Saturday, May 17, 2008

Teddy Bear Messages

Found this CL piece by Kiera McCaffrey from a little over a year ago. The whole thing is spot-on and useful reading, but the paragraph which caught my eye describes the performance art equivalent to what I've termed the "Kevlar Sentence" which JohnMcG should receive credit for identifying. Viz:

Another group, Healing Alliance (formerly known as Linkup), turned to Jeffrey Anderson to educate them about effective lobbying techniques. Those gathered at the 2003 annual meeting of the victims' support group were instructed by the lawyer-turned-showman that teddy bears are the key to influencing elected officials. He told them that, should an advocate call on a legislator who is not in his office, the advocate only needs to leave one of the stuffed toys with a staffer in order to turn a missed opportunity into a successful appeal: "You tell them it represents the innocence of a child—the innocence that's been stolen—and I guarantee they'll remember you."

So that's what the prosecutor needed to bring to court to nail Michael Jackson. Teddy Bears!

Maybe as the funding, popularity and relevance of these bigoted groups continues to dwindle they could begin the ceremonial nocturnal burning of kerosene-soaked teddy bears in priests' yards so it's guaranteed that Catholics "remember" them.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Huh huh huh huh...

Know where __it's coming from and know where __it's going.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Barack Obama's Alleged Waffle Sells on eBay

This is hilarious, truly.

Also, this joke shirt is pretty choice. It's good to see people aren't afraid to make fun of Obama. Hopefully his candidacy is helping us "get beyond race" in the comedy department so we can start getting back to riotously funny Eddie Murphy-style racial humor. Remember when he disguised himself as a white dude? Or Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood? Black-on-black parody is some of the funniest stuff you'll ever see. A very funny example is "Fear of a Black Hat", but do not watch if you are easily offended, please.

Update: I guess it got yanked before it sold. So the title is incorrect. Sorry I've misled millions of readers who trust me for accuracy.

Oh, and this was funny

A blogger named John Savage writes about being disgusted by Rod Dreher's link to a porno picture. There was also a related post on which I commented briefly, but didn't stick around to read his brilliant retort. A commenter named Jamie recorded it:

In another post called “Pa Cyrus: Cynically brilliant?” Rod Dreher explains his real reasons for running the pornographic pictures after taunting a commentator called Pauli.

Pauli says “The short month of April is nearly over and the numbers must need some padding.”

And then Rod Dreher says “How many page views you got at your blog, Pauli?”

This seems to me to be the filthiest reasons of all, to show the pictures over and over just to get people to click on them while pretending to be disgusted and laughing at the fools who fall for it.

Welcome to Beliefnet, Jamie, and the upsidedown world of the Workin' Boy. I guess he wants to whip out his big weblog at me now for purposes of intimidation.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It was only a matter of time

I was happy to hear Medved announce around 5pm today that basically the whole Hagee controversy is over. Here's Donohue:

After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, ‘I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.’ He specifically cites his emphasis of ‘the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews,’ and has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church. And while he stresses that his invocation of terms like ‘apostate church’ and the ‘great whore’ were never meant by him to describe the Catholic Church, he acknowledges that anti-Catholics have long employed such language.

Who knows, those Ursuline nuns in San Antonio who were helped by Hagee's denomination might pray his butt into the Catholic church yet. He'd have to drop that 7-year rapture dreck, though, and that only comes out by prayer and fasting, believe me.

Religion Writing Versus Voyeuristic Schadenfreude

Once again, I'm slowly shaking my head.

I was really excited to read about Abp. Naumann taking Governor Sebelius out to the ol' Kansas woodshed over her pro-abortion stance. You can always count on Dr. Jeff Mirus, a great religion writer, to cover big stories, and this one is big.

Of course, Amy Welborn beat him to it. I'd call her a religion writer, too. Blogger Mark Shea blogged it also. Hey, what do you know? All the religion writers are covering this!

I thought to myself "Wait! I wonder what the Crunchy Conservative said about the Gov and the Arch-B? He's been covering religious stuff AND politics for years! He even referred to himself as a Religion Writer at least once. Plus he really likes the topic of Bishops. I guess he used to even be Catholic." So I wandered over to his blog and did a search on "Sebelius". Nothing. "Naumann?" Zilch.

Oh, but wait. He did do some writing about Catholic stuff today. More searches confirmed that Mr. Shea, Ms. Welborn and Dr. Mirus all missed that incredibly gripping story.

Now I'm pretty sure that Rod Dreher will get around to covering the Naumann smack-down at some point. Sebelius is being talked about as a running mate for Obama who supposedly has a "Catholic problem". But if she's damaged as a Catholic would she help him? Maybe -- if she looks like a martyr persecuted by the male hierarchy to all the po wittle pwo-choice Catholics, I wouldn't know. Regardless, the story seems difficult to ignore for a political blogger who dabbles with religion writing and is obsessed with Catholic Bishops. The only problematic thing about it is that it makes the Arch-B look good, don't you think? The man is standing on principle! Perhaps Dreher is waiting for a "not-so-fast" piece on the Archbishop's remarks from Ross Douthat or he's possibly still vetting the rumor which surfaced about how Naumann's niece's dog pooped on the tree-lawn ten years ago.

You make your choices, so grow up

Here's Hugh Hewitt's latest commentary:

In recent weeks Michelle Obama has been speaking about the burdens of student loans on new college graduates. While it is true that some students emerge from their undergraduate and graduate years with a large pile of debt, many do not, and many more have gone about the business of paying off their loans over the many years with the generous terms provided them. Nobody likes paying off loans, but doing so is a responsibility and one an adult shoulders without begrudging the effort.

We thus wonder if Mrs. Obama is doing good or mischief by suggesting that debt somehow wrongfully limits choices. Debt is itself a choice and as difficult as it is to pay back large loans, the borrower should not be bitter about the burden he or she accepted. Encouraging resentment over responsibility is not leadership. The attention the Obamas are receiving from young voters gives them a unique opportunity to model responsibility, not resentment.

I first heard Ms. Obama's weepy rhetoric in regards to student loans and the so-called "wage-slavery" problem on Hugh's show a few weeks ago. My first reaction was why not attack the root, i.e., high tuition costs? The fact is government backs these loans and that's one of the main reasons tuition is high. Another reason is the endless pimping of college as the key to success, thereby greatly inflating the demand. Sure, if you don't drop out. And here's a stupid question: do you think the Obamas favor decreasing the role of government in the financing of higher education or expanding it?

I think that in sticking with this constant playing of the resentment card, usually dealt by the distaff side of his campaign, the Obamas are treading in dangerous waters. The concept of America as a land of opportunity does not mean that everybody is going to have the same opportunities that everybody else possesses. Resentment about the lack of natural talents or circumstances of birth only leads to further resentments whereas acceptance of these circumstances added to determination, sound judgement and elbow grease is what generally leads to accomplishment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My wife and I were just discussing one of the world's most misunderstood cartoon characters, i.e....

I checked out the wiki-P entry for Taz and about cracked up at this part:

After much lobbying from the Tasmanian state government in Australia, Warner Bros. decided to assist the fight against extinction of the Tasmanian Devil due to Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

Tasmanian Environment Minister Judy Jackson, prior to the company's support, heavily criticised Warner Bros., stating that the company had made millions of dollars from the character, but did not put up any money when other companies had.

The deal with Warner Bros. allows the Tasmanian Government to manufacture and sell up to 5000 special edition Taz plush toys with all profit going towards funding scientific research into the Devil Facial Tumour Disease.[1][2] The deal also aims to increase public attention towards the threatening disease.

OK, now before anyone says "I can't believe that you would joke around about animals getting facial tumours" let me just state for the record that yes, I would certainly joke around about animals getting facial tumours. And it appears as if animal facial tumours are the best thing to happen to the Tasmanians in awhile since it has provided them the ever-popular guilt-trip angle necessary to soak Warner Brothers for some fat American greenbacks.

I also chuckled at the writing quality which even Kathleen should admit is worse than the average English translation of a Vatican press release.

As for fans of ol' Taz, I wouldn't worry about him becoming affected with the disease. Every time I've seen the action hero he looks as energized as he is stylized and is most likely immunized. Who knows, maybe he'll be the next Governor of California.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jubilee Year of Saint Paul

This just in from the Vatican with regards to the Pauline Year, which shall be celebrated on this blog with alternating solemnity and revelry:

VATICAN CITY, 10 MAY 2008 (VIS) - According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M. Conv., respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant the faithful Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the two-thousandth anniversary of the birth of the Apostle Paul. The Plenary Indulgence will be valid throughout the Pauline Year which is due to run from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009.

"With the imminence of the liturgical Solemnity of the Prince of the Apostles", says the decree, "the Supreme Pontiff ... wishes, in good time, to provide for the faithful with spiritual treasures for their own sanctification, that they may renew and reinforce ... their purpose of supernatural salvation from the moment of the First Vespers of the aforementioned Solemnity, principally in honour of the Apostle of the Gentiles the two-thousandth anniversary of whose earthly birth is now approaching.

"In fact, the gift of indulgences which the Roman Pontiff offers the Universal Church, facilitates the way to interior purification which, while rendering honour to the Blessed Apostle Paul, exalts supernatural life in the hearts of the faithful and spurs them on ... to produce fruits of good works".

The means to obtain the Plenary Indulgence are as follows:

"All Christian faithful - truly repentant, duly purified by the Sacrament of Penance and restored with Holy Communion - who undertake a pious visit in the form of a pilgrimage to the papal basilica of St. Paul on Rome's Via Ostiense and pray in accordance with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, are granted and imparted Plenary Indulgence for the temporal punishment of their sins, once they have obtained sacramental remission and forgiveness for their shortcomings.

"Plenary Indulgence may be gained by the Christian faithful, either for themselves or for the deceased, as many times as the aforementioned acts are undertaken; it remains the case, however, that Plenary Indulgence may be obtained only once a day.

"In order that the prayers pronounced on these holy visits may lead and draw the souls of the faithful to a more intense veneration of the memory of St. Paul, the following conditions are laid down: the faithful, apart from pronouncing their own prayers before the altar of the Blessed Sacrament, ... must go to the altar of the Confession and pray the 'Our Father' and the 'Creed', adding pious invocations in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Paul; and such acts of devotion must remain closely linked to the memory of the Prince of the Apostles St. Peter".

"Christian faithful from the various local Churches, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion, prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) and completely unattached to any form of sin, may still obtain the Plenary Indulgence if they participate devotedly in a religious function or in a pious exercise held publicly in honour of the Apostle of the Gentiles: on the days of the solemn opening and closing of the Pauline Year in any place of worship; on other days determined by the local ordinary, in holy places named for St. Paul and, for the good of the faithful, in other places designated by the ordinary".

The document concludes by recalling how the faithful who, "through sickness or other legitimate or important reason", are unable to leave their homes, may still obtain the Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the usual three conditions, "spiritually unite themselves to a Jubilee celebration in honour of St. Paul, offering their prayers and suffering to God for the unity of Christians".

Let me translate this down just a notch for yous guys. If you want to get out of some hard time in the Big P, don't forget to read the fine print. As Han Solo said "Gaining a plenary indulgence ain't like dusting crops, boy." So do the whole Peter, Paul and Mary thing, and try for a few hours to be unattached from sin, would you? That might necessitate walking to the church instead of driving, Mr. Road-rage.

And since you can pick up one plenary indulgence per day, is it too much to expect you losers to get at least 10 or 20 in a year? You might miss your favorite television show a few times, but rumor has it that the Poor Souls in Purgatory get pretty poor TV reception to boot, whereas they have digital cable and HDTV in Heaven.

If you are all good and pull in some serious indulgences then I promise that in honor of St. Paul I will post a video of yers truly doin' some good old-fashioned snake-handling. I'll bet that got your attention, along with the attention of some law enforcement officials and PETA.