the tough questions regarding Hurricane Katrina and the federal government's response to the crisis.

First, where is Dick Cheney? Methinks it is just a little too convenient that Vice-President Cheney has not been visibly involved in the relief efforts. Of course, the answer to the question is obvious. Cheney has been working behind the scenes for years with the military and . . . (you guessed it) Halliburton in order to "steer" hurricanes toward the Gulf, and especially New Orleans. By using this super-secret technology to steer the hurricanes toward the Gulf, Cheney planned to disrupt the flow of oil, thereby causing gas prices to skyrocket. It is now all too clear that Cheney's plan was a success, and that he generated this disaster in order to further line his pockets (and Halliburton's) with more oil profits.

Second, where is Pat Robertson? The Republican Party's Spokesman is also nowhere to be seen. The truth is that Robertson and his fundamentalist friends have been calling for the assassination of New Orleans for years. Their plan was simple. Eliminate the Big Easy, then relocate their headquarters to the "New" New Orleans in order to capitalize on New Orleans' superior location for distributing Robertson's weight loss shakes to the rest of the world.

It's only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches up to these two sinister, Republican plotters. I, for one, will not sit idly by as their plots come to fruition. They must be stopped before they strike again.

(Oh yeah, does anyone know where John Roberts was the night Chief Justice Rehnquist died? This is a legitimate question that must be asked at the confirmation hearings. I hope the Democratic Senators don't wimp out. It's also a little suspicious that this hurricane thing would completely supersede Roberts' confirmation hearings. But I'm not going to jump to conclusions.)

Fumed by Boethius at 4:45 PM. |

Saturday, September 03, 2005

May he rest in peace....

William H. Rehnquist
Chief Justice of the United States
1924 - 2005

Fumed by Ryder at 11:38 PM. |

Friday, September 02, 2005

Proof: Abortion Providers Protect Child Rapists

Okay, there are a lot of groups trying to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, right? Sure, most organizations give food, water, or clothing away, but when your organization only offers devices and chemicals that wreak havoc on the human reproductive system, why not donate those? As Vital Signs Blog and many others are reporting, Planned Parenthood is once again rising to the occasion in the war on life by offering free and reduced-cost morning after pills, depo shots, and other forms of contraception to women with LA or MS driver's licenses. Considering the race of so many of the victims we have all seen on television this week, NN's post (below) is as timely as ever. Face it, folks, the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a Hitler-admiring racist who spoke at KKK functions and worked to wipe out the "Negro" population through eugenics and advocacy for racial hygene. She failed, but as we've seen once again just this week her organization carries on her mission to nauseating lengths. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have succeeded in significantly reducing the African American population in America (some say by over 25%) since Roe was decided. Who needs the KKK when we have the PP?

But I digress. Here's some more appalling news on the Planned Parenthood front: For a while now we've heard rumors of sting operations on Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics, where women posing as 13 and 14 year old girls call about getting abortions and "slip" that their boyfriend is an adult. Time after time the clincs have advised the person they believe to be a child recently victimized by an adult male to a) not give her name, b) hang up and then call back, and c) lie about her boyfriend's age so that they will not be required to report that a statutory rape has occured. Here's the proof [Windows Media - video window opens with transcript of calls].

This is insane. Why do people actually believe these clinics care about the women and girls they exploit? Can it really be that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are willing to let a 13 or 14 year old child continue to be taken advantage of by a 22 year old so they can take the abortion money and run without messy complications like arresting the bastard and protecting this child from an obvious predator?!? Are these people high??? Is this what the abortion industry calls "pro-woman"?

In light of the calls you will hear if you click the link, allow me to indulge in a not-so-unrealistic hypothetical. This year a number of young girls, including 13-year-old Sarah Lunde and several other high-profile victims, were raped and (in most cases) murdered by sexually deviant adults. Imagine if the criminal on one of these cases had decided to keep his young victim around for a little while before killing her, and had "merely" impregnated her. After a while, like Patty Hearst and so many other kidnap victims, the child may have been brainwashed into the belief that there existed a relationship of sorts with her captor, and that he posed no danger to her. She may also have been braishwashed into calling her local Planned Parenthood about getting rid of the baby. Would Planned Parenthood have shown an ounce of decency upon realizing that one of these 13-year-olds had been the victim of statutory rape? Nope, the clinic would have told the child to...STOP!...don't give us your name! Call back and don't tell us your "partner" is an adult. Otherwise we have to report it to the police...and you won't get in trouble but your boyfriend will. In the end, Planned Parenthood would have gotten its abortion fee, the sexual deviant would have gotten his victim back to molest further and eventually kill, and nobody will have acted to stop this insanity because all Planned Parenthood cares about is that one more abortion has taken place.

Think I've taken the example too far? Not when you consider the words of Planned Parenthood's very own foundress, Ms. Sanger, written by her in 1922: "The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." The sad reality is that abortion providers collaborate with predatory adults in the exploitation of girls as young as 12 each and every day when they refuse to help rescue a pregnant child who contacts them and reveals that the father of her unborn baby is an adult. These clinics blithely put the almighty buck before anything so trivial as, say, the welfare of a sexually abused minor. Maybe PP is due for a slogan change...Planned Parenthood: Protecting Men's Right to Rape Young Girls Since 1916.

In the good news department, a court has subpoenaed medical records of abortion clinics as part of Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline's investigation of child rape & illegal late term abortions, and oral arguments on Planned Parenthood's attempt to quash the subpoena, before the Kansas Supreme Court, are scheduled for September 8 (a Marian feast, for those like me who believe nothing happens coincidentally). And Planned Parenthood of Indiana is under investigation by the Medical Fraud Control Unit and Attorney General Steve Carter and has sued to stop investigators from examining the medical records of 12-& 13-year-old child abuse victims. "Pro-woman" my three-letter synonym for donkey. This is a start, folks. Let's "encourage" our state Attorneys General to follow suit. Hey A.M....what's Eliot Spitzer up to these days? He can run pro-life clinics out of town...let's see if he has the testicular fortitude to go after child-rape enablers like Planned Parenthood.

UPDATE: Jill Stanek, pro-life heroine for whistleblowing about the stomach-wrenching "live birth abortions" she witnessed as a nurse at a suburban Chicago hospital, has a great post today on her blog regarding the Kansas Planned Parenthood's fight to "protect" the medical records of its child victims...er, patients. Apparently, the local PP website posts a HIPAA disclosure policy that states that the children's medical information, which PP claims is "a covenant between a doctor and his/her patient," may be used by PP "for fundraising activities." I'm sooo confused! To paraphrase the Kansas Attorney General, is it okay for these records to be in the hands of transitory marketing staff, but not sworn officers of the court? Is that because the latter might actually help Planned Parenthood's victims?

Fumed by Ryder at 1:14 AM. |

Website of the day: Hitler, eugenics, and abortion

Fumed by Phidippides at 12:14 AM. |