Monthly Archives: April 2010


Patriot Post has a picture of a dangerous spill:



Can I see your papers, Axel?

What bothers me about the Arizona law that says cops must (not may, as I had earlier) ask for documentary evidence of suspected undocumented people (an Arizona driver’s license will do) is that they will do it in the case of Mexican-looking people and not Scandinavian-looking people. 

Next thing we know, they will be asking such evidence of Mexican-looking people in places near our Scandinavian border.

What is this Catholic conference anyhow?

Time, I say, to distinguish between the U.S. Catholic Conference, not to mention “the church,” as this AFP story does not:

WASHINGTON — The US Catholic church on Tuesday condemned Arizona’s “draconian” new immigration 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 US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

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.  Then time was or is when it is the people of God — not sure: we used to talk that way a lot when Vatican 2 was news.

In neither case did we mean the DC bureaucracy run by staffers and a bishop director and a bishops’ committee.  AFP probably doesn’t know any better and/or doesn’t give a care about such inside-baseball information.  But who among the bishops is trying to educated it?  (That’s Agence France Presse, by the way.)


Later, from a faithful reader:

Jim — I’m not the only Catholic among my friends who is about to “leave the USCCB” but stay in the church. The USCCB does NOT speak for me — in fact it speaks what I consider the language of the enemies of freedom of religion in this country.  I am tired of being treated like a dumb, lowly tax payer by TWO national entities.  I’m glad you are taking up this issue.

Buyers' remorse among the newsies

Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Patrick Gavin have “Why reporters are down on Obama,” loaded with info, including this:

The [White House] correspondents association recently met with [Press Secy. Robert] Gibbs to discuss, in the words of Bloomberg’s Ed Chen, “a level of anger, which is wide and deep, among members over White House practices and attitude toward the press.”

A few days later, Gibbs said at one of his briefings, “This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.”
Peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room.

Among many beefs:

Obama. . .  has severely cut back the informal exchanges with the press pool, marking a new low in presidential access

Compared to what?

During his first year in office, President Bill Clinton did 252 such [informal] Q & A sessions — an average of one every weekday. Bush did 147. Obama did 46, according to Towson University professor Martha Kumar.

Well look, it’s only right.  As Rush Limbaugh regularly notes in passing, referring to his inauguration with an apt made-up word, Obama was “immaculated.”  He’s Cocky-locky, as this blogger got tired of saying back in campaign days.

What he does is give interviews — 161 of them, compared to Bush’s and Clinton’s 50 or so each — as to Team O’s comrade-in-arms, NY Times, on one occasion giving “a blockbuster scoop” to a NYT favorite after tapping him on the shoulder and whispering in his ear to join several key players at an international conference.

White Housers tear into reporters by emails and phone calls if even one word is awry in their view.  But

One of the most irritating practices . . . is when aides ignore inquiries or explicitly refuse to cooperate with an unwelcome story — only to come out with both guns blazing when it takes a skeptical view of their motives or success.

“You will give them ample opportunity on a story. They will then say, ‘We don’t have anything for you on this.’ Then, when you write an analytical graph that could be interpreted as implying a political motive by the White House, or something that makes them look like anything but geniuses, you will get a flurry of off-the-record, angry e-mails after you publish,” one national reporter said.

Tags: White+House+press+corps, Obama+as+Cocky-locky

Guidance from on high

Who did you say is misguided?

“President Obama called the Arizona [immigration] law misguided. What’s misguided, Mr. President, is the federal government’s ongoing refusal to enforce the laws that are already on the books. Read the Arizona law. Parts of it are word-for-word the same as the federal statutes which continue to be all but ignored.”

That’s Jack Cafferty of CNN speaking, via Patriot Post.

Kill 'em and sell the parts

Big organ trade in China, reports Wash Times, and why not, the authorities argue implicitly:

“These groups are useless to the state,” Mr. Gutmann said. “They are toxic, so you can’t release them. But they’re worth a great deal of money in terms of their organs.”

Gutmann is of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which keeps an eye on such things.  He’s analyzing Chi-com thinking, of course.

But the argument!  Useless to the state!  Like Down Syndrome child before birth, or oldster for whom med care is denied in the total state.

More: We forget the role of the Christian Church in humanizing our responses.  The 10th-century Norsemen routinely exposed flawed or female infants, in forests or on mountainsides, or pitched them into the water and made marriage choice a wholly paternal matter.  (See intro to Sigrid Undset’s Gunnar’s Daughter, by Sherrill Harbison. )  Then came King St. Olav (we say Olaf), who imported another way of looking at such matters, namely Christianity.

For your desktop, live a little . . .

Hey, looking for a good desktop background to replace the picture of yourself and/or wife and kids?  Here’s a good one:

Obama as gangster

Credit is due to The Patriot Post: Voice of Essential Liberty, in its “Brief” for today.

Can’t say enough for this excellent source.

Once-saintly founder repudiated

Wow.  Skinback by priest-publisher of a national Catholic newspaper, naming two writers, the late Gerry Renner and Jason Berry, for defending the disgraced founder of his religious community:

Fr. Owen Kearns, L.C., the publisher of the National Catholic Register, has published an apology for defending the disgraced Legionaries of Christ founder Fr. Marcel Maciel. He specifically apologized to victims of Maciel’s abuse, investigative journalists who helped expose the crimes and to readers of the Register.

The two, who collaborated on the book that has Maciel down as cold as reporting can make it:

He expressed regret that he “took to task” journalists Gerald Renner and Jason Berry and their Hartford Courant editors.

“They didn’t get everything about the Legion right but they were fundamentally correct about Father Maciel’s sexual abuse and I ask forgiveness — too late for Gerald Renner, who is deceased.”

The book is Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II.  It’s become a movie, with footage of then-Cardinal Ratzinger (now pope) visibly irritated at being stopped and asked about Maciel — as told in the book, of course.

Here come the labor skates . . .

Read closely, folks.  Bank “reform” means labor-union control:

[T]ucked into the 1,250 pages of new rules proposed by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is a provision that gives new powers to board members. And that could mean big payoffs for the unions down the road.

The great power of the pubic employee unions is their pension funds — hundreds of billions of dollars provided by taxpayers to pay for retirement benefits. The investment of these funds is directed by political appointees who are motivated to keep the unions happy.

It’s in today’s Washington Examiner.  (via News Alert)

Tea party in Daley Plaza

Here’s looking at the Tea Party rally 4/15, Daley Plaza, 3 to 5 p.m., better late than . . . 

Sunny day, 80 degrees or so.  Lot of flags and signs.  Music blaring from stage, but not much heard where I sit note-taking, near the fountain-filled pool.  Not many here.  Three pretty girls chatting on edge of crowd.  Church bells from Chicago Temple across street.  Nice breeze.

Signs: “Americans for Life,” prominent, next to stage.  Hand-held: “No cap & trade”  “Stop government waste”   “Stop socialism”  “Protect free speech”   “Abortion kills” 

On stage, talk-show host Sandy Rios : “Can you hear me?” 

She introduces priest, who leads all in prayer.  He is Rev. Thomas Koys, pastor of Immaculate Conception parish, 44th & California,  author of The Ashes That Still Remain, in which he likens the Dred Scott decision to Roe v. Wade.  “None of us asked to be born.  . . .  All of us come from a divine source.”  Beneath him on front of stage, a sign, not his, “Lower taxes, create jobs.”  Long, rambling prayer.  “Lord, hold back your wrathful hand for a generation more.  . . .  Lord, give us this grace, how to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” etc.  Quiet, respectful audience.  He leads all in The Lord’s Prayer. 

Gutsy of him, to show up and show his colors, Chicago being what it is.  Later we chat.  I know him from his days as a temporary deacon, in the year before ordination, when he was assigned to St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy parish, in Oak Park.  I remember him giving a thoughtful anti-abortion sermon, the only anti-abortion sermon I can recall hearing, ever.

Sandy Rios leads in pledge to flag, another woman in singing the national anthem.  Crowd respectful.  Then “God Bless America,” which works better and is better for group singing.  The singer, a young woman, has the pipes for both.  Rios calls self “reformed liberal,” asks again, “Can you hear me now?”  Overly cerebral patter, it being a rally, not a radio program.   

More signs: “Abolish Federal Reserve System”  “Abortion is child abuse”  One for right to carry (handgun) group.  Another, from Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice: “End Bush wars.”  Another, and maybe best of all: “I listed the federal government as a dependent on my taxes this year.”

Rios moves to stump-speech mode: “This president should never have been elected.  He does not love this country.  . . .   He really does not know America . . .  Out with sexual radicals . . . [out with] ACORN . . . SEIU . . . [AG Eric] Holder . . .  Fight, fight, fight”

It’s like civil rights rallies in the 60s.  Now Catherina (“Katerina,” she is called) Wojtowicz, of Chicago Patriot Tea Party, takes the mike as mistress of ceremonies.  She makes passing reference to her making it (last November) as Keith Olbermann’s “worst person in the world.”  Olbermann condemned her to hell for questioning the honesty of a woman who said her daughter had died for lack of insurance.  The woman had stood next to Congr. William Lipinski in a Southwest Side town hall meeting defending health care legislation while Tea Partiers raised a ruckus and some of them mocked her. 

Catherina W.

Catherina W., Congr. Lipinski

Southtown Star columnist Kristen McQueary  checked out her story, verifying it.  The matter became a cause celebre on several liberal blogs, with Wojtowicz getting considerably raked over.  At the meeting she also handed back to Lipinski the “Citizen of the Year” award he had given her three years previously. 

The cumulative vehemence of libs’ response (to her and “teabaggers”), while standard in these Obama years, also demonstrates her organizing success and the success of tea-party politics in general, I’d say.  In any case, so it goes in the South Side political trenches, especially where health-care legislation is concerned.  Catherina is something of an Alinsky-style organizer (in a good cause), I would say, based on her Daley Plaza performance, in which she m.c.’d things with gusto and lots of energy.

Catherina introduces a sister “Southsider,” Jan Morino, calling her a “neighbor of mine.”  Both have fire in the belly.  Morino spouts what is the motto for the day: “We will remember!” in November.

Then Isaac Hayes, running vs. Congr. Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois 2nd district, who comes up fiery.  He gives a stump speech.  “Enough of [Harry] Reid” etc.  Plants are among you, he warns.  They will try to pick an argument.  (None appeared.)  “If someone has an argument with a black, it will be told all over the world.”  He is a school-choice proponent,  listing this issue first on his web site: “The answer is not just more money. The answer is competition.”

isaac hayes

Hayes on left

Then Gary Franchi, managing editor of Republic Magazine, whose current issue, #15 has on its cover George Washington on a stallion, pointing a forty-five automatic, his face covered with a truncated red, white, and blue flag.  Franchi rails vs. TSA and predicts for the U.S.: “In 30 years a police state!”  Ends, as many did, “God bless America.” 

Then Carl Segvich, running for county commissioner vs. John Daley, the mayor’s brother.  “Socialist government” is the problem.  “Thugs” abound.  He’s Republican committeeman, 11th Ward, would “restore” sound tea party principles to county board.  (Restore?)  Is against big government, George Soros, “career thugs.”  He names others, Dems and Republicans, calls them “useful idiots.”  Don’t call this the Daley Plaza, but Chicago’s Civic Plaza!  Fiery!  Runs vs. the “Obama way.”

Next three speakers, younger guys, are relatively soft-spoken, following the fire-eaters.  But the core 75 or so listeners in front pay attention.  One speaks for home-schooling, is off and on quickly.  Another pulls out a guitar and sings a “freedom song.”  Shades of 60s rallies again.

Lucy Weir, “here as a mom from the Southwest Side,” sees big government as “a big dog” running toward her kids, whom she wants to protect.  “The American dream is on life support.”  Abigail Adams — the nation’s first Second Lady and second First Lady — is her heroine, like Weir a “mom” and “a working mother.”

Shaun Kranish promotes the right to carry guns, “an American right,” especially in Illinois and Wisconsin.   Says “most street officers” support it.  “We must depend on ourselves to protect ourselves.”  This summer Mayor Daley “will have a stroke” when the Supreme Court knocks down the Chicago law.  Gun control “is not about guns, they want to control you.”  Shows holster in which he legally carried his 40-calibre pistol recently in Wisconsin.  Like Carl Segvich and others before him, he calls Mayor Daley out.  Catherina urges all to join NRA.

Lionel Garcia, Tea Party candidate for state rep in 6th district, Political Action Committee Chair at Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Cook County, Republican committeeman for 16th Ward.  Tea Partiers are “old, angry, white?” he asks.  Look at him, he says, angry but neither old nor white.  “Cook County is not a lost cause.”

Rose Hamilton, Mexican-American from Edgewater, grew up on Taylor Street.  69 years old, is for legal immigration, not amnesty.

Dick Walsh, founder-director of Americans for Life,  says State Sen. Bill Brady, Republican candidate for governor, “our hope for Illinois,” called to say he couldn’t make it.  White-haired, lean, Walsh is in full cry, sparing not his throat. 

Cedra Crenshaw, of Bolingbrook, “Illinois’s Sarah Palin,” was trying to get enough signatures to run as a Republican for state senator, 43rd district, against Dem Arthur Wilhelmi.  She reads a good speech, quickly and well, but it’s a lot to absorb this day at Daley Plaza. Started her involvement by attending and reporting on school board meetings.  She’s for school vouchers.  Wants forensic audit before any more taxes.  “One mom taking on the machine.” 

An accountant.  “Do we need more lawyers or more accountants in public office?”  A good line.  On her Twitter page, she asks, “Are you [black readers] as outraged [as I] about the fact that black offenders get other black kids hooked on drugs? Stop blaming the white man.”  Looking good to this West Suburbanite.

cedra crenshaw

Cedra Crenshaw

David Smith, Illinois Family Institute, a Christian.  Crowd is considerably thinner, down to half what it was.  He elicits from its fringe the day’s only heckling.  Brief flurry.  The guy gives it up.

Carol Ann Parisi, from NW suburban Palatine, quotes Reagan saying we have a rendezvous with destiny (! FDR said it first) but gets Emund Burke right, about evil succeeding when good men do nothing. 

Mary Ann Hackett of Catholic Citizens of Illinois: Obama’s executive order saying no health care bill money to be used for abortion is “nothing but a piece of paper.”  Expect this: “unborn babies used for spare parts.”  Asks, “We will now pay for women to kill their own children?”  Asks about conscientious objection to contributing services to abortion, as by nurse or physician.  Cites $7 billion in the bill for community health centers as expected provider of abortions, thanks to prominence of Planned Parenthood in the Obama government, foresees school-based clinics distributing condoms in the schools.

Catherina does her last two intro’s:

* Barbara Ballard, emphasis on last syllable, a physician, retired Army officer who teaches at DePaul and Benedictine universities, an ex-nun, running vs. state rep. Kevin Joyce, 35th District (father of five, coaches football at St. Xavier U.), whom Catherina calls “worse than Pelosi.” He is son of South Side politico Jeremiah Joyce, who C. says “owns Daley.” 

Ballard tells Gov. Quinn, “Open the books,” demanding a forensic audit, as has been done in Kansas and Texas.  “Ring the bell for Ballard and you will be served!” she concludes. 

* Elgin Franklin, black guy, running for U.S. senate, who spoke only briefly.


From Fran Eaton of Illinois Review, responding to my request for info:
Cedra did submit 2100 signatures in time to meet the deadline.  1000 were needed for the State Senate requirements. She could still be challenged, but it appears right now that she will be on the November ballot.
So it’s remember-November time for the Tea Party in Bolingbrook and points southwest.
%d bloggers like this: