Tuesday, February 17, 2009
1. Never let your movement be coopted by someone with a different agenda. The abolitionist movement gave itself over as a vehicle for the agenda of an ambitious man who, when it played well, decried the injustice of Negro slavery, but really was out to centralize power in Washington and replace a federation of sovereign states with a single central ... even imperial ... government, and who made it clear that if he could "save the Union" without freeing a single slave, he would do so.
Everything worked out fine for his cabal of generals and railroad owners and other industrial interests, which within a few years were pushing the Indians out of (or underneath) the western territories. But for the southern Negros, slave and free, the result was resentment and racial tensions which are a political factor to this day, and which contrast to the relative racial harmony which one finds in the dozens of countries Western Hemisphere which simply ended slavery peacefully, without an internecine war.
And today, we have seen the Bushie neocons use pro-life voters and pro-life election manpower to launch their own agenda of building a new empire of coerced global democracy. The pro-lifers should wonder if they've been had like the abolitionists, in that the neocon politicians and their war profiteering backers paid their lip-service and got what they want, but abortion on demand is still the law of the land, and the pro-lifers must now operate in the Obama backlash.
2. Read the Fine Print. It's commonly believed that Lincoln freed the slaves. Nonsense. He simply pulled a propaganda stunt by purporting to free slaves in unconquered Confederate territory. If you'll read the Emancipation Proclamation, you'll see he didn't free a single slave in territory Northern invaders controlled.
Likewise, pro-lifers today should pay attention to what really was written, in Roe and Doe, and their precedents, as well as what has happened since (and didn't happen) in Casey and other cases. Pro-lifers should also be sensitive to the federal Constitution. Justice Scalia is constitutionally correct, even as he's pro-life: this is not a federal issue. The way these cases are most likely to get rolled back is to establish that the subject of abortion, like almost all other regulatory and criminal matters, is properly the business of the states, which have plenary power.
If some post-natal person is chopped to pieces, it's a state crime, not a federal offense. So it should be. And so it should be, if some pre-natal person gets chopped to pieces.
Some dream case which rules a fetus has "personhood" will be no more sound Constitutionally than Roe or Doe (however morally sound). It will be a house built on the sand of inconsistent and incomprehensible due process jurisprudence, certain to be washed away by the next leftist wave. Pro-lifers should understand the constitutional issues, and be prepared to take their battle out of Washington to their own statehouses and state courts, where it properly belongs.
3. Don't turn monsters into martyrs. Before John Wilkes Booth's appearance, the balcony at the Ford Theatre was occupied by a man whose refusal to abide by the 10th Amendment to the Constitution caused over 600,000 deaths, who burned and looted massive swaths of his supposedly-beloved nation, and who destroyed a humane and thoughtful form of government that was founded on the Catholic notion of subsidiary (albeit by Protestants and Deists). With the pull of a trigger, Booth had suddenly created the secular saint we see in that hideous William Chester French sculpture.
And a few years ago, some loner idiots--not the organized movement--were popping off abortionists. Even if there's no sin against justice in using all necessary means, including deadly force, to stop the murder of an innocent, more harm than good is done when one raises such a vile person to to the altars of the pro-death crowd. Even for the organized movement that abhors such tactics, though, there's still a lesson here: Should we gain victories here and there, we must treat the vanquished pro-aborts with care, lest we cause a backlash and undo what we've accomplished.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Using the government's monopoly on the use of force to intentionally and wrongfully imprisoning someone is something that deserves summary execution, in the Curmudgeon sentencing guidelines.
But of course, it's really not that big of a deal to the government---a few years at most:
Conahan, who along with Ciavarella faces up to seven years in prison, did not make any comment on te case.The only hope is that they get sent to some prison where there's a once-innocent teenager, ruined by these bastards, with an axe to grind (yes, a literal axe).
But of course their buddies on the bench will look our for them. Maybe a few hours of picking up trash will be all they get.
But Curmudgeon how can you and a Christian say such things? How dare you suggest we (and the incarcerated kids) do anything but turn the other cheek! Christians are supposed to be merciful and forgiving!
I'm reminded of a scene from Henry V:
The mercy that was quick in us but late,
By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd:
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
But of course, we aren't governed by a conscience any more...either a good one like Shakespeare's King Henry or a bad one. We're governed by the mob, and by the corrupt men who are its master. So we can expect these guys to get off with a weekend of picking up trash all the same. It will be curious to hear if this gets meaningful attention in this age where government is good.
On the other hand, it would be delightful if perhaps we could imprison 1,000 to 2,000 judges for parking tickets, minor offenses and arrogant behaviour. Turnabout's fair play!
Mrs. Curmudgeon suggested that we test to be sure it's the adapter and not the cassette player itself. How? I asked. She suggested I put a tape in and see if the player worked normally.
"Do you have a cassette?" she asked
"Umm of course I do...somewhere."
So I went down to the basement and pulled open a box that has been sealed for years. You know...a box containing remnants of our former worldly life.
The first cassette I pulled out was Van Halen II. One I didn't particularly enjoy even when I bought it in high school, and one which Mrs. Curmudgeon had never even endured. We agreed that it would be no loss if the cassette deck ate it. It was serving no purpose other than waiting for a more dramatic end in an old fashioned book-burning or TV-smashing party.
Well sure enough, there was a problem with the deck. It's stuck.
It won't play...God is merciful. The Curmudgeons wont be listening to "Dance the Night Away" over and over on a 15 hour drive. But it just keeps clicking and clicking.
I could not get the tape out. So, I got on the internet, looking for ideas.
As I searched, I ran across this:
Metro on Craigslist. Project car, anyone? - Fuel Economy ...
Radio has "William Shatner Christmas carols" cassette tape stuck in deck, enjoy. ... must tow (preferably on a trailer with a solid deck and sides to avoid ... MPG - 2006
Toyota Corolla automatic. Latest project: pedal power bike 12v ...ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/10-metro-craigslist-project-car-anyone-671.html - 58k - Cached - Similar pages
Up until that point, I couldn't imagine anything worse than a minivan with Van Halen II stuck in it. Now I can. An '06 Corolla with Captain Kirk singing "Silent Night."
Beam me up, Scotty!
Thursday, February 12, 2009
In that post I went so far as to outline a strategy that readers can use part or all of, and I’ve already received a couple of comments, and a couple of email requests, for sample letters to use in the campaign. So see below, and remember that what matters here isn’t getting into an argument, but in helping the larger Church and getting your Bishop and the USCCB National Collections Office to start thinking about helping our fellow Catholics who are attached to tradition in less-fortunate parts of the world.
For the Parish Collection:
(remember to skip this one on subsequent collections if your parish returns it to you the first time. We don’t need to tick off our own pastors and collection counters)
This special collection contribution is to be used solely for the [support of traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) apostolates in Central and Eastern Europe]. Please forward it to the diocese and the USCCB subject to that restriction. If you are unable to do so, please return it to me.
For the Diocesan Letter
(send this one every time unless you are specifically told not to by the Bishop)
Most Rev N. [Cardinal] N.
Bishop/ Archbishop of X
Chancery City, State/Province
Your Excellency (Your Grace, Your Emminence):
Enclosed please find a check in the amount of $____ which I am sending for the diocesan special collection for [the Church in Central and Eastern Europe], which I was unable to contribute in our parish collection last Sunday. I am mindful of our duty to support the wider Church beyond our own parishes and communities, and I want to do so in a way that directs my contribution to an important apostolate that is often neglected by the larger Church.
Therefore I am directing that my contribution be used solely for the support of an a traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) apostolate in Central and Eastern Europe, and for no other purpose.
Please note this purpose as you forward my contribution to the appropriate recipient, in accordance with Canon 1267. If you cannot comply with my these directions, please return the check to me.
You are in my prayers, and in those of my family.
For the USCCB special collections office
(each special collection has its own director...imagine that bureaucracy. These directors are priests...some even Jesuits. If you want to send one directly to that collection's director, locate the name at this web page. Otherwise, send it to the head honcho below, Mr. Markey)
Mr. Patrick Markey
Executive Director, Office of National Collections
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20017
Dear Mr. Markey:
Enclosed please find a check in the amount of $____ which I am sending for the national special collection for [the Church in Central and Eastern Europe], which I neither my parish nor my diocesan collections office was able to accept. I am mindful of our duty to support the wider Church beyond our own parishes and communities, and I want to do so in a way that directs my contribution to an important apostolate that is often neglected by the larger Church.
Therefore I am directing that my contribution be used solely for the support of an a traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) apostolate in Central and Eastern Europe, and for no other purpose.
Please be sure that my contribution reaches an appropriate recipient, in accordance with Canon 1267. If you cannot comply with these directions, please return the check to me as soon as possible.
Finally, if the USCCB bureaucracy has fails you, go direct:
(Find an organization with offices here in the US and apostolates in the appropriate place if you can, especially if you want the tax deduction. I’ll make some suggestions in another post.)
City State ZIP
Enclosed please find a check in the amount of $____ which I am sending for the support of one of your organization’s apostolates in Central or Eastern Europe. [Here mention the specific apostolate if you know of it]
During the national special collection for Central and Eastern Europe in February, I attempted to make a contribution targeted to traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) apostolates there, but neither my diocesan Bishop nor the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Collections Office was willing to accept my contribution.
Therefore, I am sending it to you, knowing that you have apostolates in [______ ]. Please contact me if you have any difficulty in honoring my directives.
We are grateful for the work your institute does here in the US and in Central and Eastern Europe, and you and your priests are in our prayers.
cc: Your local bishop & the USCCB Collections Person you contacted above.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
For the Church in Latin America (January)
For the Church in Eastern and Central Europe (Early February/ around Ash Wednesday)
Rice Bowl (mid-February)
For Black and Indian Missions (late February)
Bishops' Overseas Appeal (mid March)
For the Holy Land (Good Friday)
Priesthood - Present and Future (mid-April)
Home Missions Appeal (late April)
Catholic Communications Campaign (mid May)
Peter's Pence (early July)
Mission Coop (mid July)
Catholic University of America (September)
World Mission Sunday (October)
The [notorious] Campaign for Human Development (mid-November)
Retirement Fund for Religious (mid-December)
Most of us ignore these envelopes, because we know we'd be contributing to just another high-overhead USCCB operation and semi-pagan, commie Maryknollers at best, or at worst (in the case of the Campaign for Human Development) directly supporting political organizations which undermine the Church. We think the Bishops and their diocesan and national bureaucacies are just after our checkbooks, as it seems they are. We know that if we give to these collections, even the evil Campaign for Human Development, our pastors and chaplains are bound to transmit the offerings to the diocese (Canon 1266).
But here's a quandry. We really can't just not give anything outside our parish...ever. We do have an obligation to support the wider Church...not just our own community. Many of us do just that...by supporting faithful religious orders, for instance. But is that enough? Canon 1262 provides that "The faithful are to give support to the Church by responding to appeals and according to the norms issues by the conference of bishops."
Now let's acknowledge that checkbooks can be wielded as effective weapons. Wealthy leftist individuals and wealthy leftist foundations often use the checkbook as their weapon of choice. While we can't perhaps write such big checks and wield such big weapons as these guys (they've got .45s; we've got .22s), we can make ourselves heard using our checkbooks.
Think about it. If an average Bishop gets an angry letter from a traddy about waste and corruption and modernism and special collections, what will he do? He'll probably never see it, because his secretary will screen it. If he does see it, he'll probably ignore it. If you're lucky, he might dictate a curt reply to you ... but that's only if you're lucky. I tried that once myself, complaining to Bishop Finn's predecessor about the irresponsible and downright heretical activities that were being funded by the Diocesan appeal. Instead of assuring me he'd clean things up (which I expected him to do...heh...heh), Bishop Boland practically told me to go find a parish in Kansas and hassle Abp. Kelleher instead.
But what if you send the Bishop a check? Even a small check? What will he do then?
If you send a Bishop a check, he'll probably cash it,and he'll probably read the letter it came in...even if it's for $25 or so. In fact, he has an obligation to cash it. Canon 1267, sec. 2, provides that offerings "cannot be refused except for a just cause..."
And what if you send the Bishop a check with specific conditions as to how it's to be used? What will he do them?
If you send a Bishop a check with conditions, he'll have to use it for the purpose stated in giving the gift, or if he can't, he'll return it. Canon 1267, sec. 3, provides that "Offerings given by the faithful for a certain purpose can by applied only for that same purpose."
So what's your point?
If we want to be heard in the matter of all these special collections (or if you want to make a point about anything else), you can use your checkbook and canon law to be heard...even by the Bishop.
Nobody notices an envelope that's dropped into a trash can at home. Nobody even notices an envelope that's put into the basket empty (except perhaps the poor old guys that are counting the collection while you're enjoying coffee and doughnuts after Mass). But if there's a check in the Chancery or the USCCB office...eventually someone at the Chancery or the USCCB office has to deal with it.
How would you do it?
The method I'll propose will involve some stamps. You'll have to be willing to spend a couple bucks per collection on stamps, as well as be willing to put out $20 or $50 or more in a special collection.
- Step 1: Write a check and a very short note (not a long missive...less than 50 words) stating that you want your contribution to this collection to be used solely for X, and if it cannot be, it should be returned to the donor. In the case of the Latin America collection, "X" should be "solely for the support of traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) apostolates in Latin America." For the "mission" collections, "X" would be "solely for the support of the missionary activities of institutes regularly providing the traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form) to to those they serve." For the Catholic Communications Campaign, it should be "solely for the communication of information and resources on the traditional Latin Mass (Extraordinary Form)." You get the idea. The only problem is the Campaign for Human Development...I'll cover that later.
- Step 2: Put that check and note in your special collection envelope and drop it, like an obedient Catholic, into the basket at the Offertory on the appointed Sunday.
- Step 3: Wait for your chaplain, pastor or parish office manager and call to complain that you're making their job harder, and then have them either forward the check and the note to the Chancery or return it to you so you can direct it to the Chancery yourself. If you get the check back from the parish, skip Step 3 on future collections and go directly to Step 4.
- Step 4: If your chaplain, pastor or parish office manager returns it to you, then mail a check for the same amount, payable to the Archdiocese, directly to your local Bishop with a polite short letter stating that you want to contribute to the collection, but you also want to make sure your gift is targeted to what you see as a critical need in the Church. Don't go beyond that (except perhaps in the case of the Campaign for Human Development, which I'll address below). Don't mention your own community or your own priest. Don't criticize the new Mass or the Vicar General's toupe. Don't even say you're a traddie (trust me...they'll know). Just keep the message focused on how they're to use your check. If you want, you might ask them to confirm with you that the check will be properly directed.
- Step 5: If the Bishop's office calls you (which is unlikely), then be prepared to state your reasons why you did what you did (here, use less candor and more prudence than you would with your own priest, except in the case of the Campaign for Human Development, where you can be candid). Just state that there's lots of money flowing to people who have the New Mass (Ordinary Form), and you want to make sure that those attached to the Extraordinary Form get something, too, because you worry that they might otherwise be neglected by the USCCB. Remind them that it's your right and their obligation under Canon 1267. But I would recommend that you not use the opportunity to bash the new Mass or comment on the Vicar General's toupe. Save that for another letter on another day.
- Step 6: if the Chancery returns the check to you, then send a check directly to the USCCB. I think you can probably get the address from one of the collection links above. The same principles apply to the accompanying letter.
- Step 7: if the USCCB returns the check to you, then send a new check in the same amount directly to an appropriate group (in the case of the Latin American collection, the Campos prelature would be a good one). In the letter, let the recipient know that this is a check you tried to give through a national collection, but that your local Bishop and the USCCB refursed to accept it for the purpose you intended. Copy your local Bishop and the USCCB collections office on the letter.
- Step 8: be happy that you helped the traditional Catholic cause by (a) getting money to a traddie group who can do some good with it and (b) letting the Bishop and the USCCB collections office that you're out there, and you're not stingy...just focused.
What about the Campaign for Human Development?
As for the Campaign for Human Development, I wouldn't use the above strategy at all. In this one case, I would suggest simply returning your empty CHD envelope to the Bishop about a month before the collection, with a polite letter stating that you cannot in conscience provide support to organizations which are enemies of the faith (perhaps enclosing a short, sober article you find online which details CHD wickedness). State that you're giving $x to a specific worthy organization that actually relieves poverty (outside your own parish or community) in lieu of giving anything to the CHD. Also ask him to stop permitting the CHD collection to be made in his diocese.
How's that for a curmudgeonly strategy for dealing with special collections? I'm open to refinements; please comment below, and forward this idea to all your friends (I don't have many readers now that I've quit blogging, so I could use some help disseminating the idea).
If this idea catches on, I'll try to rough up some sample letters for the steps above.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
(I linked the permanent article, not the front page, above because I assume that it will all change in a day or two when they come up with some other goofy thing to put up.
"Rev Victoria" and "Rev Heng" must be loving all the attention they're getting, as must Sister Mary Ann (Sisters of Charity---surprised she's not an IHM or and RSM). I see we had a Bishop there, too. Bishop Wester of Salt Lake City. Well, I supppose Bp. Wester is used to hanging around people with some really strange religious beliefs, given where he's from.
Aren't you glad our Bishops are paying for this stupid stuff....excuse me...this EVIL stuff....while we're closing parishes and schools and convents around the country?
Obama's gonna fix it...Obama's gonna change the world!
^DJI 3:43pm ET 7,872.71 DOWN 398.16 DOWN 4.81%
Seems the stimulous package he rammed through the Senate today is having an effect.
Now we see the fruits of Vatican II, eh? These guys make even Cardinal Roger Mahoney sound Catholic!
Monday, February 09, 2009
Now imagine his superior taking decisive action within a matter of days to distance himself and those under his authority from the source of scandal.
Now imagine the source of scandal promptly and publicly apologizing for all the trouble within a week.
Now imagine the source of scandal dropping into the background, and consistently with his promised apology, letting himself be cast into the sea and surrendering his post.
Also imagine a superior throwing a different, unrepentant source of scandal out of his order entirely....again within a few days of the violation.
Hmmmm. Maybe the "regular Catholics," Jesuits and several U.S. Bishops included (not to mention the entire German episcopate), could take a lesson from all this.
I could be proven wrong over the next few weeks, but at present, it seems that the "disobedient" and arrogant" Society of St. Pius X, from its actions so far, does have something to teach us "regular Catholics" about obedience and humility after all.
Of course the people that would benefit can't hear all this over their own shrill PC screams. But wouldn't it be something if scandal within the institutional Church handled is such a decisive way?
Pray for the Holy Father, that he might overcome his enemies inside and outside the Church, for Bps. Fellay and Williamson, and for everyone in or attached to the SSPX!
Friday, February 06, 2009
Identify the person who published the following statement:
A few years after the Second Vatican Council, a French [A]rchbishop, Marcel Lefebvre ... judged that the Council had taken the Roman Catholic Church too far in a progressive direction, so far that no [P]ope since Pius XII has been validly elected and served as [P]ope.
(a) the Editor in Chief of the National Catholic Reporter?
(b) an anonymous commenter on the "Lost Lambs" blog?
(c) the Roman Catholic Bishop of Buffalo?
(d) internet canonist and anti-SSPX crusader Ed Peters?
(e) Bill Tammeus of the Kansas City Star?
If you picked (c), you win.
Was it because he is ignorant, or because he's devious? Honestly, I cannot bring myself to believe that a sitting Bishop would be so poorly informed about an ecclesiastical matter. Which means I'm assuming the latter.
Shame on me for having so little respect for the man. But if you respect the office, it's that much harder to respect the man.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
(intro music by Roger Miller:)
Kansas City Star....that's what I are!
Yodileedila-ye ya' oughta see m'car
Drive a big ole' Cadillac with wire wheels
Got rhinestones on the spokes
Got credit down at the grocery store and my barber tells me jokes
I'm the number one attraction in every supermarket parking lot
I'm the King of Kansas City...no thanks Omaha...thanks alot.
Ahem, from the Kansas City Business Journal:
Kansas City Star will cut more jobs
The Kansas City Star will cut more jobs as part of a restructuring plan its parent company announced Thursday. The McClatchy Co. (NYSE: MNI) plans to cut an additional $100 million to $110 million in costs in the next year, starting later in the first quarter.
* * *
Also on Thursday, McClatchy reported that it lost $21.7 million, or 26 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 28. This compares with a loss of $1.4 billion, or $17.46 a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the quarter was $470.9 million, down 18 percent from $573.4 million the prior year.
* * *
No one could miss (at least no one who doesn't work for McClathy could miss) seeing the causes of this: content that is insufficient, poorly selected, poorly written, in a poorly designed paper.
For instance, Inane columns like this one on the Bishop Williamson matter, involving no research and no original thought...and preceded or accompanied by no actual reporting of the underlying news, even on the once-a-week Faith page. In a vaccuum, I might have wondered why there was no report of the lifting of excommunications here in the very newspaper market where the SSPX is headquartered.
But heck, no one even reports for the Falling Star any more. They've laid off all their reporters. If an event isn't reported over the AP wire, or it isn't visible from an editor's window, or it doesn't involve Mark Funkhouser, it doesn't get reported. They just fill the space where the news used to be with graphics and with guest articles that read like the copy came into the place written in crayon.
The only reason to ever buy a Falling Star would have been for packing dishes or lining pet cages or lighting a woodstove. But now that they've skinnied the paper down to pay for their gazillion-dollar presses, and their glass palace, it's not even useful for that.
The days of the Star are numbered. A few weeks ago, I proposed to a journalist/investigative reporter I know that if a guy had a million dollars or so, he could launch a new general circulation paper in town...a tabloid size paper that came out in print once or twice a week with daily email updates to fill in the gaps (like the KC Business Journal), and actually made some effort to provide real news and informed commentary. Something that was fair and balanced, but was edited for consumption by a reasonably informed and educated, commonsense reader with a Western and Christian worldview. I'm not talking about a highbrow publication, or a special-interest religious publication. And no, I'm not talking about a print version of FoxNews (blech~!) I'm just talking about a decent paper with a staff that sifts and reports general news for intelligent people of good will, rather than a mediocre and incomplete leftist rag like we have now.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
It appears that the Bishop of Scranton is consolidating the FSSP parish in Scranton out of existence. This is, of course, in the diocese where the FSSP is headquartered. The traditionalist world has been very quiet about this. WHY?
Is there any news to post or print on this development?