Thursday, November 20, 2008

Arbiter of Constitutional Validity

By all means, let's not do anything to make a popular TV personality sad.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Who's Going to Continue the Failed Policies of the Bush Administration?

After a long campaign of blasting everything the Bush Administration has done since Election Night of 2000, Barak Obama turns his attention to the economy:

Obama said that passing a stimulus package will be his first move if the lame-duck Congress fails to do so before he takes office January 20.

Um, didn't the Bush Administration do that, and several times? Did it work? An objective look around would indicate that these "stimulus payments" only generated short-term economic twitches, while only serving to reinforce Americans' bad spending habits.

At least Barak Obama is willing to break with the Bush Administration on commitments to defending eastern Europe from Soviet intimidation. Oh, wait, maybe we meant to continue that policy instead..

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Russia to Test Obama

Headline: Medvedev: Russia to Deploy Missiles Near Poland

Well, isn't that interesting...

Just as a thief would decry the installation of a security system, so Russia's kicking up a fit about a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

Talking tough, he fleshed out long-promised military measures in response to U.S. plans for missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic, former Soviet satellites now in NATO. The Kremlin claims the system is meant to weaken Russia, not defend against Iran, as Washington insists.

Medvedev said Iskander missiles would be deployed to Russia's western enclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, "to neutralize, if necessary, a missile defense system."

The Iskander has a range of about 280 kilometers (175 miles), which would allow it to reach targets in Poland but not in the Czech Republic — but officials have said its range could be increased. Medvedev did not say whether the missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads.

Russia will also deploy electronic jamming equipment, Medvedev said.

The U.S. has claimed that the system is in order to protect against Iranian missiles. If Russia has no malicious intentions, why are they determined to deploy countermeasures against a security system thats stated purpose is not against them? I imagine that you can follow that to conclusion.

Apparently, the ability to threaten its neighbors is fundamental to Russia's strength? No wonder it's so important to check that, and quickly. Will our next President rise to the challenge?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

quae sunt Dei Deo

Last Sunday's Gospel reading, from the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 22, brings one of the timeless sayings of Jesus:"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." Today, giving to God "what belongs to God" comes back to mind under unhappy circumstance.

This past week, my younger sister's 6 month-old son, my godson, returned to God. God had blessed our lives with John Paul, with his smile, with his laugh, and yet after so short a time we have to give him back to God. A sudden and fatal illness claimed him, and has left us all in grief.

It is with heavy hearts that we return this precious gift back to the Giver. And yet while we grieve the loss, we do give thanks to God, even for the shortest of His blessings. We trust that in this time of sadness God will give us comfort, and through our sorrows, more fully prepare us for the perfect joy of Heaven.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm not a macroeconomics wiz. I'm just a guy who wants to live within his means enough to provide a modest and comfortable life for his family.

I have a problem with the bailout, actually a couple problems.

Problem A) President Bush is selling it.

The last time President Bush went on about the need to launch immediate and costly action was with Iraq. Sure the sketchy-at-best intel suggested some danger, but it panned out poorly, and now we're on the hook to fix Iraq. We broke it, we bought it. And even many Democrats bought into the Iraq, which leads me to problem B:

Problem B) Democrat leadership is selling it.

If anyone is against the free exercise of commerce, it's usually Democrats. So then, why are they so eager to shore up an enterprise that they are hostile to? Because the terms of the deal will give Government more power over the Market. More Government, Bigger Government. And that's the likely reason that many Republicans are balking at the deal. Throw in the partisan diatribes on either side, and I'm not surprised that the public isn't buying it either.

Problem C) No one's taking ownership of the problem.

Politicians, Right and Left, are denying any culpability in the political push for risky mortgages and lax oversight. Businesses aren't taking ownership of the obvious flaws and greed inherent in the trade of dubious securities. Americans are awakening to the dawning horror that you cannot live beyond your means on endless credit.

Problem D) It has to happen NOW, or the planet Earth will implode.

I'm sorry, but I'd prefer decisions of this magnitude have well-thought out plans for execution and consequences of the action. I don't make expensive knee-jerk reactions when I can avoid it. See Problem A.

Problem E) This will take generations to recover from.

I am resigned to the idea that my children will likely be working harder and have a lesser standard of living that we do now. That said, I'd like a little hope that my grandchildren will not be even further in the hole. Still, my grandparents survived the Great Depression, and were much more frugal and generous than the current generation. Maybe hard times would be a good lesson for modern folks.

Like I said, I don't know squat about economics, but then again, that's not where I put my faith either.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Taking Resonsibility

So, who's fault is it?

Barak Obama seems to think it's the people running the business:"We must protect taxpayers, not bail out the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," he intoned. Wow, that's the same group of management and shareholders that donated $126,349 to Obama's campaign. I guess there's no loyalty in this business.

John McCain, early in the mortgage avalanche said “it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” Once the scale of the problem came into focus, he eventually supported government intervention in the mortgage mess.

I'd like to take this opportunity to remind my fellow Americans that the reason that these mortgage companies, and related securities, are in such a mess is that people stopped paying their mortgages. With the default on this debt, american homebuyers were the start of this avalanche.

Both Republicans and Democrats alike were crowing about all the home purchases through looser lending standards. The banks are in a Catch -22: If you lend money to high-risk borrowers, you're a greedy capitalist, and if you have tighter lending standards, you excluding "deserving people" from the American Dream. Sounds like you can't win.

The shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, among other mortgage lenders, loaned money to homebuyers in good faith and expected the borrowers to honor their obligations. To vilify the lenders for the insolvency of the borrowers is ludicrous.

The most basic issue at the base of this mess will never be discussed. The urge to have more than we can afford, and lacking the honor to repay our debts.

The Bailout is for the deadbeat American Borrower.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


IT seems that when we label someone, objectivize them, the labels obscure their humanity. Once disassociated from their humanity, it becomes easy to allow terrible things to be done to them.

In early America, we encountered Native Americans, which we named as savages. Once we named them savages, it was easy to break treaties with them, allow the cavalry to kill men, women, and children. They were not human, they were "Savages".

During the same period, in America we had slaves of African extraction, which we named as Negroes. Once we named them Negroes, it was easier to work them hard, force them to live in squalor, to beat, harass and abuse them. They were not human, they were "Negro slaves".

In Germany, in the early 20th century, there were jews, which were called subhuman. Once they were labeled as subhuman, it was easy to harass them, take their businesses, and eventually herd them onto trains to take them to extermination camps. They were not human, they were "subhuman".

In Rawanda, tribal affiliations of Tutsi and Hutu were mutually used to disassociate each other from their own humanity. Once separated into Hutu and Tutsi, it was easy to isolate and slaughter each other. They were not human, they were either Hutu or Tutsi.

In America now, we have men captured on the battlefield that are called Illegal Combatants. Once called Illegal Combatants, it was easy to deny these men basic rights afforded to captured warriors, and even permitted waterboarding. They are not human, they are Illegal Combatants

Also in America, now, we have embryonic humans, called "a blob of tissue". Once called a blob of tissue, it is easy to deny it rights and permit the extermination my chemical or surgical means. They are not human, they are just blobs of tissue.

There are countless other examples of how we deny humanity when we should be embracing it. Jesus came as Man, and in all humanity he is both needed and found. Just as when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and imprisoned, He is there. He is also there during a CIA interrogation or Dilation and Extraction abortion.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Right Uppercut

Wow, there's a lot of froth and lather over the McCain campaign's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the VP slot on the GOP Ticket. I have a few thoughts, scattered as usual, about the pick and the anaphylactic shock reaction of the Left:

  • Sarah Palin is not just Pro-Life on paper, but Pro-life in her own life. It's easy for me to be Pro-life, as my four children have all been healthy. Palin has been Pro-Life in more difficult circumstances.

  • Wow, the All-American mom! It takes hope to have 5 children, but isn't 'Hope' one of the Left catchphrases? She even gave birth to a Down's child, which indicates that she has hope and has it in spades. While The Left talks loftily about hope, Sarah Palin lives it.

  • The 'National Organization of Women' will be exposed as the farce that they are, in the swiftness and substance of their attack on Palin. They aren't Pro-Women, or else they would respect her and her choices, but instead, they are Pro-abortion, which is the substance of their immediate attack:

    Gov. Palin may be the second woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, but she is not the right woman. Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women's rights, just like John McCain.

    That should tell you all you need to know about how far NOW will support a woman.

  • This morning, a commentator on NPR suggested the Palin pick as a cynical ploy to get women voters. I would counter that it is equally as cynical to dismiss a woman as just a tool. Are the Left always saying that a woman, or any poor, opressed group, supposed to be judged by their performance and not their physical attributes?

  • I'm excited that there's such a Pro-Life example on the ticket, and showed my approval in a rare political donation to the McCain-Palin campaign.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Year of Humanae Vitae

In early June, our family got better acquainted with our newest member. She is a gem, a truly magnificent fruit of married love. Yes, there has been a loss of sleep, and yes, there has been expense occurred. But all the secular inconveniences melt away when I look at her, and know that she was made in the image of God.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's pivotal encyclical Humanae Vitae, and instead of blogging at length about it, I lived it instead. Some of my colleagues are aghast at the fact that I have FOUR children, like I'm some out-of-control breeding maniac. I'm the oldest of nine children, so my perspective is a little different than someone who had one child, and then stopped out of fear of personal inconvenience.

Our little gem has started to smile recently, and laughs when we play our traditional baby games. The older kids have started school for the year, and my academic torments are to start soon as well. Still, God is good, and has blessed us beyond all deserving.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Note from the Desert

What have I been up to? I’ve been fairly busy with family, work and school. The kids are getting more demanding, there are lots of big projects going on at work, and the math class I’m taking the semester meets every day and has lots of homework.

I’ve also been avoiding blogs and other things that “get my Irish up”, and it’s been hard. Between NPR’s story about Massachusetts Catholics voting democrat (including a priest deftly avoiding agreement with Church doctrine), other political developments in South America and Russia, and Ret. Bp. Gumbleton’s continued brayings, I have been chewing my figurative tongue.

Early in my Lenten meditations, while at Stations of the Cross, I was reminded of something I often lose sight of. From the Stations of the Cross, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Third Station, Jesus Falls the First Time:

My beloved Jesus, / it was not the weight of the cross / but the weight of my sins which made You suffer so much. / By the merits of this first fall, / save me from falling into mortal sin. / I love You, O my Jesus, with all my heart; / I am sorry that I have offended You. / May I never offend You again. / Grant that I may love You always; and then do with me as You will.

The weight of MY sins. Not the weight of Cdl. Bernard Law’s sins, nor the weight of Fr. Richard McBrien’s sins, nor the weight of the USCCB’s collective ineptitude, and neither the sins of the careless American Consumer. The weight of those sins is inconsequential. It is the weight of MY sins which made the Cross necessary. This is what I have been meditating on, and it is largely why I have been silent.

In two months, I am expecting our next child, a little girl, to arrive. Between family, work, and school, I’m not really sure what time I’ll have to continue blogging. Maybe that’s a good thing. Time will tell, and I will wait and listen for the Lord to see what’s next.

May God bless you all.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Huckabee Gets It

It seems that very few folks understand the drawbacks of the "Economic Stimulus Package". Mike Huckabee understands, and said this during the GOP debate last night:

"We'll probably end up borrowing this 150 Billion dollars from the Chinese. And when we get those rebate checks, most people are gonna go out and buy stuff that's been imported from China. I have to wonder who's economy is going to be stimulated the most by the [economic stimulus]package."

Is anyone else going to have the stones to say that?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred bows out

A Statement from Fred Thompson

Posted: Tue. 22 Jan 2008

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.

posted by Fred

Well, what else is there to say? I sure as heck am not voting for Rudy, I'm not on fire about Mitt, I don't mind Mike, and I think Ron Paul may be certifiable. Jeeeez. Gimme someone I can vote for without retching in the voting booth.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Economic Needle Exchange

I've been quietly watching the sub-prime mortgage mess, and the subsequent hand-wringing from economists, bankers, and politicians.

So, correct me if I'm wrong, but here's my impression: Having burned through their own cash and available credit, American consumers are now looking to the federal government for money to continue spending.

I won't accuse anyone specific of being especially profligate (except perhaps myself), but it seems that the federal government's budgeting and spending problems are mirrored by the population at large.

With the sub-prime mortgage mess, we had two terrible proclivities coincide. Consumers tried to buy houses that they could barely afford, and/or were bigger or nicer than they needed. Banks tried to lend money to encourage the above behavior in hope of getting even more money than they were already making on more stable loans. Mr. Greed, this is Mr. Avarice. Mr. Avarice, Mr. Greed. Now that proper introductions have been made, let's start f#¢&ing things up.

Our currency has already been in decline, and doing a tax revenue handout to non-taxpaying spenders will not help. If the federal treasury sends out a $500 check to each household, it'll only be worth $450 by the time it gets cashed.

As an added insult to injury, most of what gets purchased with the kickback will be on foreign-made goods, which will only continue to widen trade gaps, and continue the hemorrhage of money from the country.

Unless the american consumer decides to live well within their means, and buy things made in this country, nothing we do will halt the decline. The same could be said for the federal government as well.

As for me, if a check shows up at my door, I'm turning around and putting it in gold or Euros.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Girl in the House

We're having another girl. As I reminded my lovely wife, it's a good thing I'm not King Henry VIII. We still have a few months to figure out how we're going to name her.

She's fairly telegenic, as she was waving a hand, and arm, at us during the sonogram.

I only hope she waits until after final exams are over to make her debut.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Happenings 01/08

I would apologize for my prolonged silence, if I thought it unnecessary. I've been enjoying more time with my family, wrestling with old sins, and trying desperately to hold my tongue about people and events over which I have no purview.

It hasn't been easy.

There have been countless times that I've thought about writing, but generally when I'm offended or angry about something, which I've been trying to reduce. Or even eliminate.

Baby Apokalypse is fine, and tomorrow we hope to narrow the list of possible names by 50%.

My semester tangle with Calculus I is starting today.

And I am still sustainably employed.

I have lots to be grateful for in the coming year, and challenges as well. My silence isn't permanent, and I'l resume blogging soon, maybe even to blog as a penance during Lent ;-)