Friday, April 30, 2010

Personal Aside: There It Goes Again—The USCCB. Obama: “At a Certain Point You’ve Made Enough Money”!

   Feast of  St. Pius V*
                                   1.   The USCCB Pontificates. 
            READERS’ NOTE; This story…as all others in this blog…reflects my personal opinion and not that of any organization with which I am voluntarily affiliated—civic, charitable, political, social and religious. This is stated so as to notify any board or advisory committee  members of such organizations of my independent status as a journalist and my right of free speech… in case they are contacted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago urging them to silence me…as was attempted last month.   For further information see U.S. Constitution’s 1st amendment written by James Madison and adopted December 15, 1791.       _______________________________________________________   
        Catholics across the nation were surprised to read from a global news service yesterday reported that all of them are on board opposing the just-signed Arizona immigration law because it is “draconian.”  Here goes, from AFP news service, a world-wide news dissemination agency formed recently by The Washington Post and Bloomberg News:  
        “The U. S. Catholic Church on Tuesday condemned Arizona’s `draconian’ law, saying it would alienate immigrant communities across the United States.  `This new law, although limited to the state of Arizona, could have impact throughout the nation in terms of how members of our immigrant communities are both perceived and treated,’ Bishop John Wester said in a statement issued on behalf of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  
        Wester of the bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah. He was named bishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007.  He is chairman of the USCCB’s Migration Committee.  He made his statement at the USCCB headquarters in Washington, D. C. 
         I’m indebted for this bulletin  to Blithe Spirit the brilliantly written and annotated Internet newsletter written by James Bowman, former religion editor of the old Chicago Daily News.  As Bowman notes caustically: “Time was when `the Church’ was the pope and the bishops, neither of which has pontificated on the Arizona law, to use a familiar verb.”  
        The AFP story is riddled with inaccuracies concerning the law. It says “The law signed by Arizona’s Republican governor Jan Brewer on Friday allows police in the southwestern state that shares a border with Mexico to question and detain anyone they believe may be an illegal immigrant, even if they are not suspected of committing a crime.” 
          That is so maliciously untrue, it reeks of journalistic malpractice. In contrast the law “requires police officers who, in the course of a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action, come to a “reasonable suspicion” that a person is an illegal alien, verify the person’s immigration status with the federal government.”  
         The above language comes from the legal expert who consulted on the law as it was being written—Dr. Kris W. Kobach   professor of law at the University of Missouri at Kansas City who was Attorney General John Ashcroft’s chief adviser on immigration law and border security from 2001 to 2003 in an article yesterday appearing in The New York Times. 
        The AFP news dispatch continues: “It would also require anyone in the state to show a document proving their legal status, like a `green card’ permanent residency document or passport.”  
         Dr. Kobach in The New York Times“It is true that the Arizona law makes it a misdemeanor for an alien to carry certain documents…But since 1940 it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them.  The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime.  Moreover, as anyone who has traveled abroad knows, other nations have similar requirements.”  
        AFP dispatch: “The law could lead to profiling, wrongful arrests and `the division of families—parents from children and husbands from wives,’ the statement said.  
         Dr. Kobach in The New York Times: “Actually, Section 2 provides that a law enforcement official `may not solely consider race, color or national origin’ in making any stops or determining immigration status. IN addition all normal 4th amendment protections against profiling will continue to apply.  In fact, the Arizona law actually reduces the likelihood of race-based harassment by compelling police officers to contact the federal government as soon as is practicable when they suspect a person is an illegal alien, as opposed to letting them make arrests on their own assessment.”  
        AFP dispatch: “`The U. S. Catholic bishops stand in solidarity with the bishops of Arizona in opposing this draconian law’ the statement said. `We renew our call for the administration and Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to enact comprehensive immigration legislation as soon as possible.’  Homeland security chief Janet Napolitano said earlier Tuesday at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Justice Department was reviewing the constitutionality of the new law.” 
         Dr. Kobach in The New York Times: “While it is true that Washington holds primary authority in immigration, the Supreme Court since 1976 has recognized that states may enact laws to discourage illegal immigration without being pre-empted by federal law. As long as Congress hasn’t expressly forbidden the state law in question, the statute doesn’t conflict with federal law and Congress has not displaced all state laws from the field, it is permitted. That’s why Arizona’s 2007 law making it illegal to knowingly employ unauthorized aliens was sustained by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. 
         “In sum, the Arizona law hardly creates a police state…And it’s very necessary: Arizona is ground zero of illegal immigration. Phoenix is the hub of human smuggling and the kidnapping capital of America with more than 240 incidents reported in 2008. It’s no surprise that Arizona’s police associations favored the bill along with 70% of Arizonans.” 
           Note: It has been generally asserted that the  failure of the Obama administration and the Congress to enact immigration legislation has made necessary the passage of legislation by Arizona. But in fact is new federal legislation needed? 
           Dr. Kobach in The New York Times: “President Obama and the Beltway crowd feel these problems can be taken care of with `comprehensive immigration reform’—meaning amnesty and a few other new laws. But we already have plenty of federal immigration laws on the books and the typical illegal alien is guilty of breaking many of them.  What we need is for the executive branch to enforce the laws we already have. 
           “Unfortunately the Obama administration has scaled back work-site enforcement and otherwise shown it does not consider immigration laws to be a high priority. Is it any wonder that the Arizona legislature, at the front line of the immigration issue, sees things differently?” 
            Confirming Dr. Kobach, this is what the Associated Press reported last night:  
           “Immigration reform has become the first of President Barack Obama’s major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment.  The president noted that lawmakers may lack the `appetite’ to take on immigration while many of them are up for reelection and while another big legislative issue—climate change—is already on their plate.                          
          “`I don’t want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn’t solve the problem’ Obama told reporters Wednesday night aboard Air Force One.”
        Just as the USCCB, according to un-contradicted news reports, sought to use the name of the Catholic Church officially  help the Obama administration pass ObamaCare if Hyde language were includedit is now wantonly and partisanly interfering in domestic politics by issuing a statement that wraps electoral aspects of the immigration issue in the folds of social justice where in fact they do not belong.  
           The USCCB is in fact acting to trump much responsible philosophic and theological thought on the social justice issue by ignoring the severe threat to human life and property by loosely guarded Arizona state borders which the federal government has neglected.  The Church has enough problems within itself without allowing a rudderless, body propelled for the most part by unelected and unaccountable staff to push bishops to “endorse” partisan actions under the rubric of social justice.  
           Many Catholics are right to feel helpless when the vehicle that purports to represent its bishops goes careening to the Left without accountability. Or does it have accountability?  At the very least, Catholics on either side of the immigration issue have the right to ask these questions: 
    1. Does the statement in fact represent the views of all the Catholic bishops?  Specifically does it represent the views of the USCCB President, Francis Cardinal George of Chicago?

    1. The vice president of the USCCB, Gerald Kicanas of Tucson,  has called for the bishops to file a lawsuit against or at the very least a legal brief supporting challenges to the Arizona law.  Does this have the sanction of all the Catholic bishops and specifically the USCCB President, Francis Cardinal George?

           Bishop Kicanas was the rector of Mundelein seminary after which he was promoted as auxiliary bishop of Chicago, then bishop of Tucson, Arizona, thenceforth elected as vice president of the USCCB serving under Cardinal George as USCCB president…and stands to become the next president of the USCCB.  
                             2.   Fine, Let’s End Obama’s Pay.
            Every so often one detects a disagreeable whiff of liberal fascism coming from Barack Obama.  You recall the first episode, outside Toledo, Ohio in a 16-minute discussion with Joe Wurzelbacher (Joe the Plumber) on October 16. 2008.   Here are Obama’s concluding remarks: 
           “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” 
           Oh is it now?  And who would be spreading  the wealth around? Obviously, the redistribution would be via the federal tax program i.e.  the government.  This is liberal fascism. Fascism…Mussolini’s brand in Italy…did not come from the Right but from the Left—so much so that a man I interviewed when I was teaching at the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, Rexford Guy Tugwell, an original Roosevelt brain-truster, went to Italy personally as undersecretary of agriculture to interview Mussolini personally on Il Duce’s views concerning agriculture but more importantly his enactment of an organism similar to what ultimately became the NRA under the New Deal.  
         Now we get another whiff of liberal fascism. Obama’s speech two days ago directed at Wall Street.   
        “…We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned.  I MEAN, I DO THINK THAT AT A CERTAIN POINT YOU’VE MADE ENOUGH MONEY.”

        If that isn’t a clear enunciation of fascism, I have never heard it from a president of the United States. Not Roosevelt nor Truman nor Kennedy or Johnson, Carter or Clinton. It’s frightening…especially coming from someone who is the farthest left of our presidents—remembering that fascism sprang in all its modest from the Left, not right.  
          *: St. Pius V [1504-1572]. This Dominican friar, bishop and Pope was one of the most important popes of the Counter-Reformation although his reign lasted only 6 years.  His name was Michael Ghislieri, born at Bosco, Italy who became a Dominican at age 14 at the priory of Voghera. A brilliant theological mind, after his ordination  he taught philosophy and theology for 16 years after which he held the offices of master of novices and prior. His reforming zeal led him to be named Commissary General of the Inquisition in 1551 and after service as bishop of Nepi and Sutri, became Inquisitor General and Cardinal.  Ah, you say: Inquisitor General! 
         Let me share with you what I was taught about the Inquisition during my 4 years with Ernie. You have to cast yourself back to the Middle Ages. It was a special court appointed by the Church to discover and suppress heresy and to punish heretics. 
      The Roman Inquisition arose during the ravages of the anti-social Albigensian sect whose doctrines were destructive not just of faith but Christian morality—teaching that this world existed for all time and will so exist: nullifying the creation…and teaching also that the world is run by a godlike duality—one good, one evil and that because Christ died on the cross He could not have been good.  This kind of nonsense swept the then known Christian world. 
        The power to end this heresy had to be done by force, thought the Medievalists, not just by papal condemnation. Ah but what is not understood about the Inquisition was that it existed to condemn heresy and remonstrate with the heretics to give it up. Many did but those who relapsed went out of Church control.   
         Church and state were one in those times, you recall—and so it was the State which exerted punishment.  Obviously, as Ernie said, the human condition is such that the ecclesial authorities knew full well some of the cruelties inflicted by the state…and as such the ecclesial authorities shared the sin when punishments grew severe and cruel. 
      There is no doubt that Ferdinand and Isabella usurped their authority and often took it out on such Jews who had become Christian (and here many of their “conversions” were in doubt, exerted by force in many cases).  But we are digressing, getting farther and farther from Pius V so we will resume.  I take it, at least I pray to God, he didn’t abuse anybody but pursued a course of reason and reconciliation. Oh well… 
           Ghislieri had the guts to challenge the fiery Paul IV for laxity and nepotism  but just when it looked as though he might pay the price, Paul died (Deo Gratias)  to be succeeded by Ghislieri’s friend Pius IV who looked with great favor on his reformism. The death of Pius IV led to the election of Ghislieri as Pius V.  Immediately he instituted such reforms as these: great gifts of money were always given to new pontiffs: Pius gave these funds to hospitals and charities. One thing that makes Pius a favorite of mine is that he cracked down on the lazy, incompetent and often corrupt Curia.  You remember when they asked John XXIII how many worked at the Vatican and he answered: “Oh, about half!” That was the kind of guy Pius V was.   
           More: He reformed the Breviary and scotched many of the impractical legends that grew up about saints…He had a spanking new catechism published and spread it through the then civilized world so people could understand the Faith…He issued a papal bull that insisted that the powers of the Church not be subsumed by temporal rulers which made him very unpopular and put his life in danger…He tried to reconcile England’s Queen Elizabeth I but at the end said the hell with it and excommunicated the old girl which absolved her subjects from loyalty to her…and if you didn’t think that got the old girl mad…man! Finally he was a kind of master naval and military strategist. Opposing the penetration of the Turks into Europe, he rolled up his sleeves and participated in a military strategy with generals and admirals that led to the brilliant victory atLepanto where the fleet of papal, Spanish and Venetian ships under Don John of Austria decisively defeated the Turks—marking the high point of the papacy’s successful route of Islam.   
                 God how we need a man like that today. Let us pray we find him—either in the papacy or in civil government.

                Now the hour being 11:35 pm Thursday, enough and off to bed.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Personal Aside: WTTW Lends Itself as Ring-Bearer for Deb Mell’s Lesbian Marriage…More.

  Feast of St. Catherine of Siena*
                                          Enthusiast of the Left.
         If in the future WTTW wonders how it finally lost its middle class donors…if it ever does…it might scroll the video tape back to the tender night of last Tuesday…wherein a deeply affected Carol Marin introduced two lesbian lovers to all of us in Chicagoland…trumpeted for them the announcement of their forthcoming marriage…had them show their rings for the camera…and initiated a not-so-subtle lobbying campaign for Illinois to pass same-sex marriage.    
       One of the lesbians, State Rep. Debbie Mell, who seemed always on verge of lip-biting to prevent tears, is the daughter of the ebullient wart-hog-sensitive Alderman Dick Mell who runs major northwest side tentacles of The Squid.   
       Chances are great that if it had not been for Ms. Marin, the announcement would not have been made under the auspices of the public television station, a portion of whose budget has been, and…they pray to the secular gods of liberaldom…may it always continue…paid with taxpayer money. Marin wrote her Sun-Pravdacolumn for Wednesday promo’ing it as well. She embodies the word enthusiast. With that flaccid management, her persuasiveness is great indeed, combining as it does the high intellectual octane of Jane Fonda and the resoluteness of Mother Bloor [1862-1951].  
       The legislature has always served as a pretty important source of `TTW funding, kicking in bucks where other state social programs go without because the one hand washes the other: `TTW pushes the liberal Dem agenda, the liberal Dem legislature and its media acolytes get on the tube and down comes the money. You get the idea. 
         So does Ms. Marin.  A vehemently dissenting  Catholic, she is `way, `way outside the pale lefty type: supporter of abortion rights, contraception, endorser of public monies for both etc. Yes, the more I think it: the right word to describe her is enthusiast.  
       An almost age 60 latter day college girl enthusiast for anything Left,   Enthusiast Marin shamelessly inveigled the pusillanimous, weak-reed corporate leadership of `TTW to do her bidding on this advocacy show in which no contradictory argument was recognized.  
          That her same-sex marriage advocacy is a distinct rebuke to 5,000 years of Judeo Christian teaching on sexual and conjugal ethics is of no concern to her because, frankly, she is uninterested in anything which is not the whim of the here and now.  Neither she nor her station know nor care about the sensibilities of those viewers who regard the moral laws of God as unchangeable and universal, nor do they care a fig for those who believe moral laws of God are essential to the honor and adoration we owe Him as the origin and destiny of our existence.  
         Marriage is a sacrament to millions of Judeo-Christians, existing under the Old Law since Adam and Eve and under the New Law through Christ who, before His Ascension, established it as a state of life pleasing to God.  Married life has been regarded for 5,000 years as the starting point of a family.  Into the family, human society’s new citizens are born to provide for the perpetuation of the human race throughout the ages. 
       All of which is boring to Ms. Marin and `TTW if they think about this at all.  TV demographics depend upon the upsy-daisy mores of young barbarians who think it cool to thumb-nose God. So Marin and `TTW push their own concept of marriage as being between two humans…at least two humans up to this point… who just kinda, sorta wanna squat together in the same housing.  And understand if you don’t share her and WTTW’s views you’re wallowing in the evil of…god how do I say it?...homophobia.  
         You won’t find homophobia listed in either Old or New Testaments but let me tell you under the new code book of moral relativism it definitely is.  The usual way relativists exploit criticism of sin is by attempting to use John 8:1-11 and stopping short just before Christ hammers the lesson home.  He defends the woman taken in adultery and His immortal rebuke to the crowd getting ready to stone her: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!” That seeming indulgence suits the Marin-`TTW crowd to a “t”—for toleration.  
       …But they leave it there…neglecting the real punch-line which is delivered by The Master after the crowd dwindles shamefacedly.   
         That is His sentence directed to the adulteress herself: “…Now go and sin no more.”  
         They never do get around to understanding that lesson, do they?    
          No, sorry: There is no point in remonstrating with Ms. Marin or her station about equal time for marriage between one man and one woman . They frankly seek viewers who like themselves cannot distinguish absolute moral good from moral evil. 
          So just remember this. Get a coalition started to be in readiness when the next `TTW fund-raiser comes `round.  
        That’s when the solicitation airwaves will be filled with the total traditional…replays of the late Lawrence Welk where traditional family life was glorified…or re-do’s of Peter, Paul & Mary where the trio’s goal was peace toward all.   
          That’s when your campaign should get going. Stressing to all that just when they feel soft, tender-hearted and magnanimous, that `TTW has become an  articulate instrument of the Left and the culture—for which the enthusiast Marin has become its leading advocate.  
         Give `em a buck and you’ll be rewarded by more Marin-gay marriage promo’d telecasts along with other exotic formulae of the Left… all sponsored by “viewers like you.”  
                  Kirk to Skip Palin Rally. Touche.  Pat Hughes is—What? 
                                           Kirk Touche.  
          Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) who sought passionately to get former Veep candidate Sarah Palin to endorse him when he had a primary opponent…and who was turned down…is now turning down the opportunity to be part of the Palin Illinois rally.  O.k.  Nothing wrong with that.  
                                           Hughes Wha?  
        Patrick Hughes who ran against Mark Kirk in the February 2 primary enthusiastically plumped for him the other day and now has been actively stumping for Kirk.  See the difference? 
        This is what turns people against politics. Not that Hughes supports Kirk but that he didn’t ask any advice from his contributors and supporters…one of whom was me ($1,000)…before he jumped on the everybody support Kirk pig pile…hoping to eventually get Kirk support when as expected Hughes wants to run against Judy Biggert in 2012 (Kirk support him? A  fantasy).  
         The usual route is that in a primary that bitter and personal as Hughes legitimately waged, the defeated candidate meets with his supporters and determines what to do next.  Nine out of 10 probably would have told him to support Kirk…but not go up to the front of the church and pass the plate.  But Hughes clearly wants to run for office again and so wants to make amends. 
        Again: nothing wrong with that—but when he gets a bit older and wiser he will shuck that 40-year-old cock-sure entrepreneur’s attitude of doing it all himself for himself…by himself…talking to no one but himself… and consult with those who thought enough of him to pitch in initially in what all of us knew would be a near hopeless race…for which we were plugging our dough down a rat-hole.  We all knew it but thought the point of having an opponent to Kirk’s pro-abort pro-gay rights position was right then. 
          That was more important  than Hughes’ precious ambition to go to Congress to satisfy his own ego needs. 
        There were issues involved, m’friend—not you’re self-promotion.  
      .  Let me tell you Hughes has a whole lot to learn about politics—and right now he has barely made it past kindergarten.  
        And if he thinks I’ll support him again, he has another think coming. 
    *: St. Catherine of Siena [1333-1380]. One unlikely to be swayed by the pomp of clerical power, swinging incense burners and the idea that you don’t give tough-minded advice to bishops and the Vicar of Christ himself when you think they’re in the wrong.  She was born the youngest of 20 (is that possible? Yes it is!) children of a Sienese dyer, Giacomo Benincasa. Siena is near Tuscany in central Italy.  
     She refused to consider marriage and became instead a Dominican tertiary. After some years of solitude, she began to serve as a nurse in a hospital…following which she embarked on tours of conversion, surrounding herself with a group of disciples inflamed by her eloquence: Dominicans, Augustinians. 
          Believe it or not she was a prolific writer though she never learned to write—dictating her thoughts to a secretary.  In all 383 letters dictated by her are masterpieces of expressed sanctity.  In the last five years of her life she became involved with the politics of church and state which embroiled Christendom of the time.  Mustering phenomenal courage she approached Gregory XI and told him bluntly to return to Rome from Avignon, concerned that his curia was too much dominated by French interests. She was the decisive force that brought the papacy home to Rome. 
          She died in Rome. Her home survives at Siena, Italy where her head is also kept but her body lies at S. Maria sopra Minerva at Rome.  She was canonized in 1461 by Pius II; she was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1970.  Her portrait is usually shown as a woman in Dominican habit holding a heart and a book—and wearing a crown of thorns.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Personal Aside: Raising Arizona—Anatomy of a Hysterical Liberal Reaction to a Carefully Crafted Law…More.

   Feast of  St. Paul of the Cross.* 
                       The Greenhouse Effect.  
           Liberals don’t want to pass an immigration law: they want to exploit the situation in Arizona so as to rev up their base for 2010 and beyond. Under the demagogic leadership of The Great One, the Harvard lawyer whose papers are held in security from readers to see, all they need is to let Him do an angry standup read …and send Looie the Weasel (Rep. Luis Gutierrez) and Al the Sharp One (Al Sharpton) out to fire up the base for 2010.  But of course liberal journalists are weighing in with excited responses. Yet there was one systemic failure from a prime liberal yesterday. 
            Thus for sheer incompetence, I give you the famed Greenhouse Effect, the analysis of dire consequences by the lefty who covered the Supreme Court for 30 years for The Times. Writing angrily in The Times on the Arizona law yesterday, she pontificated that Arizona fascists have passed a law curtailing “a new crime”— 
           “…a new crime of BREATHING WHILE UNDOCUMENTED”! 
          But guess what?  Although she is…ahem…Senior Research Scholar in Law, Knight Distinguished Journalist in Residence and Joseph Goldstein Lecturer in Law at…where else?...Yale Law School, she made a rookie journalist mistake by getting hold of and commenting on an outdated copy of the law!  Gulling a paper to print a welter of inaccuracies based on the outdated law would get a cub reporter bounced.  If there were any justice equally meted out, it should nullify anything Greenhouse writes from now on.  But of course it won’t.   
          Here’s the story of her journalistic hit-and-run.   
          When you go to the bill’s webpage you see “bill versions.” There are three different versions…(a) as introduced,  (b) Senate engrossed and (c) House engrossed.  The House engrossed version was the one actually signed by the governor.   Which means that the fire-breathing Linda had her paper fulminating in error.The Times meekly came across with an apology and correction late yesterday.   
          The following didn’t make the error. They just blew their tops anyhow to excite the base. These include… 
             Barack Obama (“misguided and threatens to undermind basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans”)… 
         …E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post (“shameful!”)… 
        … the tag-along lip synch and newly coined lefty David Brooks of The New York Times (“Terrible&hellipan invitation to abuse”) and 
         … the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Cynthia Tucker (“hearkens back to apartheid”).
          Actually, the bill is well-crafted and definitely needed for many reasons. 
           These include the current tsunami of illegals and drug pushers streaming past the Arizona border and the failure to enforce its borders by a timid Obama administration as well as the failure of the Homeland Security department and Dem congress…some Republicans included…to act because of paralytic fear they will alienate the Hispanic vote—including building a
fence that would take care of most of the problem.   
           But let’s be clear: no one…utterly no one…goofed with more pathetic intensity than the woman who has been over-educated and hyper-praised far more than her meager intelligence warrants—Linda Greenhouse. 
          If officers stop a person for some legitimate reason and suspect that he or she might be in the U. S. illegally, they are required to check with federal authorities on his/her immigration status.  What’s so terrible about that?    
      The heart of the law is this: “For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or law enforcement agency&hellip where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made when practicable to deteremine the immigration status of the person&hellip.”  Hellip means group.    
       Liberals have zeroed in on “reasonable suspicion” saying the law would give cops the power to pick anyone out of a crowd at random and force them to prove they are in the U. S. legally which might force wholesale deportations of Hispanics.  But they don’t understand the phrase “lawful contact.”   How would it work?  Kris Kobach, a law professor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, who guided its language told The Washington Examiner: 
         “The most likely contact where this law would come into play is a traffic stop.  Arizona already has a state law on human smuggling.  An officer stops a group of people in a car that is speeding. The car is overloaded. Nobody has identification. The driver acts evasively. They are on a known smuggling corridor. Under the new law, the officer would get in touch with the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check on their status.” 
           But what if the driver has shown the cop his driver’s license?  The law says that if someone produces a valid Arizona driver’s license or other state-issued identification he/she are presumed to be here legally. There is no reasonable suspicion.    
           Now I ask you: What’s so unreasonable or fascistic or Nazi-like about that?  Only to liberal Democrats who want to excite their base…or to Linda Greenhouse who doesn’t have the latest copy of the law. 
                                Loyal Dems to the Last.
           You really have to hand it to Capitol Fax.  Loyal-loyal-loyal yellowdog Democrat-Lefties to the end. Here you have Alexi Giannoulias with a raft of scandals including his own ineptitude as state treasurer in handling Bright Star…but he will usually have a defender…sometimes grudging to be sure…in this most prestigious of the state’s…ahem…objective daily news bulletins—one, I admit, which is virtually indispensable—on state politics and governance.   
          But even CF pointed out yesterday that old Soulful Eyes Quinn, all a-twitter about Bill Brady’s not distributing copies of his tax form to all the reporters (necessitating that the poor dears had to copy stuff by hand—ugh!), forgot that he did the same thing when he released his.  
         Still, on the big issues…pro-tax hike…tell us where to cut the budget `cause it’s all muscle, no fat, no bull…CF can be counted upon as a loyal Dem partrner. Fighting against those who want Alexi out, CF insists the treasurer will stick-stick-stick to the end (I personally hope so because I want to elect Brady).  Then it turns favorably to Kristin McQueary the always liberal-predictable pundit working for…where else?...the Southtown Star, in the Sun-Pravda firmament.  
        “Are voters ready for him?” she wrote the other day. As if to tell us they are not.  
        Just check the polls, m’dear McQueary.  
          Now…am I GOP predictable? What—you don’t remember all the times I beat up on Big Jimbo?  Jim Edgar? Mark Kirk?  And…in the recent past…Brady?  
      Still, he’s inestimably better than Quinn who can’t even govern when he has a full-legislature of his party: the height of ineptitude.  
       *: St. Paul of the Cross [1694-1775]. St. Paul of the Cross in Park Ridge is our weekday parish, named after the founder of the Barefooted Clerks of the Holy Cross and Passion—the official name of the Passionist Order. He was born Paul Francis Danei, at Oveda, near Genoa, Italy the eldest son of an impoverished businessman of noble lineage.  Born up devoutly, he refused the prospect of a lucrative marriage.  After serving a year as a volunteer in the Venetian army fighting the Turks he spent several years in prayer and contemplation before he decided to form a new congregation which received papal approval. 
       With his brother John Baptist, who was ordained with Paul at Saint Peter’s by Benedict XIII, he started a movement that led to 140 monasteries and a few convents. Both brothers worked together from their very first congregation at Monte Argentaro which was designed to focus on the passion of Christ which was to be communicated to Catholics through mission work in the parishes. So outstanding was their work in conversions and with the seriously ill and dying, that the Order found itself in great demand throughout Italy.  Paul had a great goal—to reconvert England: never recognized but which carried him through many years of ill-health. He died at the age of 80 and his canonization was effected in 1829.  
       St. Paul of the Cross church in Park Ridge began as an offshoot of Immaculate Conception parish in the Norwood Park section of Chicago which is Passionist. As a kid I well remember one of the most colorful pastors in the archdiocese, Msgr.  Francis Mary Smith who led the parish for 34 years and was a model of voluntary poverty. I remember him for three major reasons.  First, he had the worst toupee a man could ever find which every so often would slide down over his forehead where it remained until it would cruise down his nose whereupon he would push it upward. Second, on a very-very hot morning in July in the mid-`40s  I found myself sitting directly behind him on a Chicago Surface Lines bus.   
       He was reading his breviary which was so tattered and weak in its binding that he struggled to keep its pages together with his right thumb. Buses then had no air conditioning and the lady directly ahead of him, pulled open a sliding window to get some air…precisely at the time when Msgr. Smith had raised his thumb to his lips to wet it so he could turn a page.  About half the contents of the breviary flew around the bus and all the way down to Milwaukee and Foster occupants were picking up the pages and giving them to the Monsignor who worked diligently putting them in numerical order.  When I departed the bus he was still working diligently. Someone whispered to me, “don’t you think he can afford a new prayer book?” Answer: Yes. But the Monsignor was as tight as a tick. 
        Third, when he came on as the pastor St. Paul of the Cross was a little ramshackle shed of a church seating 340 built in the `20s.  He kept it that way and for decades people stood up in the back and in triple echelon to hear Mass.  Eventually Samuel Cardinal Stritch called him in and said, “You have enough parishioners in Park Ridge who are fairly wealthy. Why have you been so reluctant to build a new church?”  Msgr. Smith alluded to his own reputation of being tight as a tick but then said: “Well, Eminence, if you look around, whenever a pastor builds a new church, shortly afterward he dies.”  
       Cardinal Stritch was not particularly moved by this and said: “Francis, if that’s what’s been holding you back, understand this: We all must die. Now I urge you in collegial terms to get on and about the job of building your congregation a new church.”  This Msgr. Smith did—the cornerstone laid by Cardinal Stritch in 1953.  
        And sure enough a few years later, Msgr. Smith died. I believe that as he lay upon his death bed in Park Ridge he firmly believed that if he had stuck to that little frame church he’d be with us even today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Personal Aside: Did You Hear the One About the Jewish Merchant?...Thoughts While Shaving.

     Feast of St. Peter Canisius*
             Obama’s National Security Advisor’s Belly Laugh. 
              Speaking at a meeting of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy the other day, President Obama’s national security director, Marine Gen. James Jones [Ret] started off with this joke…this from the top White House official who has been putting maximum leverage on Israel to cave in to Palestinian demands…even when they are not warranted such as halting housing construction in east Jerusalem which has never been included in discussions before—under the so-called “even handedness” policy which always forces Israel to concede while the Palestinians frown and say no. 
              Seems there was a Taliban fighter who was lost in the Afghanistan desert and stumbled upon a small store owned by a man Jones described as “a Jewish merchant.”   
              Jones: “…and the Taliban warrior went up to him and said `I need water, give me some water!’  And the merchant said `I’m sorry, I don’t have any water but would you like to buy a tie?  We have a nice sale on ties today!’ 
             “At this point, the Taliban fighter launched into a stream of language that I can’t repeat about Israel, about Jewish people, about the man himself, about his family, he was just saying `I need water! You try to sell me ties!. You people don’t get it!’ 
            “The Jewish merchant said, `well, I’m sorry that I don’t have water for you and I forgive you for all of the insults that you’ve levied against me, my family, my country. But I will help you out. If you go over that hill and walk about two miles there’s a restaurant there and they have all the water you’ll need. 
              “The fighter walked away but returned an hour later and said, `Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.”  
                Ideal story for the top national security guy in the country to tell about our nation’s only major ally in the Middle East, right?  
                If that gaffe…or supposed gaffe…was told by a Republican policy-maker you’d have The New York Times and multi-media at the guy’s throat.  While it was apologized for by Jones would it likely cause a rupture with the nation’s Jewish community leading to a fall-off of votes for Obama in 2012?  It only collected a rebuff from Abraham Foxman before Jones slapped his own wrist for being impolite. 
               Nary a ripple will be made in public discourse because as Norman Podhoretz says in his book Why are Jews Liberals? Jews have largely forgotten their religion…scrapping Torah I which was the old observance ritual for Torah II.   Torah II is what most modern Jews have decided to embrace, substituting for religious precepts, the doctrine of modern secular liberalism as their creed—meaning excessive liberalness in all things including foreign policy and the disdaining of Israel which they see as embarrassingly archaic and provincial.  
               Jews, observant or non-,  are a small voting bloc by the numbers—but significant by means of stature, power and influence. Observant Jews a tiny miniscule, have been tending to lean Republican anyhow—but big Jewish donors, entrepreneurs, the Hollywood types et al …the people Rahm Emanual rounds up…are Torah IIfollowing a largely pro-Muslim, pro-Palestinian ultra-pragmatic credo... presided over by Barack Hussein Obama.  
                                        Thoughts While Shaving… 
                                      A Fence that Works, Dammit!  
              I still don’t get it about the Arizona immigration mess. Secretary Napolitano uses typical liberal demagoguery by saying that she has thrown all available resources at the problem.  Just like liberals: that isn’t remotely the answer. They talk about resources expended—not the solution.  
            The answer is a fence.  For some reason, liberals cannot conceive of a fence. But a fence works. Placed in Arizona and effectively watched it would slow the floodtide of illegal immigrants to a trickle.  
             Liberal hope is that the chaos will lead to a federal law that will legalize amnesty.  It can’t pass.  The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is a fence. Why can’t you get it?     
                               Blago’s Get Even Strategy with Obama. 
            So the redactions on the original Fed bill of particulars against Obama have themselves been redacted and now we know just what the Feds have on Obama. Blago’s trainer…Sam Adams, Jr….not unlike Burgess Meredith in Rocky…is teaching his student to break all the usual bromides.  Hence Blago is demanding that Obama testify. 
              The prevailing thought is that Obama can avoid testifying. I cannot see how.  He is front and center making certain protestations of innocence regarding Tony Rezko and the evidence that the Feds have show a direct contradiction.  
               How can Obama evade testifying?  Because he’s president and he can get his Justice Department to make these unpleasant blemishes go away? Bill Clinton was president when the Paula Jones matter came up. He had a Justice Department too but ended up having to testify.  
                            The Bitterness of the Media with Blago… 
            …is at a higher pitch than it ever was with George Ryan. Why?  There’s no doubt Blago is a crook and weasel…but so was/is Ryan. Why the excessive bitterness toward Blago? 
             Because Blago has shown the guts to want to bring down the media’s favorite, Obama, in Blago’s defense of himself.  
             You threaten media’s darling, Obama, and you’ll pay and pay and pay.  
      *: St. Peter Canisius [1521-97].  He was a Jesuit priest, writer and educator. Born at Nijmegen, Holland with a father who was tutor to the sons of nobility, Peter was educated at Cologne University and at Louvain where he studied canon law.  Rejecting a career in the law and also marriage which his father had arranged for him, he took a retreat at Mainz and decided to join the Society of Jesus.  After ordination he became a prominent teacher and writer and attended two sessions of the Council of Trent. 
        Against his scholarly will, he was sent to do the task of reform at Vienna where there were many parishes without clergy, no ordinations for 20 years, monasteries that stood deserted and general abandonment by the populace of religious practices. The king and papal nuncio both wanted him to become archbishop but he rejected it in favor of being a temporary administrator, turning thumbs down on even being a bishop. There he wrote what became a famous catechism which in some ways seemed the Catholic equivalent of Luther’s work. He lived at Augsburg from 1559 to 1565 writing, speaking, publishing for those lapsed from religion—converting Protestants and encouraging Catholics. 
         He took a leading role in founding the University of Fribourg while at the same time serving as provincial for a new Jesuit province for Austria, Bavaria and Bohemia.  Residing at Prague he founded a university there which became famous for its high academic and religious standards. He is generally reckoned the principal theologian for his generation in central Europe to whom much of the success of the Counter-Reformation is due.  He died of a stroke but it was not until 1925 that he was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church.                       

Monday, April 26, 2010

Personal Aside: Bill Brady’s Economic Troubles Make Him Typical Joe Citizen…Mark Brown: Stuck on Stupid. More.

     Feast of Saints Cletus and Marcellinus*   
                     Economic Bath Makes Brady Joe Citizen.
           Republican gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady’s financial losses meant that he has been spared from paying federal or state income taxes as was legally justified for a realtor who suffered huge losses during the recession should be a plus for him.  In other words you only pay taxes on profits…not losses. 
      To put it baldly…in an ugly-stated truism from the 1930s: You can’t take pants off a bare ass.  Thus he is the perfect embodiment of Illinois citizen who has been demanding curtailment of state spending.   His 2008 income was negative…as in loss…$116,679.  
       And if Old Watery Eyes Quinn condemns Quinn using his favorite cliché  talk of not helping everyday working ordinary citizens in the Land of Lincoln carry the load that the people’s government needs to expect to hear from Brady was eaking out his work in the private sector, not principally in the public which Quinn, festooned with a mansion, limo, driver and countless aides does.  
       Simply put so that Simple Quinn can understand it: The average everyday member of working, ordinary and regular families don’t have those luxuries in this Land of Lincoln either, Pat so dry your eyes, lower them from their upraised  hypocritical pleading to the heavens and remember that you got where you are as the consort of a crook who got you into power…and about whom you had little bad to say until the heat got on… and who on leaving legateed you with these comforts.
                               Mark Brown: Stuck on Stupid. 
           Mark Brown is known as Big Stoop because of his huge height. But time after time in his Sun-Times column he comes out as Big Stoop-id. To find a cogent answer to one of the dumbest…and most incorrigibly liberal…columnists go to The Chicago Daily Observer at and read John Powers’ Econ. 101 lesson he gives to The Sun-Times’ Brown who asks the vacuous question…pursued by most of his ilk who can’t read without moving their lips: 
                    “Why gripe about taxes when you don’t pay any?” 
         Brown gets a true answer from Powers, a co-inventor of PayPal who at last count has had 16 profitable businesses operating in the last 15 years. And Powers writes so simply than even Brown should understand it. Well should.  
          Or—all he would have to do is to dial up his colleague Terry Savage and listen.  
       Brown adds this comment: “I don’t think I’ll be alone in believing there’s something unfair about a rich guy who also draws a nice government salary but doesn’t pay any income taxes.”  
           With that kind of obtuseness he ought to be writing Pat Quinn’s stuff.  Then again, he probably is. Quinn doesn’t have to pay him, just read his columns…add a few things about regular honest hard working families in this Land of Lincoln and he’s there.  
                    Rahm Emanuel: Not Stuck on Stupid. 
           Rahm Emanuel’s continual suggesting that he is interested in running for mayor of Chicago has been analyzed to death…but it strikes me, people are looking for subtle reasons where the actual is staring us in the face. 
            Some say that Emanuel is serving as a stalking horse…suggesting he is interested in order to make those tepid on Daley say oh God, not that! We prefer Daley over that alternative. Maybe so but I don’t think so. 
             I think that the polls showing Daley’s precipitous popularity decline over issues such as the highly unpopular parking meter deal have been giving evidence to what all-too-many legend curators of the Dem organization refuse to believe: that Daley might and can lose to the right kind of challenger.    Hence Rahm is putting himself up…not as a challenger to Daley…but as an alternative in case a great consortium forms of people who regard Daley as an albatross: as many years ago a consortium regarded Ed Kelly as one.   
              You can count certain people who are interested in Jim Houlihan as a leader as belonging.  I think I know a few of them and they aren’t insubstantial visionary people. Perhaps the media are once again making the mistake they make every mayoral lifetime. 
         They felt Kelly…boss, close to national Democratic power…were insuperable—as they do about every boss including Daley.  But preparing for the Kelly reelection in 1947, Jack Arvey knew better.  Corruption was only one thing: a worse one from the Dems’ standpoint was Kelly’s then very liberal stance in favor of what was known as “open occupancy.”   A poll taken by Arvey showed alarming things.  Corruption was an issue, yes…but heated opposition to neighborhood integration was bubbling up so strongly that Kelly was unpopular even in Irish neighborhoods. Arvey felt Kelly had to go.   
           And so they pressured Kelly out not just with the polls but with the threat that more would come out on corruption that just might send Kelly to jail…even with a Democrat (Harry Truman) in the White House—the alleged offenses being so great as unable to be ignored by any prosecutor.  Kelly acquiesced to being pushed out of the Democratic party slating in favor of Martin Kennelly, a former head of Allied Van Lines who after his retirement was signaled out as leader of dozens of civic drives including the Red Cross.  A bachelor, his personal life was so beatific that every morning after daily Mass he would sit in a convent kitchen and have coffee and rolls with the nuns.  
           Kennelly was elected in 1947 and served two terms. There’s a view among Democrats that he was a very inept mayor. Not so. He was not a machine politician: he allowed Arvey and others to do that. But Kennelly started the Chicago expressways, the Chicago Skyway and launched plans for the building of O’Hare.   But when Kennelly interfered with politics it was so emblazoned with reform as to undermine him.  Especially with the blacks. The blacks under William Dawson had been gnawing at their scabs since Kelly left because a good deal of Kelly’s trouble was that he was an integrationist.   
            When Kennelly passed the order to the cops that they should crack down on the numbers game or policy racket, his name exploded with disfavor in the black community and particularly with the black Congressman who occupied a kind of kingmaker role in the Democratic party: one-legged Rep. William Dawson.  Numbers or policy was an illegal lottery that was diversionary fun in poor neighborhoods involving a complicated scheme to match three or four digits to those randomly drawn the following day. The numbers player would place his bet with a bookie at a tavern, sometimes even a church basement, that would act as a betting parlor. 
           A runner would carry the money and betting slips between the betting parlors and headquarters called a policy bank.  It was a game that excited the poor—and Kennelly showed his elitism and confounding naivete by striking out against it. 
           Dawson vowed as result that he would see to it that Kennelly was denied slating in 1955 —and he was. He ran a three-cornered race between the tough Cook county Democratic chairman and county clerk, Richard J. Daley and Ben Adamowski.  Daley won promising to relinquish his party chairmanship once elected…which promise he ignored after election. 
            In the two tumultuous elections that changed party leadership, the main brunt of the media was always on the inastute side.  The media bet on Kelly overcoming his enemies in 1947  because he had always done so.  The media bet on Kennelly doing the same because he was a reformer—and the media did not have a handle on the importance of policy and numbers to the black community.  The media missed almost completely the defeat of Mike Bilandic to Jane Byrne because in covering the Bilandic reelection it saw only mile-long banquet tables filled with hefty donors and the endorsements of the major newspapers.  The snowfall to the media was little more than a weather story. 
             Likewise the media are in danger of misinterpreting the super-heavy unpopularity of Richard M. Daley’s administration…sticking with the same bromides that it used to nurture themselves that once elected, mayors must always be undefeatable. 
            Note: this is not to say that Daley will be defeated but that the Emanuel “gaffe” of suggesting himself is not a gaffe and is a suggestion that the crown may be insecure on the head of Richard II. 
           *:  Saints Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs [AD 91; AD 304]. Cletus was the 4th successor to Peter who was martyred during the reign of Domitian.  Frankly of him, history knows no more: but a pope who is martyred for the Faith is always canonized—as well he should be.   He was followed by Marcellinus who reigned eight years. 
           Of Marcellinus more is known and a lesson in tolerance and charity must be drawn. The Donatists…those more Catholic than the Church…who insisted that sacraments are only validly dispensed when by those who have never weakened in their sanctity or denied the Church…these people have said that to save his neck during his trial, Pope Marcellinus offered incense to the gods and surrendered certain holy books to his inquisitors—they maintaining that he confessed as much later at the Council of Sinuessa.  Slight technicality: there was never a Council of Sinuessa.  But there still continues the belief in some historian quarters that he yielded a bit under pressure. 
           But if he did…and there’s no actual proof of it (and Augustine vigorously denies it)…his life was crowned by martyrdom which he certainly could have avoided if he had turned traitor.  It seems more than probable that he yielded to a temporary lapse although he expiated it with a holy and courageous death. He is buried in the cemetery of St. Priscilla on the Via Salaria. .

Friday, April 23, 2010

Personal Asides: The 2 Things You Have to Remember about Sneed…Chuck Percy’s Revenge.

     Feast of St. Adalbert*                               
          Sneed, a woman whose name is Michael, writes a gossip column in the Sun-Times. The things you have to remember about her aretwo. One: She has a definite “in” with the U. S. attorney here…and two she has an airy-filled  mind that is so cluttered with important things …who George Clooney was dining with at “M” the stylish Chicago restaurant, what time they left and what they ordered…that it has no room for history.  Every so often this airy space is allowed to escape and you’ll see her make a fool of herself—and it happened yesterday. 
            Her bulletin read: “Yipes! Former GOP veepmate Sarah Palin jokingly referred to the cheering crowd at Washington, Ill. last Saturday as people who “probably cling to your guns and religion”!’ 
          As if this was a badly placed gaffe by Palin.  
        But the Washington, Ill. crowd knew the origin of the reference if Sneed does not.   Anyone with a rudimentary, passing knowledge of the 2008 presidential race knows that Palin was referring to one of the low-points in the Obama campaign where on April 10th,  at a supposedly off-the-record elegant dinner of San Francisco elites who were raising big bucks for him, the statuesque one said: 
           “You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they felt through the Clinton administration and the Bush administration and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are going to regenerate and they have not. 
               That was the genesis of Palin’s reference to people “who probably
    cling to your guns and religion.”  Of course since the copy desk is populated
    largely with ill-educated university liberals just off the intern pool whose
    alpha and omega began with Obama’s election and continues to today,
Sneed would get no help with her gaffe.   Hillary Clinton would win that Pennsylvania Democratic primary by 9 points and this was Obama’s way of preparing an answer. The rubes were stuck on god and guns and not on him.
       It squares with Thomas D. Frank’s analysis of why people in hard-pressed rural areas are conservative. Frank can’t accept that people see religion and gun ownership as legit values. You see it’s the standard liberal line: they have subsumed interest in religion and guns because the poor things have never been acclimated to the comforts of life that San Franciscans have. It’s covered in Frank’s What’s the Matter With
              No, Sneed hasn’t heard of  Thomas Frank either. 
                                        Percy’s Revenge. 
               Chuck Percy was a guy not unlike Mark Kirk.  Both were North
    Shore…Percy the decided disadvantaged one, was born in Florida to an
    unsuccessful car salesman and was reared in Rogers Park and lived
    near the El tracks.  Had an abounding interest in standing well with the
    gentry just a few miles north…Evanston, Winnetka, Wilmette, Kenilworth.   
             And so he adopted the trademarks that were then fashionable in the `40s. Including a tony phony  eastern accent.   He became a self-made
    multimillionaire by conning a Christian Scientist owner of a small factory
    named Bell & Howell who had no kids of his own and adopted Percy as a
    surrogate son.  Percy auditioned for the job at Bell by teaching kids at a
    Christian Science Sunday school as the old guy looked on, beaming. 
              Give him credit, he took over the company and got it involved to the
    hilt in federal contracts for World War II.  Enlisting in the Navy in 1943 he
    was assured his future was secure at Bell & Howell when he returned in `45. 
    It was and he guided it to great economic growth afterward with government
    contracts and impetus to free trade.   
         Most of the CEOs of his time were Harvard Princeton imports and
    spoke not with affectation but legitimately Eastern since they came from
    families from that region.  But Percy was so wary of his hateful poor-boy
    background that he was ill-at-east with average folks--if they were white
    and born with credentials like his.  Give him blacks, Hispanics to
    moon over.  Media loved it. 
              Anything that smacked of old-fashioned values was
    outsky.  It was trendy to be pro-choice so that’s where Percy was.
    With blond hair smoothly coiffed and a developed baritone voice
    he picked up after lessons in projecting run by a radio announcer, he became
    what Time said was the epitome of the well-cultured, sophisticated GOP
    leader of the future.  He had some disadvantages. He was lousy at
    legislating: meaning drawing consensus.  Another: he was by no means a
    political natural.   
           He was made chairman of the 1960 Platform Committee by
    Richard Nixon…was too liberal…made long-winded speeches about destiny
    and made such a botch of it that Nixon had to call Mel Laird
    in and ask him to take over the gavel while Percy prenned for the cameras.  
           Elected to the Senate in 1966 over an aged and faltering Paul Douglas
    who true to his conscience remained one of the few Senate liberals who
    supported winning the war, Percy fudged whether he wanted to win or lose
    by changing the subject and calling for an “All Asian Peace
    Conference.” When he went to the Senate it was clear he would be a show-
    horse, not a work-horse.    
              Dirksen, an original work-horse, despised him and told me so.
    Percy had his eye on another prize: prestige, wealth, honor. It was no
surprise then that he endorsed New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller for president over Nixon in 1968.  Rockefeller did zip but Percy became the
leader of the midwestern wing of the Rockefeller movement and so maneuvered it that the proudest day of his life was when his daughter Sharon married Jay Rockefeller, the governor’s nephew. 
           Percy told me once he thought the most important aspect of his job
as senator was to recommend to the Republican White House people for the
judiciary. And appointee to the Supreme Court can transcend the work of many term-hobbled politicians and presidents. Right he was.
        Then as now the senior Republican choice for judge was usually honored. When Justice William O. Douglas, a radical, retired Percy promoted John Paul Stevens. Stevens by Percy’s reckoning was a natural: a rich man, heir to the old Stevens hotel, a Brahmin.   President Gerald Ford nominated Stevens and that’s what we got today…
              Percy’s revenge…his lifelong struggle to be one of the elites, to shuck his past, to be a statesman…from his elevator shoes to the top of his sandy, slightly turned graying hair. By advocating John Paul Stevens, who today refuses to say whether he is still a Republican, Percy got to force change from the Left. 
            Only trouble is Percy doesn’t know anything about it—and nobody can tell him. He’s committed as an Alzheimer’s patient where he wanders (supervised) through rooms and rooms searching—searching-searching. But all the same, it’s the culmination of revenge…revenge for once being poor, a member of the working class…which he excelled by every measure of standard.  Except one.
             No one ever figured out the real Chuck Percy and what he once was.    
             And that, my friends, is what you have to worry about when you determine to vote for a RINO because…well as the saying goes…the other guy would be so much worse. 
              Really? Worse than Percy?
            St. Adalbert [AD 997].  We skip over the other alternative feast today…that of St. George the dragon-slayer…because I covered him earlier in explaining The Reader article that identified me with The Dragon. St. Adalbert was bishop of Prague, born of a noble family in Bohemia.  The selection of this saint is fitting in view of the times in which we are living. At a very young age he was ordained subdeacon by Bishop Thietmar of Prague.  Two years later Thietmar died. Then an interesting thing happened. In those days congregations elected bishops and the diocese was so appalled by the scruples of Thietmar that they elected Adalbert to clean it up. Adalbert’s comment is illustrative, especially today…in an era of laxity by many bishops: 
      :  “It is easy to wear a mitre and carry a crozier but it is a terrible thing to have to give account of a bishopric to the Judge of the Living and the Dead.”  Many troubles beset Adalbert as he sought to convert the heathen.  They were making much success with the conversion of pagan Prussians in Pomerania but they were jailed near Konigsberg.  Adalbert was tortured to death and his body was thrown into the Ebbing canal near the Nogat river.