Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Monday, July 31, 2006
There are certain moments in life that a man carries with him forever. One of those moments, for me, occurred in a very early morning in May about a decade ago. It is one of those things that some among us might call part of my formation. I won't dispute the description. Indulge me for a few moments.
First, some background. I attended Jesuit institutions for both high school and undergraduate studies. In both institutions I did the traditional Jesuit thing: studied Latin and Greek and was treated to certain militaristic temperments regarding discipline in study. When I was an undergrad, I added to these subjects philosophy and it was there that I first came to know and love St. Thomas Aquinas through the influence of the fine Jesuits who were my teachers. Don't get me wrong, there were flaky Jesuits too--hardly worthy of the name in my estimation--but I chose to attach myself to those Fathers who, at the time, were in their 70s, 80s and some even in their 90s. I was privileged enough to have unique access to them in that I worked a part-time job at the famed JR (or Jesuit Residence). Now there were multiple Jesuit residences at the University, but this one was where all the "old dads"--as I affectionately called them--resided. It was a residence that seemed not to be tainted with unhealthy accoutrements of the post-Arrupe Society (e.g., Men's Health on coffee tables, scholastics holding a meeting to plan protesting Ft. Benning and the School of the Americas (yawn)).
The JR had a beautiful old chapel. As one walked in, on the left and right were about 8 side altars--four on each side. There was the old high altar on which sat the tabernacle, the main altar, and two side altars up front (not unlike the 8 just described). There was a large refectory--recently renovated--which solidified the impression that the good Jesuits were not lacking. The main entrance had a porter's office which housed the switchboard. This is where I worked. It was right outside the chapel and the main hallway which housed many original Rennaissance paintings--a gift to the Jesuits from years back. Whenever someone would come to call, I would have them wait in the outer parlor and call the particular priest. The treat for me, however, (and, incidentally, the finest education I have ever received) was when the old dads would come to the office and visit me--either to shoot the bull or to give me a new article that they were writing or reading. The Fathers were rather liberal with me giving me free reign with the refrectory's coffee, etc.
Now to the point. It was the end of the semester and I was working on a 36 page paper for Fr. Leo Sweeney, S.J.'s PHIL 999 seminar: "Augustine and Aquinas: Metaphysics and Morality." Needless to say, the seminar was apprpriate for Ph.D. students but not for my skull full of mush. Anyway, Fr. Sweeney (of happy memory) was one of the spry octogenarian Jesuits and one of those unsung Thomists of which we are in short supply. His standards were exacting but he had a heart of gold and, though I ultimately received high marks in his seminar, I know that I probably disappointed him with my paper. In any event, the Fathers of the house allowed me to stay all night and work on the computer to complete the paper. As the hours passed, I made several trips to get some coffee and even left the house at about 11:30pm to get a bite to eat.
Not long after I returned to continue writing the paper--probably around 1:00am--Fr. John Kinsella, S.J. (again, of happy memory) came down to see me. He was clad in his robe, slippers and had disheveled hair. The retired Professor of Law and Yale Fellow plopped down, promptly lighted up a Marlboro and asked me how I was doing. After chatting for awhile amidst the cigarette smoke which was odor suavitatis in conspectu Altissimi, he proceeded to get me another cup o' joe for the final push on the paper. After Fr. Kinsella shuffled back to bed, I was ready to finish this baby up. Around 5:30am, having exhausted my mind, the only thing remaining was grammar and spelling checks. I went out into the outer parlor and looked over the lake--which was some 500 feet away. Morning was just breaking and I thought of the famous Homeric description of the dawn as being "rododaktulos" (I wish this damn blogger would allow Greek script) or "rosy-fingered." It was very quiet and peaceful, with small ripples coming over the lake. All was very still. In this peaceful silence, I stretched and made my way into the JR for the last cup of coffee. As I entered the hallway, it was completely dark--black in fact--except for several lights in the JR Chapel. I paused for a moment and beheld something in the stillness of that morning and in the darkness of that hallway, that I will never forget.
Three of the most elderly priests of the house were offering their private Masses on their chosen side altar. I paused for about five minutes, but in reality, I didn't pay attention. I was utterly consumed by this sight. Words do not do it justice. It wasn't so much remarkable for the priests' age--for two were 93 and another in his 80s, it was remarkable for the awesomeness of the act in the stillness and darkness of that morning. An act that those men had performed thousands of times before in their priestly lives but no less significant--nay, THE most significant act in the world. The very act that redeemed the world was being re-created anew. The act in which heaven and earth are united. The act in which, paradoxically, the creature is holding the Creator in his hands. The holy Jesuits offering their Mass, were simply doing what their Lord had commanded be done in remembrance of Him. They were also communicating with their Lord whose Most Holy Name they are priviliged to have as their own--Jesuits. This act is the heart of the Jesuit's life. And that singular act, was, is and always will be, the most powerful act in the world.
So powerful, that the Founder of the Society of Jesus, who died at 5:30am 450 years ago today, wept every time he held his Lord.
I think conservatives fighting on the religious rights front need to have a greater appreciation for the proper role of law and local government. It is hard to understand how we can be considered truly conservative if we have such little respect for the integrity of community.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
NY Times (AP) - In an extraordinary act of post-modern panache, Bowie Kuhn was reported in the New York Times as saying, "This is not a bunch of trained dogs," referring directly to the increasingly dishonored Ave Maria School of Law Board of Governors and Dean, and the public smelly smelly of The Governance Issue.
"When I read Mr. Kuhn's comment, I thought - that makes sense, of course they aren't a bunch of trained dogs, that's silly; then it hit me, NO ONE SAID THEY WERE trained dogs! And then I understood," commented an Ave Maria School of Law student who has asked not to be named because of the fear of retaliation from the Dean, Board of Governors and Mr. Monaghan.
"Mr. Kuhn was making an oblique reference to Rene Magritte and was turning abrilliantt intertextual comment which ultimately aims to deconstruct any criticism about The Governance Issue! So by representing this meta-narrative in clear, even graphicimageryy which cuts to the bone of The Governance Issue, he at the same time created an inter-textual space into which he could assert doubt,absurdityy and even humor thus disintermediating the flow of information but for an instant to suggest that indeed there is NO SUCH THING AS The Governance Issue. Amazing."
"This is the same thing that Rene Magritte did years ago with that Pipe painting - 'This is not a pipe' read the caption. Rene was saying, 'Dude, our representations of reality conflict with reality itself, man, and saying that a pipe is really a pipe is problematic, because really this pipe is a phallic symbol, or, if your paranoid, what someone wants you to think is a phallic symbol!'"
"The point is that we are no longer talking about the painting because the words have deflected our attention to an artificial intellectual construct which has no bearing on the painting itself! This is what Bowie is doing and it is genius!"
"Of course the Board Governorsors and Dean are not a 'bunch of trained dogs,' the point is that they are acting like it and anyone who has the sensum fidelium can smell the doggie doo-doo from miles away."
The smelly smelly of The Governance Issue is not going to go away despite the rhetorical might of Mr. Bowie Kuhn and the vigorous foot scraping of those who have stepped in it. The stink is out and only a frank and honest admission and just action in humility will remove the doggie doggie from the Boardy Board and Deany Dean.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
READ IT HERE!
I think the money quote was Mr. Bowie Kuhn--himself a member of AMSL's Board of Governors--referring to the Board of Governors: "This is not a bunch of trained dogs..."
To get him to have to respond thusly says a lot.
UPDATE: If you are having problems getting the piece online, go to the NY Times website and proceed to the business section--you should be able to get it. If not even that, stay tuned...
UPDATE II: WhoseAMSOL has the Times story with text as well as an article from the American Lawyer recently published. MUST READ!
Friday, July 28, 2006
CCM = NNN
NNN = $20,000,000,000.00
Take one dissident priest (DP),
minus the Inquisition (I)
add time (T),
A Contraceptive Mentality equals No New Nuns (NNN).
Has any one given this guy a prize for his great contribution to human development?
Columcille has to admit that it isn't all due to Condom Charlie's Calculus . . .
In Columcille's view, this is the number one reason Social Security ought to be resigned to history.
So proficient were the Jesuit dancers and choreographers that one Parisian wag mused that no one could pirouette as well as a Jesuit.
A Note from the Trenches of the Liturgical Wars
This piece of intelligence come over the wire recently: Sacred dance is an important and critical component in the worship life
of the contemporary Catholic Church. It is so not because it has about it an air
of spontaneity, trendiness, sensuality, and novelty, but because it celebrates
the body, gives praise to God, communicates through its own beauty and
physicality the wisdom and grace of the Creator, and unites the community in
Columcille wonders how spontaneity, trendiness, sensuality and novelty have become 'critical components' to the worship life of the Catholic Church?
Columcille might make a case for an authentic place for the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit in the Divine Liturgy, and even contrast the sensuality of Catholic Liturgy against the barren thing that the Prods do across the street, but Columcille doubts the author intends these meanings.
In fact, Columcille reckons that the author is imagining the scene from The Matrix: Reloaded, indeed, isn't this where these Liturgical Terrorists intend to take us - backwards to the ecstatic worship of Eros in the fertility cults?
Hide your virgin daughters, the Jesuits are coming.
UPDATE: Um, and more importantly your innocent sons . . . (thanks Boko)
GENEVA -- The United States must better protect poor people and African-Americans in natural disasters to avoid problems like those after Hurricane Katrina, a U.N. human rights panel said Friday.
The U.N. Human Rights Committee said poor and black Americans were "disadvantaged" after Katrina, and the U.S. should work harder to ensure that their rights "are fully taken into consideration in the reconstruction plans with regard to access to housing, education and health care."
The United States said federal and Louisiana state authorities were examining many of the issues raised by the committee.
In New Orleans, activists praised the U.N. report at a news conference in the predominantly black Gert Town neighborhood, which remains heavily damaged by the hurricane.
Monique Harden, co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, urged the U.N. to examine the treatment of black and poor Gulf Coast residents, and said the committee's findings were important to recovery efforts in the region.
"It's a wake-up call, and it's also a call for change in the way the United States government has been handling this recovery," Harden said.
If you know your history, you know that the Muslims invaded and conquered a sizeable chunk of the civilized world beginning in the 7th and 8th Centuries. The Moors had taken nearly all of what is modern-day Spain from the Christians. Inexplicably, if seen only through secular eyes, one man stood his ground and began the Reconquista that would liberate Hispania from Muslim conquerors centuries later in 1492 (Portugal had managed to do it by 1249, but that's for another post).
A nobleman, Pelayo, was literally backed into a corner facing death, but managed to escape, strengthen his band, and, with God's Grace, he dealt the Moors a serious defeat at the Battle of Covadonga. He is a great example of one man's ability to shape history, and his efforts eventually led to the liberation of Spain nearly 800 years later.
800 years . . . that is a long time. It has also been 500 years since Spain completed its Reconquista. Some folks still hold a grudge.
Osama bin Laden's 1st Lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahri, had some nasty, but illuminating things to say in his call for a Muslim uprising against Israel:
"It is a jihad for the sake of God and will last until [our] religion prevails ... from Spain to Iraq," al-Zawahri said, using the Arabic word meaning holy war. "We will attack everywhere."
"My fellow Muslims, it is obvious that Arab and Islamic governments are not only impotent but also complicit ... and you are alone on the battlefield. Rely on God and fight your enemies ... make yourselves martyrs."
I am happy that many Muslims practice their faith in a benign way, and not as the early Muslims did. But don't fool yourself about the nature of the strife in the Middle East. This isn't just about Israel. Some Muslims adhere strongly to the old Muslim ways. Some never forget.
There's also a discussion at Mark Shea's blog here.
By the way, did I mention that Ann's performance in the interview was stellar, as usual.
"We greatly appreciate Ms. Marchant's many years of service in healthcare ministry. The archdiocese greatly values the ministry of lay and religious women. Their contributions are vital to the life and mission of the church."
How about this:
"The ordination ceremony was a public act that attacks the fundamental structure of the Church as it was wanted by her Founder. In taking part in this action, the Archdiocese of Boston trusts that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, Ms. Marchant may discover the path of conversion in order to return to the unity of the faith and to communion with the Church, which she has grievously wounded by her actions. Ms. Marchant, don't let the door hit you on your way out!"
Thursday, July 27, 2006
USCCB President Offers Prayers for Cardinal George
WASHINGTON (July 26, 2006) -- Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement today after the announcement that Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago will undergo surgery this Thursday connected with bladder cancer. Cardinal George is vice-president of the USCCB.
"As both a fellow bishop and a close friend, I want to offer heartfelt prayers that Cardinal Francis George have a full recovery from his upcoming surgery and from the cancer which necessitated it.
"I know Cardinal George well. We served as bishops in the State of Washington in the adjoining dioceses of Spokane and Yakima where he followed me as bishop. In November 2004, we began another very close association when he was elected vice-president of the USCCB at the time I was elected president.
"At the meetings of the USCCB, at international gatherings of bishops, and on the visits which we make twice each year to the Holy See, I always find in Cardinal George great moral and personal support. Along with all the bishops, I appreciate as well the clarity and depth with which he thinks through the issues that face the Church.
"I know that our brother bishops join me in praying that Cardinal George will be restored to full health so that he may continue to serve as a good shepherd after the example of Christ for the Archdiocese of Chicago and as one of the foremost leaders of the Bishops' Conference."
You may remember that Cardinal George is forever connected to the Ave Maria School of Law. He gave the keynote speech at the dedication of Ave Maria's (current) facility. That speech became the centerpiece article in the Inaugural Issue of the Ave Maria Law Review.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
When he had gone through the city and had reached the Scaean gates through which he would go out on to the plain, his wife came running towards him, Andromache, daughter of great Eetion who ruled in Thebe under the wooded slopes of Mount Plakos, and was king of the Cilicians. His daughter had married Hektor, and now came to meet him with a nurse who carried his little child in her bosom--a mere babe. Hektor's darling son, and lovely as a star. Hektor had named him Skamandrios, but the people called him Astyanax , for his father stood alone as chief guardian of Ilion.
Hektor smiled as he looked upon the boy, but he did not speak, and Andromache stood by him weeping and taking his hand in her own. "Dear husband," said she, "your valor will bring you to destruction; think on your infant son, and on my hapless self who ere long shall be your widow--for the Achaeans will set upon you in a body and kill you. It would be better for me, should I lose you, to lie dead and buried, for I shall have nothing left to comfort me when you are gone, save only sorrow. I have neither father nor mother now. Achilles slew my father when he sacked Thebe the goodly city of the Cilicians. He slew him, but did not for very shame despoil him; when he had burned him in his wondrous armor, he raised a barrow over his ashes and the mountain nymphs, daughters of aegis-bearing Zeus, planted a grove of elms about his tomb [sêma]. I had seven brothers in my father's house, but on the same day they all went within the house of Hades. Achilles killed them as they were with their sheep and cattle. My mother--her who had been queen of all the land under Mount Plakos--he brought hither with the spoil, and freed her for a great sum, but the archer--queen Artemis took her in the house of your father. Nay--Hektor--you who to me are father, mother, brother, and dear husband--have mercy upon me; stay here upon this wall; make not your child fatherless, and your wife a widow..."
And Hektor answered, "Wife, I too have thought upon all this, but with what face should I look upon the Trojans, men or women, if I shirked battle like a coward? I cannot do so: I know nothing save to fight bravely in the forefront of the Trojan host and win renown alike for my father and myself. Well do I know that the day will surely come when mighty Ilion shall be destroyed with Priam and Priam's people, but I grieve for none of these--not even for Hecuba, nor King Priam, nor for my brothers many and brave who may fall in the dust before their foes--for none of these do I grieve as for yourself when the day shall come on which some one of the Achaeans shall rob you for ever of your freedom, and bear you weeping away....May I lie dead under the barrow that is heaped over my body ere I hear your cry as they carry you into bondage."
He stretched his arms towards his child, but the boy cried and nestled in his nurse's bosom, scared at the sight of his father's armor, and at the horse-hair plume that nodded fiercely from his helmet. His father and mother laughed to see him, but Hektor took the helmet from his head and laid it all gleaming upon the ground. Then he took his darling child, kissed him, and dandled him in his arms, praying over him the while to Zeus and to all the gods. "Zeus," he cried, "grant that this my child may be even as myself, chief among the Trojans; let him be not less excellent in strength, and let him rule Ilion with his might. Then may one say of him as he comes from battle, 'The son is far better than the father.' "
This passage is beautiful on many levels, but I wish to focus on the last thing that Hector says here: "The son is far better than the father." How many fathers have wanted this of their sons from time immemorial! This sentiment is as old as the human race itself and is, what Belloc would say, one of "those enduring things." Does our culture so rooted in the history of the West still believe this? Do we want what's best for our children? Do we want them to do better than ourselves? Or do we want children at all? This recent study has disappointing news. How do we get back to these "enduring things?"
There is a maxim in theology: "Grace builds on nature." We need to nail down the nature part of things--i.e., rekindle that natural desire for and joy in having children in a stable and loving marriage. Then we can convert the heathen and take care of that grace part.
So all you AMSL discussion types--bring it over there!
Monday, July 24, 2006
It appears that Torgo has been ruminating again. While the opposition party dismisses Torgo, and those of us who are equally concerned with the welfare of Ave Maria School of Law and its constituents, as dissidents intent on a sowing discontent for the sole purpose of opposing the school's administration (as if the administration were so important), they forget one simple fact: events such as these simply do not happen to well-run institutions. While a criminal is certainly presumed innocent until proven guilty, he is still hauled into court on probable cause. Indeed, probable cause there is:
Torgo would like to remind everyone that the ABA welcomes alumni contact on many matters.
As everyone familiar with the scandal of nonperformance on promises relied upon will know, there was a process through which the law school underwent to become accredited. Many of Torgo's friends and readers will recall various preparation routines, such as the mock interviews and crews of people that would walk through the school. Others may recall the elements discussed in town hall meetings. These elements were things such as the library, facilities, faculty, finances, etc.
Torgo can recall many representations made to groups of interested parties druing these town hall meetings, and to prepare people for the interviews and actual ABA visits. If you think back, you too can remember what was said about the facilities and the financing. Anybody else remember representations about a top-tier school?
Has the money been spent to make a top tier school?
Torgo would now turn your attention to the ABA standards, Chapter 2 on Program resources. Two things are important: 1) the school needs adequate finances for the future (Monaghan promised those for a top tier school in Ann Arbor (see, e.g. Ann Arbor News and Detroit Free Press columns circa 1999, 2000)); and 2) that finances do not interfere with the operation of the school.
Wouldn't you love to share a big bowl of mostaccioli and several bottles of Valpolicella Classico with this guy?
Friday, July 21, 2006
Sr. Benedict's Boxing Club: Join Now and Take Advantage of Summer Discounts--Only $19.95 Per Session
Do any of the following apply to you:
- You believe that superior US Military strength is not necessary in today's world
- You believe that the proper approach to statecraft is that which is embodied by Cardinals Sodano and Martino
- You believe that the Pope should be the one who makes the call when to go to war
Then chances are, you've been pummeled in the schoolyard--or are in imminent danger of it!
HAVE NO FEAR!
With Sr. Mary Benedict's 3 week boxing course you will be in fighting trim to take down any heretic, Islamofascist or--better yet--some goofy Catholic who thinks that we can solve problems in the middle east by dialogue with the people of goodwill who are the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda!
Sister takes you through the "crawl, walk and run" phases of her nationally recognized program:
Week I: Crawl--basic Latin; introduction to Thomistic Metaphysics; boxing fundamentals: hands up, jab, blocking a punch
Week II: Walk--intermediate Latin; the political thought of Bellarmine, Suarez, and Vitoria; combination of punches, the dissuasive jab, feinting to the solar plexus, feinting
Week III: Run--Latin composition; the Decrees of the Fourth Lateran Council and The Council of Trent, Encyclicals of John Paul II; Reagan's National Security Strategy 1986; bobbing and weaving, working off the ropes, sparring with Sister.
"I'll admit it: I used to be a hand holding, 'Table of Plenty'-singing goofball! In large part, I think it was due to my parents--my dad never showed me how to throw a right hook and mom was a campus minister. One day I got into a fight over whether the prudential decision to go to war lies with the Pope or the head of state. Things got rather heated and I quoted Paul VI and said 'War--never again.' Then it happened--POW! 2 hours later I found myself in the campus ministry office--broken and bloody nose--being attended to by some woman with a nosering and black lipstick. That experience was a metanoia for me. I don't remember my adversary's name, but I'll never forget her face. That's when I woke up and smelled the coffee! I immediately signed up for Sr. Benedict's course and voila! She made me the man that I am today! Thanks...er...'gratias tibi', Sister!" ---John, Poughkeepsie, NY
ACT NOW! CLASSES FILL UP FAST!
Thursday, July 20, 2006
You know you are in trouble when your cocktail small talk is the same as Saddam Hussein's. Recently Saddam urged the United States to pull out of Iraq:
Saddam's Talking Points
A few apparent highlights from his random letter (to the American people) asking for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops as reported by the NY Times:
1. Bush misled the American people about weapons of mass destruction;
2. Lack of Iraqi links to Al Qaeda;
3. Israel wanted us to do it (Iran too apparently);
4. Something about Vietnam.
A few choice quotes as reported by the NY Times:
"'People of America, the misfortunes that have afflicted you and afflicted our Arab nation and within it our heroic people -- including the breakdown of America's standing and reputation -- were only caused by the reckless behavior of your government and by pressure from Zionism,' Mr. Hussein wrote, according to a translation of the letter sent by e-mail to reporters."
"'I confirmed to them that Iraq didn't have any of the things the American officials claimed,'" Mr. Hussein wrote."
"The letter ends with a final bit of advice: 'Save your country, esteemed ladies and gentlemen, and leave Iraq.'"
If he wasn't a mad deposed genocidal dictator on trial for his life, he might have a future on Air America. It is hard to deny that what some say on American soil can give aid and comfort to the enemy. Do we need stronger evidence?
Pictured from Left: Phlogizo, TheLawDog, Columcille (sitting), Down South (standing), and Thursday. (Not Pictured: the rest)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Just another Zionist propaganda poll from The Israel Project printed in The Jerusalem Post!
"Before the people of the world--let it now be noted in our decision here, that this is what we stand for: justice, truth...and the value of a single human being!"
Thank you, Mr. President, for upholding this today.
On July 12, 2006, the EU levied a $357 million fine for failure to abide by a 2004 order. The 2004 order levied a $613 million fine and required MS to sell of version of Windows without Media Player and share communications code with its rivals. Not surprisingly, few were interested in Windows sans Media Player, Windows XP N.
The fun does not stop there, according to the LA Times,
The EU Competition Commission said the software giant would face additional fines of $3.82 million a day, beginning July 31, unless it provided "complete and accurate technical specifications" for software developers who create products that must operate with Windows on PCs and server computers that operate networks.
Some analysts doubted whether fines alone would change Microsoft's tactics. Based on the company's 2005 earnings, for instance, Wednesday's fine amounts to about 11 days' worth of profit. Microsoft earned enough to cover the proposed daily fine every two hours and 45 minutes.
One would think with the success ofLinux, and Apple's operating system, Mac OS X, the EU would leave Microsoft alone. OS X is far from open-source, and Apple doesn't play nice in the sandbox with other companies. But its not the size of a company, or its market influence that really concerns the EU:
Some industry experts, though, regard the EU move as little more than protectionism.
"If Microsoft were a European company, they'd be getting subsidies from all the governments and protection against competition," said Jeff Tarter, founder of U.S.-based industry newsletter Softletter. "This is why European software companies are on their last legs."
They should remember who won the war," he added, referring to World War II.
Granted, giant corporations are not necessarily the best for society. Still, I don't think MS ranks up there with the dehumaninzing corporate giants of the Global Economy, Billy's condom-throwing, pimping, charitable foundation aside.
Here's a timeline of EU's antitrust action (Technology Review).
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Who believes that Israel will use the Hizbullah conflict as an opportunity to strike Iran? If the current circumstances are inopportune, what additional circumstances could increase the likelihood of such a strike?
Methodists to Join Declaration on Justification
The World Methodist Conference meeting in South Korea is expected to sign the joint declaration on justification signed in 1999 by the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation.
* * *
The joint declaration, expressing a consensus between the Lutheran Federation and the Catholic Church on the doctrine of justification, was signed in Augsburg, Germany, on Oct. 32, 1999.
The doctrine of justification was a cause of Luther's Reformation.
* * *
And the truth will set them free!
CATACOMBS (AP) - For some time now speculation and intrigue has surrounded the infamous FUMARE blogger cell with the now familiar term spiking again and again within the din of cyber chatter across the globe. Until today, very little was known of the super secret society who has been known to have their power felt in the highest of places. But with the fortunate discovery of some of their training material, the veil of secrecy has been somewhat torn.
It would seem that this man is their ring leader or perhaps the most learned of the group.
He is prominently featured in the group's training material demonstrating the hidden knowledge and techniques of the Natural Law lawyer, or "Natural Lawyer" as the Fumare group calls it.
Here he is on the cover of the Fumare Master Class series of Natural Law Fighting Techniques (demonstrating the Rebuttal).
And again, presenting a defense of the Natural Family using a forceful combination of physical evidence and suave:
But perhaps most convincingly, the Fumare Master, demonstrates the four step power move of the Principle of Double Effect (step four pictured):
Beware, the Fumare Natural Law Fighting Society is not to be taken lightly!
Threats against Tax Exempt Status from the IRS
Beware the Political Activity Compliance Police and the Committee of Three. There's apparently a multi-phase process here that involves a preliminary vote on whether or not to investigate. If the investigation goes forward, warning letters and loss of tax exempt status may follow.
A tool that can be used to silence the moral conscience of America? Oh, no, just doing our job:
"The rule against political campaign intervention by charities and churches is long established. We are stepping up our efforts to enforce it."
I say bring it on! (in the most non-cheerleader teen movie kind of way). I think America is ready for some debate about just what kind of issues are properly in the religious sphere. To the Churches -endorse away, and let's get this fight going!
Monday, July 17, 2006
I say, get to it!
(Pictured from Left: Mrs. AM, Mrs. Sine Metu, Mrs. Thursday (aka, Friday), Buttercup, and Mrs. LawDog)
The closest we come to a centerfold--Wow!
At least in Bruce Almighty Morgan Freeman did a decent job. I don't know about you, but I am not sure Sam Jackson is the first guy I think of for the voice of God. For my money, I'll take Charlton Heston.
Sad story indeed. But at least these guys are being rooted out.
Boccaccio nailed it many moons ago when he told the tale of Abraham the Jew, a potential convert to the Faith. Let us allow Abraham to speak for himself:
I tell thee, so far as I was able to carry my investigations, holiness, devotion, good works or exemplary living in any kind was nowhere to be found in any clerk; but only lewdness, avarice, gluttony, and the like, and worse, if worse may be, appeared to be held in such honour of all, that (to my thinking) the place is a centre of diabolical rather than of divine activities. To the best of my judgment, your Pastor, and by consequence all that are about him devote all their zeal and ingenuity and subtlety to devise how best and most speedily they may bring the Christian religion to nought and banish it from the world.
But there is hope, nonetheless:
And because I see that what they so zealously endeavour does not come to pass, but that on the contrary your religion continually grows, and shines more and more clear, therein I seem to discern a very evident token that it, rather than any other, as being more true and holy than any other, has the Holy Spirit for its foundation and support. For which cause, whereas I met your exhortations in a harsh and obdurate temper, and would not become a Christian, now I frankly tell you that I would on no account omit to become such. Go we then to the church, and there according to the traditional rite of your holy faith let me receive baptism.
(And to think, I left out all the good parts: jointly buying a $449,100 condo in Fort Lauderdale with your male wedding consultant friend; owning a luxury apartment on East 63rd Street in New York with the same male wedding consultant friend; and the ever popular sacerdotal blond highlights in the hair.)
Friday, July 14, 2006
Don Vito Corleone.........Charles E. Rice
Santino "Sonny" Corleone.............Advocatus Militaris
Sollozo the Turk..............Dean Read
Capt McClusky.................Dean White
Connie Corleone................E.M. Zanotti
Fredo's favorite cocktail waitress....Kate O'Beirne
Don Tattaglia.......................Thomas Monaghan
Don Barzini.............................Dean Dobranski
The nuns said that when Bush arrived in Milwaukee they would "pause for a time of silent prayer, join together in a dance of universal peace and pray for continual conversion of your heart."
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Pictured from Left: Boko, AMSOL Pioneer, Advocatus Militaris, Phlogizo, Miss America (who is FORBIDDEN to post on FUMARE.)
(Rest not pictured.)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
"Like wienerschnitzel and beer! A reminder of true Catholic culture! Perhaps some of my former students should read FUMARE. Ad multos gloriosque annos!"
And tell me if you notice any difference in the way MSU College of Law's administration and governing board responded, as opposed to AMSOL's. It's even more frustrating, since the votes at AMSOL were, I believe, based upon specific points/complaints, rather than just venting a general discontent. And MSU's administration and board are acting as if their law faculty might actually merit a considered response.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Now while the target of Sowell's book was liberal elites, the target of this post is the conservative elites. Specifically, we target the anointed which finds its incarnation in the Chairman of AMSL's BoG, the Dean of AMSL and their apparent devotees on the BoG. These are the elites. This is who we are dealing with and it makes no sense to go forward without a forthright admission of the primary fact that appears to drive their hubris. In light of this, consider the very disturbing recent turn of events that was relayed to me by a very credible individual with knowledge:
It has been custom at AMSL to give the faculty a cost of living increase each year. Reports have indicated that generally this increase has been around 3% since the school's inception. This year, however, is different. Different for everyone in fact. Let's just say, if one happens to be a faculty member at AMSL whose conscience led him to vote no confidence in the Dean over the style of governance employed by the Dean and Chairman of the Board of Governors, he only received a 0%-1% cost of living increase. On the other side, if one is a faculty member who has thrown in his lot with those same powers (or have at least not taken a stand), it is likely that he received a 5% cost of living increase. Hmmm.
A faculty member--whose credentials are impeccable, and by all reports had a stellar year in the classroom--brought concerns to the Dean about discrepancies in the cost of living adjustment. Inquiry was made as to the unequal application of the cost of living increases. The Dean's response was that certain faculty did not receive the higher percentage increase because--and I paraphrase--[they were] "associating with people who are undermining the mission of the school."
Correct me if I am wrong, but when did the "Mission of the School" become synonomous with Dean Dobranski's will? Or, better, Chairman Monaghan's will? It seems that the Dean and whoever else makes determinations regarding cost of living increase amounts have arrogated to themselves the position of determining the "Mission of the School," and the BoG members have become willing accomplices in the whole charade. Vision of the Anointed indeed. And, I suppose, like the liberal elites Sowell takes to task, if you are considered an inconvenient human being (i.e., you happen to disagree or register a concern)-- we don't listen, we just get rid of you.
In lieu of flowers, please send your donations to the "AMSL Faculty Emergency Relief Fund."
Syd Barrett died. May he rest in peace. I once spent an afternoon in a bookshop on Charing Cross Road reading a biography of him. Interesting, troubled cat. I also spent a few nights in college staying up listening to the Pink Floyd oeuvre. And, I just met a girl named Emily, so I'm gonna go see Emily play.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Charlie Rice was fond of bringing up a point in his Jurisprudence class that there are no "victimless" crimes. The discussion did not advocate proscribing every vice or prescribing every virtue, but addressed the great mystery of free will, human acts and the natural law. Basically, the argument went that every act (by "act" I mean either "positive act" or "omission") one does--even if in private--has an effect on the greater community. If one chooses to sin, first and foremost, it offends God. Secondly, a so-called private sin or "victimless" crime has an effect on the community in that the community is deprived of a virtuous citizen. Likewise, in this analysis, one not only has to take into account the harm caused to the political community, but also the family and the ecclesial communities, as well as any other group to which the individual is attached. Of course, this holds for all sin or crimes--not just the ones done privately. But it is important to point out the private ones, because we don't often think that we are hurting anyone when this is clearly not the case. This is why sin is so evil. There is a ripple effect that encompasses much more than one would envision when choosing to do a particular act. This is something that is very difficult to convey to the nonbeliever. Heck, nowadays it seems that this is difficult to convey to the believer!
Nowhere is this more evident than in the recent priest sexual abuse scandals in the United States. One of the causes suggested is the outright hostility to and the seeking to undermine the authority of the Magisterium of the Church. The effects of the evil perpetrated by these despicable men are too numerous to number here. But suffice it to say, that it has even reached the level of directly touching those often forgotten members of the Church--the Church Suffering (and likely, even the Church Triumphant). Ripple effect indeed! Individual human persons will make their own choices. The priests who committed the actual abuse will reap what they sow--they are responsible.
Nevertheless, one still has to wonder if there was, in the background of all of this, an individual theologian or prelate's private non serviam that proved to make easier all of the subsequent madness.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Today is the first anniversary of the 7/7 London tube bombings. The four bombers killed 52 innocent civilians. Requiem eternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis; requiescant in pace. Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.
In related news, there's a bit of a row over England's Cross of St. George flag. And, I'm out of Fuller's London Pride Pale Ale, as is the local Beer Zoo.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
With that in mind, I ask you to read this article about the stirrings of our most magnanimous Pontiff and the Vatican's "Quest for Reciprocity" from those who, although we choose to ignore their animosity, harbor it notwithstanding. An excerpt:
"Enough now with this turning the other cheek! It's our duty to protect ourselves." Thus spoke Monsignor Velasio De Paolis, secretary of the Vatican's supreme court, referring to Muslims. Explaining his apparent rejection of Jesus' admonition to his followers to "turn the other cheek," De Paolis noted that "The West has had relations with the Arab countries for half a century...and has not been able to get the slightest concession on human rights."
This all reminds me of a sage cleric of the Irish persuasion, whom I met in a darkened booth one Saturday afternoon in San Buenaventura while attending That Anonymous College. I was relating to him my lack of charity in dealing with a certain group of individuals, and my efforts to remedy my pass indiscretions. I told him that no matter how overt my overtures of peace, they seemed intent on displaying acrimony. After hearing my tale he inhaled once, held it for a brief moment, and then said in a thick brogue, "Laddy, sometimes you just got to tell 'em to go to hell." After the form and matter, I said, "Thank you Father." And, he said, "Now go in peace, to love and serve the Lord."
It has taken the shortage of priestly and religious vocations to awaken in us an appreciation of a broadly based shared ministry and a realization that it is in the nature of the Church as the Body of Christ to be endowed with many gifts, ministries and offices. What some refer to as a "vocations crisis" is, rather, one of the many fruits of the Second Vatican Council, a sign of God's deep love for the Church, and an invitation to a more creative and effective ordering of gifts and energy in the Body of Christ. This is a time of great challenge and opportunity in the Church, not least of all because the gifts of the lay faithful have been flourishing in unprecedented numbers and in unforeseen ways.
My Comments: Sadly, that was not a parody.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
It is difficult to fight for someone who is in the grip of evil. It is easy to fight for the unborn child, but it is more difficult to fight for the soul of the abortionist. St. Francis of Assisi had an amazing ability to recognize God's image on earth and, as a result, to fight for the soul of every human person he met. Chesterton probably best captured the essence of the saint:
...[H]e did not see the mob for the men....He only saw the image of God multiplied but never monotonous. To him a man was always a man and did not disappear in a dense crowd any more than in a desert. He honoured all men; that is, he not only loved but respected them all. What gave him his extraordinary personal power was this; that from the Pope to the beggar, from the sultan of Syria in his pavilion to the ragged robbers crawling out of the wood, there was never a man who looked into those brown burning eyes without being certain that Francis Bernardone was really interested in him; in his own inner individual life from the cradle to the grave; that he himself was being valued and taken seriously, and not merely added to the spoils of some social policy or the names in some clerical document.
In taking on those who would destroy God's image on earth (or even the elites in all their forms), we need also to heed the words of Our Lord, to "love [our] enemies." Pray God that we, like St. Francis, value each and every human person.
From a wire service story earlier today.
VAL D'AOSTA, 4 July 2006 [RNN] "I have no time for such foolishness," Pope Benedict XVI responded curtly, when asked by journalists whether he would support the team of his native Germany or that of his adopted Italy in today's World Cup soccer match. "I'll be watching the Tigers and A's on pay-per-view."
The 264th Successor of Peter explained that his somewhat surprising patronage of Detroit's baseball team had its origins in 1964.
"I was a professor at Munster at the time, but gophering at the Council for Josef Frings of Cologne, who had a fair to good change-up and a wicked back-door slider. He clued me in to the Tigers because of the fact that their entire bullpen were righties. My loyalty has never wavered. I still know the '64 line-up by heart: Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Bill Freehan ..."
The former cardinal and theologian joked that his own scholarship was indebted to the American League club. "I did my Habilitationsschrift on Bonaventure, " he reminisced, "a name that means 'good fortune' in Latin. It was criticised for not showing enough influence from the Left. So I dedicated it to Mickey Lolich, who as it happens also wrote the Forward for the Crossroads edition. And he went 18 and 9 that year!"
Pope Benedict declined to speculate on the outcome of today's Tigers-Athletics match-up, but made it clear where his sympathies lie: "Haren's on the mound for Oakland, but Verlander's starting for Detroit. And I like Verlander."
Asked to explain, His Holiness gave a wry smile: "The boy throws a four-seam heater, and I'm a four-seam Pope."
My Comments: Verlander pitched a great game for the Tigers (7 innings, 1 run), but unfortunately, Pope Benedict remains fallible in this area and the Tigers lost 2-1 in 10 innings.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.
--John Adams, in a letter to his wife Abigail regarding the day the Continental Congress voted unanimously for independence. (Although the vote for independence took place on July 2, the vote was not made public until the Declaration of Independence was edited and adopted by Congress on July 4th.)
Sunday, July 02, 2006
"The languor of peacetime suburbia shouldn't become the implicit norm for the prayer of the Church."
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