Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Why Isn’t Brady Going to Sarah Palin’s May 12 Speech?...Your Handy Dandy Lefty Guide…More.

         Feast of St. Monica*            

            Sarah Palin will be speaking at Rosemont May 12 at a fund-raiser for the Republican party.  In a usual U-turn, Mark Kirk who solicited Palin to endorse him in the primary and who was refused, is now not going to attend, pleading that he has to cast votes in Washington.  Okay, maybe so, maybe not.  I kinda don’t blame Kirk, frankly after getting a thumbs down.  
            But why isn’t Bill Brady going to be there?  Don’t tell me it’s because he wants to…broaden his appeal ala Kirk?   
                               Your Handy Dandy Lefty Guide.
          As a special gift to those readers of this blog who are unreconstructed Maoist style revolutionaries that it is a pleasure to show them a calendar where all the radical events held  in Chicago are posted. It is to be found at Chicagoradicalendar.org  It follows down the months.  As an added bonus, I’m sure that if you go to these events, you will at onetime or other catch a glimpse of your favorite lefty journalists “covering” the events: Carol Marin of the Pravda-Times, WTTW-TV and NBC-TV 5, the nominal ring-bearer for the Deb Mell Lesbo wedding as she showed on public television…Eric Zorn, of the Tribune, aging college boy who keeps asking what the hell the Tea Party’ers, those ill-educated rednecks, really want…and Neil Steinberg of the Pravda-Times who believes the Right is a terrible threat to U.S. domestic tranquility which he guards so jealously. 
                                 Obama Tops Leno as Jokester. 
            “This is a tough house,” Jay Leno cracked as he bombed with his monologue before the White House Press Association banquet.  And no wonder. His material wasn’t great but the house was stacked with liberals who are strongly pro-David Letterman and/or Conan O’Brien next to whom Leno comes off a tad right.  In fact the joint was so stacked that when Leno recited a few so-called Obama victories…such as passage of national healthcare…the audience, composed of the crème de la crème of Washington media-ocracy who report the “objective news” on so-called mainstream news outlets, broke out in applause and cheers.          Obama’s jokes were written by the staff of The Daily Show featuring Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert who specialize in liberal satire.  
                            “But Is it Good for the Jews?” 
            Barack Obama’s numbers are tanking but not with the majority of American Jews according to a story appearing over the weekend in the Tribune but written by two staffers of the Los Angeles Times. .  A survey taken recently shows 57% of all U.S. Jews support the president--a pretty high number.  Yes, it fell from 79% but they still support him more than most Americans as a whole. I don’t know the figure about Catholic support but maybe when you subtract the USCCB and CCHD staffs as well as 76% of the bishops you’ll get an answer that is more nearly like the average of the American people.  
           American Jews represent only 2% of U.S. voters but their activism and fundraising for Democrats make them a major cog in that party.  To some it’s all the more strange since the Obama administration has taken a severely penalizing stance against Israel.  The reason is that, as Observant Jew Norman Podhoretz says that a great majority of Jews have embraced the New Torah which substitutes modern liberalism for the canons of the Old Torah.  He says, “Jews remain heavily committed, whether it’s the old liberal agenda of government spending, welfare programs, and support for organized labor or the newer issues that make up the liberal agenda, like abortion, gay rights, gun control, assisted suicide.” 
            He continues: “Many Jewish liberals will praise themselves for this. They say `We vote against our economic interests because we are noble idealists and the liberal agenda is something we’re committed to because it stems basically from the Jewish religious tradition, especially the prophetic books. Many of these people haven’t read the prophetic books but they know verses plucked from here and there.” 
            The brightener for me is that the conservative movement has benefited from a good number of Jewish intellectuals—Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg and many others. Still it is somewhat of a mystery how the rank-and-file support the party that has hoisted the flag of hot enmity for Israel.   A young Jewish physician-specialist…an excellent doctor…I have was working on me and the conversation moved to ObamaCare.   He sounded like Alinsky or Jan Schakowsky’s husband Bob Creamer (who is more Left than Alinsky in that he brooks no compromise or coalition with heathen conservatives): …the welfare state uber alles…I am glad to see the medical profession move from a capitalist one to one that is state-controlled whose only mission is to serve the poor.   The first conversation I had with him was when Bush II was midway into his second term.  He told me: My wife and I have put off having a second child because we don’t want him/her to live under the conservatives. 
    “The new Torah (liberalism) will always trump the old [with them],” said Podhoretz.  “The devotion of three-quarters of my fellow Jews in America to liberalism and the Democratic party is as passionate and scrupulous and faithful as the devotion of their great-grandparents toward the Torah of Judaism.  They are very loyal to it and they regard any move from left to right, or from liberalism to conservatism, with the same horror that their grandparents and great-grandparents felt about conversion to Christianity.”  
        Meaning these Jews, like my brilliant specialist, couldn’t care less about Israel, shrugged when Obama sought to halt Jewish construction in Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem even though it construction was not opposed in the long history of Middle East negotiations until now.  They smiled when Obama said on April 13 that he will continue to press Israel for more and more concessions.  Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod are part and parcel of this group and are saluted by their Jewish friends as true humanitarians who rise above self-interest to work for peace.  
        Are these Jews harbingers of the Catholics who have shucked off rubrics of their faith to support the pro-abortion, anti-born live ministrations for babies?  Possibly.  Your views on this please. 
                                         8th District Blues. 
         Like so many, I’m concerned about the fractures that have hit Joe Walsh’s campaign for Congress in the 8th district.  I supported…and still technically support…Joe but his history of chaotic personal finances may well jeopardize the once fine chance we had to defeat Melissa Bean. I am not impressed with the statement issued by those remaining in his campaign that those former staffers who question him are venal and opportunistic.  There should be a prompt resolution from the party leadership—the state chairman, Patrick Brady and the new national committeeman Rich Williamson.  Some statement or something. 
           Not just silence.  I’m not impressed with the tactic that says just hang on, grit your teeth and all troubles will go away.  
        *St. Monica [AD 332-387].  This lady is a brilliant anomaly in the gallery of saints (and is one of my favorites).  Born at Tagaste, North Africa, she was married to Patricus, a drunk, womanizer and man of violent temper. In addition to which, his mother lived with them and added to Monica’s woes. As result Monica herself had to overcome a habit of heavy drinking.  Her patience overcame all things and Patricus came around and became loyal to her shortly before his death which happened shortly after he was baptized a Catholic. Score one for Monica.  
           These things alone should have put Monica on the path to sainthood but one of her children so tested her patience that he inadvertently helped her become a very great saint as indeed he did himself due to her prayers. This was Augustine (the others were Navigus and Perpetus).  Augustine was the brilliant one.  Most of our information about her comes from his immortal Confessions. As a child she took him to church and enrolled him as a catechumen but as he grew up rejecting baptism ands embraced an irregular and licentious life made her once forbid him to live in her house. She remonstrated with him and argued but to no avail. She decided the problem could only be solved by her prayers, fasts and vigils.  An intellectual, his study of philosophy, first Plato and then Manichaeism for nine years led him to renounce the faith.  And then there were the women. 
          He lived with one mistress for 15 years.  With her he had a son, Adeoratus.  Then tired of teaching in North Africa and of his mistress, torn with sorrow because his son died at an early age, , he decided to go to Rome for a broader intellectual vista and to teach rhetoric. Monica  wanted to come with him but he gave her the slip and sneaked aboard a ship leaving Monica weeping at the dock. Monica caught the next ship; he went on to Milan; she followed. She was a close friend of St. Ambrose who helped her tackle Augustine for moral reform as well as intellectual and spiritual acceptance of Catholicism.   
              Between Monica’s prayers and fasting and Ambrose’s hardy intellectual arguing, Augustine was finally converted and baptized in 386. He returned to Africa in 388, set up a quasi-monastic life with some friends and was ordained a priest.  His intellectual reputation was so great that he was importuned by the populace to become bishop of Hippo where he served until his death.  He is one of the great intellects and doctors of the Church but still his teaching on predestination has been rightly criticized. His books are legendary: in addition to the Confessions, his sermons on the gospel and epistle of John, the De Trinitate and at the end of his life the De Civitate Dei.    
            Unfortunately Monica did not live to see his greatness but she did witness his baptism and she died fulfilled saying to her son: “Nothing in this world now gives me pleasure. I do not know what there is left for me to do or why I am still here. All I wished to live for was to see you a Catholic and child of heaven. God has granted me more than this in making you despise earthly happiness and consecrate yourself to his service.”  She died at the age of 55 and is buried at Ostia.  At my parish church of Saint John Cantius, there is a novena to St. Monica made by those who have had children and loved ones leave the Faith.  God, I think Monica is one of my special favorites of all time!

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