Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prostration on Good Friday

The Daily Mail is irreverently treating the prostration of Pope Francis yesterday during Good Friday services like some sort of novelty.  But it is not a novelty at all, but common practice for Roman Catholic and many Anglican priests.

I first encountered this at Smokey Matt’s on Good Friday years ago.  The Mass began with the celebrant and his assistants lying prostrate for quite some period of time.  This impressed me.  Instead of finding it strange, I found it very appropriate.

And if Good Friday is not a time for prostration, when is? 

In fact, the first thing I did yesterday morning was to go up into my attic chapel and lie silently prostrate (face down, of course).  I was going to services later, but felt it meet and right to get my prostration in.

May God bless all my readers, prostrate and otherwise, as we conclude remembering the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Big Issue at the Supreme Court

Most are overlooking the most important issue at stake at the Supreme Court as Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are being argued this week – will we be a Constitutional federal democracy or not?

As I noted earlier this month, over 7,000,000 Californians voted to amend their state constitution via Proposition 8 in a free and fair election.  Will they be denied the right to amend their own state constitution?  Will marriage laws, which have traditionally been determined by the states (a tradition DOMA protects), now be determined from on high by the Supreme Court?  Will we go further towards becoming a dictatorship of Washington, D.C. and a dictatorship of the black robes?

I support traditional marriage.  At the same time, I understand those who support state-recognized gay marriage while I very much disagree with them.  But I am not so understanding towards those who would overturn Constitutional democracy in order to impose their pet and novel view of marriage.  And that is exactly what is being attempted at the Supreme Court.

I know gay marriage is just the most important issue ever in both politics and religion nowadays.  But the integrity, if you will, of our Constitutional democracy is just a bit more important.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The celebration of Holy Week does not usually evoke anathemas from me even.  But leave it to The Episcopal “Church” to blaspheme the Passion even as they pretend to remember it.

Who does St. Paul’s Episcopal “Church”, Richmond bring in to give Good Friday meditations?  John Shelby Spong.  And on what does he wax eloquent beforehand in introducing his visit? How the Seven Last Words of Jesus were never said. Read for yourself if you can endure it.

Oh, and guess who will preside over Spong’s blasphemies? Tory Baucum’s (former?) pal, the Episcopalian “Bishop” of Virginia Shannon Johnston.

I’m at a loss for words save one – Anathema!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Drones – Bigger (and Smaller) Than You Think

Early on during Rand Paul’s filibuster, I posted the following:

I think the Rand Paul filibuster now in progress may become a seminal moment in American politics.  And that not only because it is an actual old-fashion talking filibuster not seen in years.  There aren’t many issues on which Americans are united, but domestic drones is one such issue.  Left, right, or in between, people do not want drones flying over their houses.

And I think drones are becoming a big issue.  And, yes, it actually does cross party and ideological lines. One of many examples: I never thought the day would come when I would quote Sen. Pat Leahy (D-People’s Republic of Vermont) favorably, but he has said, “While there may be many valuable uses for this new technology, the use of unmanned aircraft raises serious concerns about the impact on the constitutional and privacy rights of American citizens.”

Bill Straub has written the best summary I've seen of the issues surrounding domestic drones.  Drones are both interesting (mosquito-sized drones?!?) and useful.  But I and many Americans do not want their properties spied on by them.  One poll even has almost half of Americans thinking they have the right to shoot drones flying over their properties without their permission.

I’m not ready to shoot one quite yet.  But I am ready to raise hell if I see one flying over my property.  And I am far from alone.

The Rand Paul filibuster is only the beginning of domestic drones as a big political issue.  I predict they will be a big issue in the 2016 presidential election.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

On Vikings

While watching the First Four of the NCAA Tournament (No, I am not a compulsive gambler.  Yes, I get a case of March Madness every year.), I noticed promotions for “Vikings” on the History Channel.  From the ads, I guessed the series would follow the revisionist line of Vikings as noble, good-hearted manly men who sailed the seas being very manly.

So I was expecting to blog that the Vikings were not noble at all.  They were looters, murders, and rapists who, among other atrocities, brutally sacked peaceful monasteries.  And I was going to ask with slight smugness and indignity whether the History Channel was going to show that part of Viking history.

But, lo and behold, it appears the series actually does show that side of the Vikings.  A synopsis of the “Dispossessed” episode begins, “A monastery in Lindesfarne is about to get a firsthand look at how the Vikings operate. In and out in a flurry of violence and terror, Ragnar and his crew raid the monastery for everything it contains, from treasure to monks who can be sold as slaves.”

Hmmm.  So the series does have at least some degree of real history and no freemasons or space aliens that I can see.  And I do like my early medieval history. 

I might have to watch.

And you thought I was hard on Harry Reid…

Mark Levin lets us know how he really feels about Harry Reid after the Demorat tied the tragic death of Marines in Nevada to the sequester:

Harry Reid, you’re the lowest of the low-lives, you know that? You really are at the bottom of the sewer, all the time on every issue. … You are just a very ill human being. And the fact that you’re the Senate majority leader says an awful lot about the Democrats in the Senate. … We deserve better than this man. He is a vicious stupid man.

Yep. Pretty much.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

OUTRAGE: Harry Reid Ties Nevada Marine Tragedy to Sequester

I knew Demorats would go and are going to extreme lengths to make the sequester and Republicans look bad.  I knew Harry Reid is a conniving crooked liar.  (And trust me when I say I am putting that nicely.)  But I did not expect him to stoop this incredibly low.  In Harry Reid's own words:

As I indicated, it was quite a big explosion. We’ll follow this news very closely. I will do whatever I can going forward to support the United States military and the families of the fallen Marines.

Mr. President, it’s very important we continue training our military, so important. But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That’s the way sequester was written. Now, the bill that’s on the floor, we hope to pass today helps that a little bit. At least in the next six months, it allows the military some degree of ability to move things around a little bit. Flexibility, we call it, and that’s good. But we have to be very vigilant. This sequester should go away. We have cut already huge amounts of money in deficit reduction. It’s just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can’t train and do the maintenance necessary.

These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it’s going to cut back this stuff.

Marines (who pointed out that if they could not do all the safety precautions, they would not do the exercise) and just about anyone else with any decency are outraged. 

Most Democrats are not.

And that includes the Mainstream Noos Media.  Can you imagine the media outrage if a Republican had said something like this?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis and the Greeks

This morning’s installation liturgy for the new pope contained two large gestures towards the Eastern church.

The Gospel was chanted in Greek, not Latin.

And Eastern Patriarchs joined Pope Francis in venerating the tomb of St. Peter.

Perhaps Pope Francis’ outreach to the Eastern church may be something to watch.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Greg Venables on Pope Francis

I have to admit, as I watched the new Pope being introduced yesterday, I was not comfortable, as you may have noticed on my twitter.  A Jesuit . . . who chooses a new name?  I’m not paranoid (I’m really not!), and I’m not Dan Brown, but I found that just a little scary to be honest.

However, I got a good sleep and then read the following from Bishop Greg Venables:

Many are asking me what Jorge Bergoglio is really like. He is much more of a Christian, Christ centered and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written. I have been with him on many occasions and he always makes me sit next to him and invariably makes me take part and often do what he as Cardinal should have done. He is consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted yet a common man. He is no fool and speaks out very quietly yet clearly when necessary. He called me to have breakfast with him one morning and told me very clearly that the Ordinariate was quite unnecessary and that the church needs us as Anglicans. I consider this to be an inspired appointment not because he is a close and personal friend but because of who he is In Christ. Pray for him.

I trust Greg Venables and his judgement.   That he thinks that highly of the new Pope comforts me.  And Bishop Venables is a straight talker and no flatterer.  He is also deeply evangelical in the old and good sense of the word; so for him to say the new Pope “believes the Bible as it is written” is saying something indeed.

Moreover, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and Bishop Venables worked side by side in combating government hostility to the church and Christian values.  And, sadly, that is something the church must do in most of the world now.  I am glad to see the new Pope has demonstrated the moral compass and backbone to do that and with other branches of Christ’s Church.

As for him being a Jesuit, I’ve read (Forgive me. I’ve forgotten where.) that as a leader in that order, he expected Jesuits under him to be parish pastors instead of running around engaging in community organizing, if you will.

So, as I said, I feel better about the new Pope now.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Rand Paul Filibuster - Democrats Block Anti-Drone Resolution

An important episode yesterday in Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster is not getting much attention.  So I will do my part to remedy that.

Sen. Rand Paul just offered to end his filibuster and allow a vote on CIA nominee John Brennan if he could get a vote tomorrow on a non-binding resolution regarding drone killing of US citizens on US soil. But Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin objected to allowing a vote on the resolution. So Paul resumed speaking.

Paul's resolution said it was the sense of the Senate that "the use of drones to execute or target American citizens on American soil who pose no imminent threat clearly violates Constitutional rights" of due process.

I mentioned yesterday that opposition to domestic drone excesses crosses party and ideological lines.  And support for Sen. Paul’s filibuster did come from scattered lefty sources including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Van Jones, and even Code Pink.

But that does not change the big picture about Democrats.  Most Democrat politicians don’t give a . . . don’t care about the Constitution and about your Constitutional rights. 

Dick Durbin’s objection is yet another instance of that.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Rand Paul Filibuster: Becoming an American Hero UPDATED

Just a note to say I think the Rand Paul filibuster now in progress may become a seminal moment in American politics.  And that not only because it is an actual old-fashion talking filibuster not seen in years.  There aren’t many issues on which Americans are united, but domestic drones is one such issue.  Left, right, or in between, people do not want drones flying over their houses.

Sen. Paul is grabbing this issue and running with it like nobody else.  And it is good policy, defending Constitutional freedoms, and it is good politics as well.  In short, by combating and in effect filibustering domestic drones*, Rand Paul is becoming an American hero.

You heard it here first.

(*Yes, the presenting issue is the Brennan nomination.  But the real issue of the Paul filibuster is domestic drones and their potential abuse.)


Sen. Mike Lee has joined the filibuster.  ‘Cause even heroes need their potty breaks.

Now Sen. Ted Cruz is joining the filibuster, too!  I thank God he’s my senator!

SMOKING GUN: Obama Administration Artificially Making Sequester Difficult

With obnoxious decisions such as cancelling White House tours and threatening to cancel Blue Angels air shows, the Obama Administration seems to be making a point of making the sequester unpopular.

One might even wonder if the Obama regime is artificially making sequester “cuts” difficult for political reasons, in order to make those evil Republicans look bad.  But surely a U. S. President and his administration would not willfully engage in bad management of spending restraints in order to sow political discontent, right? Right?


An e-mail exchange makes it clear that it is indeed policy within the Obama regime to make the sequester “cuts” noxious, even to the point of more or less ordering administrators not to engage in sensible prioritizing.

In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.

He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.” [Emphasis mine.]

This is a smoking gun, and there may be more to come.  The Obama regime wants the sequester to be difficult for the public, and they are taking measures to make it that way.

This e-mail exchange is a small part of a big picture.  Instead of actually governing and negotiating, Obama flies around campaigning and saying the sequester will be horrible because of those eeeevil Republicans.  (Never mind that the sequester was Obama’s idea in the first place and that he insisted on it.)  And then, lo and behold, word goes down through the bureaucracy that underlings have darn well better be sure that the sequester is indeed horrible.

Charles Krauthammer summarizes what the Obama regime is up to quite well:

"The worst-case scenario for us," a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told The Washington Post, "is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens."

Think about that. Worst case? That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2 percent [The sequester doesn’t even do that much, but I’m nit-picking – ed.] -- and the country survives. That a government now borrowing 35 cents of every dollar it spends reduces that borrowing by two cents "and nothing bad really happens." Oh, the humanity!

A normal citizen might think this a good thing. For reactionary liberalism, however, whatever sum our ever-inflating government happens to spend today (now double what Bill Clinton spent in his last year) is the Platonic ideal -- the reduction of which, however minuscule, is a national calamity.

Or damn well should be. Otherwise, people might get the idea that we can shrink government, and live on.

Hence the president's message. If the "sequestration" -- automatic spending cuts -- goes into effect, the skies will fall. Plane travel jeopardized, carrier groups beached, teachers furloughed.

The administration has every incentive to make the sky fall, lest we suffer that terrible calamity -- cuts the nation survives. Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.

Exactly.  And now we have hard evidence that is indeed what the Obama regime is doing.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

On Nazi Analogies

One of the issues with which I wrestle when I blog is when should I use analogies from history or not.  I am something of a history freak and strongly feel we should learn from history and apply its lessons today.  And one lesson is it is much easier to call out and to stop evil early on than after its malevolence is fully unleashed.  Hence my early and frequent warnings about Obama.

At the same time, I neither want to trivialize history and suffering, particularly such dark periods as the Third Reich, nor do I want to become an obnoxious version of the boy who cried wolf.

So there is balance somewhere in referring back to dark historic episodes.  But finding it is often no easy matter.

First Things has just posted one of more thoughtful columns I’ve seen on this quandary, from John-Clark Levin.  I commend it to you

Monday, March 04, 2013

Virus Under Fire After Infecting The Queen UPDATE: Queen Leaves Hospital Early

I’ve been praying for the Queen after news of her hospitalization with symptoms of gastroenteritis.  But perhaps we should pray for the virus instead.  It has clearly made a serious mistake by infecting someone as tough as Her Majesty.

She was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night - for the first time in a decade - but insisted that there must be ‘no fuss’.

Despite suffering from debilitating sickness, the 86-year-old refused to allow an ambulance to collect her. . .

It has emerged that yesterday, as she waited for her car to pick her up instead of an ambulance, Her Majesty even decided that she might as well honour one more long-standing engagement.

She awarded a favourite female member of staff a medal for long service in her private apartments at Windsor Castle, where she had been advised to rest.

A source said: ‘It would have to be something extremely serious for her to let a loyal member of her household down.’

In case you are still so foolish as to doubt the fortitude of Her Majesty, there is this episode from years ago:

In January 1994, she broke her left wrist in a horse riding accident, although the injury wasn’t diagnosed for 24 hours, during which time she remounted her horse and rode back to Sandringham.

You gotta love the Queen.


And now Her Majesty is out of the hospital already, a day early.  I told you she’s tough.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Obama Attacks Prop 8 and Democracy UPDATE: "I am not a dictator."

Under totalitarian regimes, the only votes that count are those in agreement with the totalitarian regime.  But that can never happen in America, right?  Right?

The Obama regime is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the California Prop 8 state Constitutional amendment.  They are thereby asking the Court to nullify an election in which 7,000,000 voters chose to amend their state constitution.

Because gay marriage is soooo much more important than Constitutional democracy, federalism, and your right to self-government.

In case I haven’t said it before, Leftists like Obama only respect Constitutional democracy when they win.  When they don’t get their way at the ballot box, they use election fraud and dictators in black robes to get their way.

And if they get a man with a dictator’s mindset into the Oval Office, so much the better.



Sometimes I am more timely than I know.  Obama just had a press conference, during which he justified his filing with the Supreme Court by saying the country is coming around on same-sex marriage.

Of course, that begs the question of why then use anti-democratic means to bring about SSM?

Oh, and the gem of his presser just turned to be “I am not a dictator.” It is going viral already and is the lead at Drudge:

Echoes of “I am not a crook.”