Monday, October 31, 2005

Samuel Alito - All the right friends, all the right enemies

Perhaps the worst thing about the Miers debacle was Harry Reid's enthusiasm for her nomination. Now that the President has nominated New Jersey jurist Samuel Alito for the Court, the world will return to rights. As James Taranto says today in his Best of the Web:

Conservatives are delighted, and as Human Events notes, even Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a very liberal Democrat, described his fellow New Jerseyite as "the kind of judge the public deserves--one who is impartial, thoughtful, and fair," and added, "I urge the Senate to confirm his nomination." Lautenberg was prescient; he said this on the floor of the Senate in April 1990, more than 15 years ago.

From the Miami Herald:

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee and one of 22 Democrats who voted for Chief Justice John Roberts’ confirmation, called Alito a “needlessly provocative nomination.” [Boo hoo hoo. Perhaps he would prefer Miguel Estrada? Janice Rodgers Brown? . . .]

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who had urged Bush to nominate Miers, said Alito’s confirmation “would leave the Supreme Court looking less like America and more like an old boys club.” Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a staunch abortion opponent and one of the leading Senate skeptics toward Miers, commended Bush for nominating Alito. He said the confirmation hearings will provide “a robust and, I hope, civil dialogue with the nominee about the meaning of the Constitution and the role of the courts in American life.”

Harry Reid's wrong of course, the Supreme Court's going to look like a Knights of Columbus hall with a mini-Sons of Italy lodge attached. Not that that's a bad thing, considering the way things were 100 or even 50 years ago.

(The has the genius headline, "Nomination Likely to Please GOP, but Not Some Democrats". No, really? You guys are so smart. I'm sure you have to take headline writing at Columbia Journalism School twice to write a head like that.)

Not your usual Steve Jobs put-down piece

In fact, he says that Steve's willingness to take a risk like this is what makes Apple, well, Apple - never count 'em out. Don't sell your Apple stock, for Pete's sake.

Did Jobs kill the iPod mini too soon?

A harsh law of the high-tech jungle says only those companies willing to kill off their most successful products to make room for even better ones can hope to remain on top. Few chief executives actually follow that tenet, however. One of the exceptions is Apple Computer's Steve Jobs.

But then, Jobs isn't your typical CEO. He showed why a month ago, when he announced the supercool iPod nano on Sept. 7. That day, Jobs also announced that Apple had discontinued the iPod mini -- as of that day Apple's single hottest product.

. . . Amazingly, few -- if any -- observers questioned the wisdom of Jobs's call at the time. But surely some investors questioned it on Oct. 11, after the 10 per cent drop in Apple's stock that followed the release of the company's fourth-quarter results. While Apple sold 6.4 million iPods in the quarter, up 220 per cent from the year before, total iPod shipments fell short of Wall Street's lofty expectations. . . .

If the price for making the nano a hit was to clear the iPod mini decks, so be it. Indeed, Jobs has been a stickler for simplicity ever since returning to Apple in 1997. At the time, he immediately nixed dozens of unremarkable product lines, replacing them with just four. Ever since, he has argued that Apple's success is as much a result of what the company doesn't do as what it does.

And by the way, Jobs is by no means just the wild-eyed product visionary of his youth. He has long since proved himself an operationally minded executive as well. Indeed, we will likely get a better understanding of the mini's demise as early as today, when Apple is expected to roll out a new member or two of the iPod family at a much-anticipated event in San Jose.

I'd bet that by the end of his keynote, few investors will be griping about last quarter's performance -- but will instead be handicapping just how well Apple can do in the next one thanks to its rapidly changing lineup of iPods.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Sorry, kids, but Fitzmas isn't coming

So Scooter Libby has been indicted. For lying to the grand jury. Not for exposing Valerie Wilson. Big difference. (I can't believe the media isn't on that - maybe they're just too excited about "getting" Mr. Libby any old way.) And Karl Rove wasn't indicted at all today. Look people, if Mr. Fitzgerald had the goods, he would bring out the indictment. I don't think it's there.

Meanwhile, I share Byron York's question for Fitzgerald:

So after all the investigation, and all the testimony, and, now, a five-count indictment against Lewis Libby, the original question of the CIA leak investigation remains unanswered: Who told Robert Novak that Joseph Wilson's wife worked for the CIA? The name "Novak" appears in just one paragraph of the 22-page indictment:
On or about July 10 or July 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke to a senior official in the White House (“Official A”) who advised LIBBY of a conversation Official A had earlier that week with columnist Robert Novak in which Wilson’s wife was discussed as a CIA employee involved in Wilson’s trip. LIBBY was advised by Official A that Novak would be writing a story about Wilson’s wife.
Assume, for these purposes, that "Official A" is Karl Rove. The indictment is cagey about who-told-who-what in the Novak-Rove conversation -- "Wilson's wife was discussed." But in any event, "Official A" is the only source mentioned. But in his original column, Novak wrote that, "Two senior administration officials told me his wife suggested sending Wilson to Niger to investigate the Italian report." And finding those two senior administration officials was apparently the purpose of the investigation. So who are they?

Or, if, technically, no laws or rules were broken, will Mr. Fitzgerald simply be allowed to wrap things up without an independent-counsel style report or conclusion, for which he has no brief?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Miss Miers takes the fall

Executive privilege - it's as good a reason as any other. Not that anyone's buying, but a nice try. Anyway, if anyone's going to take a bullet for G. W., it's Harriet.

If you didn't see this coming, you need to sharpen up your Washington skills. And if the President is really surprised, then he can just chalk it up to that blind spot, the one that makes him think "Brownie's" "good job", seeing into Putin's "soul", and other unusual nonsense comes from the same place as his usual good judgment. I still think this was all about "payback" for Alberto; Harriet being a "palate cleanser" for a "real" candidate is a second choice, but I think Bush expended too much capital on this fracas for that to be an option.

P.S. Charles Krauthammer gave us the playbook for this last weekend. Smart fellow. Coincidentally, he was profiled today in the National Post's "Beautiful Minds" series. Smart and very interesting fellow.

Communion for the divorced and remarried: How many ways to say no?

Aw. Poor Cardinal Kasper no likey the Synod outcome. "I cannot imagine that the discussion is closed. It is a question that exists, and we have to reflect on it in order to be able to respond," he said. Well, you all just spent three weeks talking about things, including this, I'd give it a rest for a little while if I were you, Walter. But no.

Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, apparently was not too thrilled either with his brother cardinal's taking up the drumbeat again on the day after the Synod's close, and took the step of giving an interview to an Italian secular daily, La Repubblica, to make his concerns known:

He explained: "Those who say they are divorced and remarried-- because their [second] marriage is not a true marriage-- are in an objective situation which is contrary to the law of God, and does not allow them to approach Communion." . . . The Colombian prelate concluded that "no modification of this doctrine is possible." He added: "This is not a question that is in debate, or can be debated."

He then made nicey-nice with Cardinal Kasper:

Clearly hoping to ease a conflict with his Vatican colleague, Cardinal Lopez Trujillo told La Repubblica that Cardinal Kasper is "a great theologian." He suggested that perhaps the German cardinal had sought to accentuate the pastoral needs of the couples who are divorced and remarried, and "what he said was not well understood."

Mmmmmm, perhaps, my good Cardinal.

Is this that hard? I mean, even those who didn't agree with the formal declaration of the Assumption and Infallibility soon either submitted or parted ways, but Western bishops have been going on about this for over twenty years. How about this, guys: Why don't you spend the next twenty years catechizing your flock about what marriage is all about, and why one shouldn't rush into it, and the problems of divorce and remarriage? Just a suggestion.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

At home with Martha Stewart

You'll either love or hate this new offer - a home designed with Martha's help!

Now, finally, you've got someplace to put all your Martha Stewart Signature furniture and your Martha Stewart Everyday linens and towels, a real home for all your back issues of Martha Stewart Living and your copies of Martha's books.

I'm not sneering, either - maybe my husband can get a job at a school in the Research Triangle? . . .

Friday, October 21, 2005

Flake vs. Flake

Svend Robinson takes on Hedy Fry in Vancouver:
Svend Robinson making political comeback
Longtime New Democrat Svend Robinson, who left politics after admitting to stealing an expensive ring, is making a comeback. Robinson said Friday he will seek the NDP nomination in the riding of Vancouver Centre to run in the next federal election. That riding is held by Liberal Hedy Fry.

Will be an interesting one to watch. Though I must say, as someone who actually has bipolar disorder, I really resent Svend using it to help explain his little "mistake". Oops.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Feast of Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and Companions


From Catherine Fournier's, a late '30's account by a secular journalist:
For 10 years Ste. Marie was the centre of the Jesuit mission to the Huron. There the Fathers taught the Natives how to treat the land so it would nourish them; how to live so they could be healthy; how to live according to a law which would bring the greatest good to the greatest number; and in addition how to sustain the inner life of the spirit so it might be strong enough to take the individual through life's experiences.

To this end the Fathers learned the Huron tongue and lived among the Natives year in and year out, impressing upon them the sweetness of the Christian faith through their own example of kindness, unselfishness and knowledge - not to mention their purity of lives and conduct.

It remains in our history one of the noblest of all humanitarian efforts and one of the highest of all Christian actions.

In 1649 the Iroquois came raiding into the north. One by one, the Huron villages fell before the Iroquois and five of the missionaries fell in Martyrdom. All through Huronia the smoke rose from the burning and destruction. The missionaries suffered the anguish of the spirit, beaten back once more by hatred and violence. But was it not always so? "Crucify Him -- Crucify Him". To the end, the Martyrs bore themselves with that strange, benign dignity of holy office -- looking with eyes full of compassion upon the Iroquois who thought that the death of a man was the end of faith.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Epatering les bourgeoisie yet again

I saw this headline on Drudge:


And I thought it must be a new message from Bayside, or something. Because we've all spent the last 20 years separating "Madonna" from "THE Madonna", right? But, no, it's the one who bore a son named Rocco, not Jesus:

The former Material Girl now believes "the beast is the modern world that we live in!"

"The material world. The physical world. The world of illusion, that we think is real. We live for it, we're enslaved by it. And it will ultimately be our undoing," Madonna explains in her new documentary film, I'M GOING TO TELL YOU A SECRET.

In the movie, which will premiere at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on Tuesday, Madonna warns how people "are going to go to hell, if they don't turn from their wicked behavior."

The singer, who is also promoting the upcoming release of her new music CD, declares: "Most priests are gay."

"I refer to an entity called 'The Beast'. I feel I am describing the world that we live in right now. To me 'The Beast' is the modern world that we live in."
What??? Is this, um, "kosher" for that red-string modernist-Kabbalah stuff she's been doing? I mean, it's not like she says, "Priests having gay sex is bad," and the truth is more that a small, but visible, minority of priests are gay, or seem homosexual or just effeminate. And then there's that whole "the world of illusion, that we think is real" - well, that's not Christian philosophy, so I suppose we're not looking at a re-conversion experience here. I guess after the last few stunts (becoming British, becoming "Jewish", becoming a children's book author), she had to find some way to get back in the spotlight. This is shocking enough, while being vague enough . . .

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Corn, delicious corn!

We have been eating lots of corn lately. An ear for each of us every day at dinner. I'm hoping it will last into the end of the month. Most of the corn here in Alberta this late comes from the Okanagan in British Columbia, where it's much warmer, and of course it's been pretty warm here this year as well - anyway, we'll take it as long as it comes!

As a red-blooded American, of course, I was raised on the stuff, but my husband, who grew up in Scotland in the '50's and '60's, wasn't familiar with it until he moved to Canada. Back in the day in Britain, "maize" was mostly considered fit for livestock feed. (However, apparently the British have since discovered the joys of sweet corn - Wikipedia says that a poll this year of 2,000 people revealed that sweet corn was Britain's second-favorite culinary vegetable.) He likes it with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper; I prefer it with only some salt. I like to eat it "rotary" style, while he tends to the "typewriter" school. But, however we eat it, however long the season lasts, delicious, simple, tasty corn is something we cannot get enough of, and we praise God highly for it.

Peggy Noonan lays out the needed game plan on Miss Miers

Look. It's this simple, really. Not easy, but simple. (And I so love her comment about Dan Quayle. His career is a great negative example of the power of "no". Just because a great opportunity is offered to you, doesn't mean you need to take it . . . something different, better, will happen when the time is right.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

From the Synod: Good and Bad Ecumenism, from our Separated Brethren

Yesterday afternoon, the "fraternal delegates" (i.e., non-Catholic Christian representatives) were invited to give remarks at the Episcopal Synod. In doing so, they gave some very different glimpses of the attitudes of their churches vis-á-vis Rome

Positive and friendly:

METROPOLITAN JOHANNIS ZIZIOULAS OF PERGAMO, GREECE. "It is a great honor for me to be given the opportunity to address this venerable episcopal Synod and bring to it the fraternal greetings and best wishes of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Church of Constantinople. The invitation to our Church to send a fraternal delegate to this Synod is a gesture of great ecumenical significance. We respond to it with gratitude and love. We Orthodox are deeply gratified by the fact that your Synod also regards the Eucharist as the source and summit of the life and mission of the Church. It is extremely important that Roman Catholics and Orthodox can say this with one voice. There may still be things that separate our two Churches but we both believe that the Eucharist is the heart of the Church. It is on this basis that we can continue the official theological dialogue of our two Churches, which is now entering a new phase. Eucharistic ecclesiology can guide us in our efforts to overcome a thousand years of separation. For it is a pity to hold the same conviction of the importance of the Eucharist but not be able to share it at the same table."

Superior and, frankly, a bit disdainful:

REV. FILIPPO VAYLTSEV OF THE PATRIARCHATE OF MOSCOW, RUSSIA. "The Eucharist is the central and most important point of the life of the Church and of every Christian. Hence, the weakening of Eucharistic awareness leads to a destruction of ecclesiastic awareness, ... and to errors in the understanding of Christian values. ... We would be very pleased if our experience of Eucharistic life, both past and present, proves useful and helpful to the Roman Catholic Church. ... It must not be forgotten that preparation for communion in the Russian Orthodox Church also includes, apart from inner preparation, 'The Rule' (strict fasting for three days, visits to Church during these three days, prayers for communion, and special Eucharistic fasting after midnight), and Confession is also compulsory. However, these strict rules are seen by the Church not as an obligation, but as a measure that was formed historically in accordance with tradition, and that people apply to themselves."

Friendly and sharing:

MOR SEVERIUS MALKE MOURAD OF THE SYRO-ORTHODOX PATRIARCHATE, SYRIA. "In our Syrian Orthodox Church, we celebrate the divine liturgy in Syriac-Aramaic, the language of our Lord Jesus; and during the divine liturgy the very same words which Jesus said in the Upper Room are recited. And the priest who celebrates this Sacrament, has to celebrate it alone. I feel proud that I live in the Monastery of St. Mark in the Old City of Jerusalem, where Jesus had His Last Supper. ... The presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist is not only His bodily presence, but all His fullness in humanity and divinity. So Lord Jesus is present in all parts of the two elements. ... St. Paul the Apostle exhorts the believer to spiritually prepare himself before he comes to receive holy communion with faith, reverence and a pure conscience, and should cleanse his body and observe the pre-communion fast at 12 midnight. We used to give the sacraments of holy communion to the children immediately after they receive the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation."

Whiny-ass and not-quite-getting-it:

BISHOP JOHN HIND OF CHICHESTER, ENGLAND. "I bring greetings from the Archbishop of Canterbury and request for prayers for Anglicans at a difficult time. ... When is it appropriate to share holy communion? How should we interpret the public giving of communion to the Protestant Frere Roger Schutz? The Eucharist is not primarily a matter or rite or ceremonial but a living of the new life in Christ. If it is to be truly Christian, there must be criteria for mutual recognition. No less important is the extent to which we suffer with each other. ... In the Eucharist it is not our fellowship that is being celebrated, but our reconciliation with God which creates our fellowship. ... If the Eucharist is itself 'Mysterium fidei' then it must follow that our fellowship or communion in the Church is also a 'mysterion,' in other words, speaking something we cannot understand by reason alone. Finally, being united with Christ in His self‑offering orients us not only towards God but also towards every single one of our human brothers and sisters, for whom in their amazing diversity the Son of God gave His life."

Disclaimer: Of course, these are just my impressions, based on the speech excerpts the Vatican press office released, but it is based on a good number of years of reading this kind of stuff.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Am I losing The Faith?

Frightening - I was lying in bed thinking almost exactly this last night. (HT: Mark Shea.)

Specifically, the article says, "There is now a distinctive fin de regime stink about Republican Washington." Last night I was thinking, "We're getting into the "Iran-Contra" phase of this presidency, aren't we?" In the sense that everything gets mired down and there's no initiative on intiatives - "fin de regime" is a nice way to put it.

Reagan made mistakes but he cut the taxes, built up the military, and even if he gave us O'Connor and Kennedy, he also gave us Nino Scalia. I think GW does a really good job . . . when he wants to. But how to motivate him???

Bush: Just Actin' Like a Texan

I kind of had this theory last week, but I'll let Gerald from "The Cafeteria is Closed" say it:

I think [the Miers backlash from the base] makes Bush even more resolute. It's the other side of consistency - stubbornness. Critique, especially from intellectuals, only makes him more resolved. He was already peeved when the Alberto Gonzales trial balloon was shot down. It wouldn't even surprise me if the Miers nomination is a result of the snub his friend got.
I think this is exactly right. "You don't want me to nominate Alberto? Fine, I won't nominate Alberto. [The president's lips set in a hard line.]" I really think this, because I personally am as stubborn as a mule bred from a stubborn horse and a stubborn donkey, but also because I've had a strange experience since moving to Canada. At home, I really did not have much of a Texas accent at all, and I didn't use colloquialisms that much. However, living in Canada, especially when there was a lot of anti-Americanism last fall during the U.S. election, my accent has come out and I have really started using turns of phrase that were in my mind, even if I wasn't using them. And it gets even stronger if, say, we're in line at a coffeehouse and I hear people denigrating the U.S. (which has happened more than once), or if we're on the bus in Vancouver while visiting the in-laws. At least I live in Alberta - I'm sure it would be a thousand times worse in Ontario.

The point is - if you think Texans are backwards and annoying, well, I'm not ashamed to be Texan, and I'm going to be even more full-on Texan just to show you. Easterners, especially, think that if they just register their dislike of Texan "loudness", then we'll tone it down, because we want to be liked just like they do, right? Well, um, wrong. And GWB, for all his patrician background, really is a Texan. He feels disrespected by his base over the whole Gonzales thing, and I have a feeling - only a feeling, but a very strong, instinctive feeling - that he just decided to put his foot down and demand loyalty on whoever he chose from the "herd of cats" that is the Republican base. The more people get upset about it - whether well-known writer, famous activist, or just a guy who plants yard signs - the more stubbornly Bush is going to cling to his "pit bull in size 6 shoes". I'd like to be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

One of the prettiest Hermès scarves I've ever seen

Now, I can't afford to go around buying Hermès scarves all the time (or, really, just about any time). But I've received a few over the years and, well, there's nothing like them. And they really are beautiful. I enjoy looking at this one site,, which is run by a very nice Swiss fellow; he always has interesting scarves available, and it's as good for education about Hermès scarves as it is for buying them. He's just put up this absolutely beautiful scarf:

Le Langage Du Fleurs1

Le Langage Du Fleurs
Rare and exceptional scarf from 1937, the first year Hermes produced scarves. It has a red border and green and white background with yellow, purple, lilac, pink, grey and blue details. The colors are vivid and the printing is very charming! The size is smaller than the scarves of today and measures 30.5"(77cm) square. It is not silk twill, but a plain, finely woven silk. The condition is pristine. A collectors dream!

It can be yours for a cool €1200, or US$1,500.

Why we love Nino Scalia

Father Neuhaus hits it on the head:

I confess he is among my favorite people. Not only because he is so smart but because he is unpretentious and unintimidated by those who are not. As noted in a recent book review in FIRST THINGS, his dissents on the Court are often deliciously wicked debunkings of the ponderous opinions of his colleagues who, with furrowed brow and much chin-pulling, manufacture from imagined constitutional emanations and penumbra laws to their liberal liking.
Father mentions Scalia because of the justice's article in the upcoming November issue - so now I definitely have to buy that one!

First Things' "new" blog, "On the Square" (it's right there on the magazine's home page), is coming along nicely, and Fr. Neuhaus as always is a treat to read.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

John Cornyn goes to bat for Harriet Miers

I think he's mostly saying,"Well, just because she didn't go to some big-deal university [he says both "Ivy-League-credentialed" and "East Coast universities" in regards to where she didn't go] and hasn't been in any East- or West-Coast in-group, and just because she's the President's attorney, that doesn't mean she's not qualified! In fact, she's the people's justice!"

Nice try, Senator. But color me unimpressed.

Harriet Miers: Finally, a Supreme Court nominee who understands real people. (Requires free registration)

Bishops' Synod: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

From today's session-

The good:

ARCHBISHOP JAN PAWEL LENGA M.I.C. OF KARAGANDA, KAZAKHSTAN. "Among the liturgical innovations produced in the Western world, two in particular tend to cloud the visible aspect of the Eucharist, especially as regards its centrality and sacredness: the removal of the tabernacle from the center and the distribution of communion in the hand. ... Communion in the hand is spreading and even prevailing as being easier, as a kind of fashion. ... Therefore, I humbly propose the following practical propositions: that the Holy See issue a universal regulation establishing the official way of receiving communion as being in the mouth and kneeling; with communion in the hand to be reserved for the clergy alone. May bishops in places where communion in the hand has been introduced work with pastoral prudence to bring the faithful slowly back to the official rite of communion, valid for all local Churches."

The bad:

BISHOP LORENZO VOLTOLINI ESTI, AUXILIARY OF PORTOVIEJO, ECUADOR. "Refraining from the celebration of Mass on Friday in Lent would help the faithful to feel greater hunger for the Eucharistic food, and it would give priests the chance to put themselves at the disposal of the faithful for the Sacrament of Penance, thus establishing a relationship of equal dignity and necessity between the two Sacraments. ... I propose it be suggested to dioceses or National Conferences, or at least allowed to those that request it, that they establish a day of Eucharistic fasting, preferably during Lent and perhaps on Fridays. This should not be experienced as a day of Eucharistic absence but as a period of preparation for and expectation of the Eucharist. It should not be considered as an interruption of the practice of celebrating the Eucharist each day, but as a way to give worth to the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ, equally celebrated in Penance and in the Eucharist in the totality and complementarity of the two Sacraments."

The ugly:

ARCHBISHOP JOHN ATCHERLEY DEW OF WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND. "Our Church would be enriched if we were able to invite dedicated Catholics, currently excluded from the Eucharist, to return to the Lord's table. There are those whose first marriages ended in sadness; they have never abandoned the Church, but are currently excluded from the Eucharist. There are Catholics married to people baptized in other Christian faiths. We acknowledge them to be baptized in Christ in the sacrament of marriage, but not in the reception of the Eucharist. This Synod must be pastoral in approach; we must look for ways to include those who are hungering for the Bread of Life. The scandal of those hungering for Eucharistic food needs to be addressed, just as the scandal of physical hunger needs to be addressed."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I had a dream last night . . .

. . . well, you're going to hear about it anyway.

I dreamt that this boy that I knew from growing up, who is now White House Communications Director (which is true), was on Rush Limbaugh (which I haven't listened to in years), and I had called in (from Canada?!?!) and, after telling him how proud everyone was of him working for the President in the White House, laid into him for the Miers appointment. He had some good rebuttals; we went back and forth, but it basically came down like this editorial in the WSJ today:

Cronyism: Alexander Hamilton wouldn't approve of Justice Harriet Miers

I said something basically like this in my dream (while, I think, floating and tying blue ribbons in my hair . . .), which I think gets to the nub of why so many conservatives are so angry: We just expect better behavior.

Imagine the reaction of Republicans if President Clinton had nominated Deputy White House Counsel Cheryl Mills, who had ably represented him during his impeachment proceedings, to the Supreme Court. How about Bernie Nussbaum?

Absolutely. Now, it's important to add, and I did in my dream, that it's nothing against Miss Miers that the base doesn't think she's all that and a bag of chips for a Supreme Court appointment. As Professor Barnett puts it,

By characterizing this appointment as cronyism, I mean to cast no aspersions on Ms. Miers. I imagine she is an intelligent and able lawyer. To hold down the spot of White House counsel she must be that and more. She must also be personally loyal to the president and an effective bureaucratic infighter, two attributes that are not on the top of the list of qualifications for the Supreme Court.

"The base" just really expected a good, strong jurist, and instead we got a lawyer who, while not doubt qualified and able as an attorney . . . well, I'll give Professor Barnett the last word.

Given her lack of experience, does anyone doubt that Ms. Miers's only qualification to be a Supreme Court justice is her close connection to the president? Would the president have ever picked her if she had not been his lawyer, his close confidante, and his adviser?

Interesting proposal from Bishops' Synod (I like it)

Go here, scroll down:

ARCHBISHOP CRISTIAN CARO CORDERO OF PUERTO MONTT, CHILE. "My proposal is that, given the close theological, spiritual and pastoral relationship between the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance, and taking into account the shadows in the latter, a year be dedicated to the Sacrament of Penance, taking as fundamental points the following: the meaning of the true and living God, and His eclipse in modern culture; the need of salvation and the announcement of Jesus Christ; ... the sense of sin, which is diminished or annulled, due to the loss of God and moral relativism; conversion and the virtue of penance; spiritual guidance or accompaniment; the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance as an encounter between the sinner, who converts from his misery, and God who, in His mercy in Christ, welcomes and forgives him; the conditions for receiving Holy Communion; new life in Christ, as His disciples and members of the Church. With respect to the relationship between the Eucharist and the pastoral care of vocations, I propose that in the 'Year of Penance' priests be formed and motivated to give spiritual direction to young people and to give time to the Sacrament of Reconciliation which, together with the Eucharist, are fundamental in spiritual guidance.

By the way, NO "general Confession and Absolution" in Penance Services - we're talking about the real thing here.

Monday, October 03, 2005

My main problem with Harriet Miers . . .

(today, anyway) is, to be honest, that eyeliner.

harriet up close

Harriet, where did you get that stuff? That must be from some Washington makeover because you sure would not get that from back home. Of course, Dallas women like to wear a goodly amount of makeup (which I, personally, do not), but dark eyeliner all thick like that? Something nice, soft, brown, and smudged would be gentle and help to minimize those Samsonites under her eyes, which these black streaks only bring out. At least she didn't put it inside her eye rim like the late Princess of Wales. I'm not kidding here, this is serious, Texas women will know what I mean. And, boy, is she gonna get it from the Fashion Police.

(Note to self . . . )

Should I refer to Miss Miers by her first name? People might get confused, think there was a new hurricane.

Catholic chat on Harriet

At Catholic World Report, at Amy Welborn.

I think I'm just going to go read Dom Bettinelli's hate mail.

Harriet Miers: Totally

That's my Gen-X'er response to this piece by Bill Kristol. If you're any kind of hard-core American conservative, I think it will resonate. (Fred Barnes has a more "inside" take here. Gee, I hope so .) Another instance of the Prez being "misunderestimated", or the pick we've all been fearing? I'm not certain, but I don't feel good.

Keeping Piglet, er, Kosher

Well, this one has definitely taken the blogosphere by storm. And I'm doing my bit - putting my design skills to work to make attractive support banners for anyone who wants them. From top to bottom, they're 200, 150, and 100 pixels wide. The images link to my Flickr account, so please go there, copy the image for yourself in the size you want, and put it on your own server/acct/etc. - play nice! Attribution is cool, but not required - just keep our little pink friends in the public eye.




Update: Here's a button if you prefer that sort of thing:

free piglet

And remember - no matter how much you love Piglet, Wilbur, Arnold Ziffel, Gub-Gub, Gaston et Josephine, Babe, the Empress, Pigling Bland, and all the others - there ain't nothing like a nice BLT. Unless it's an Easter ham. Mmmm-mmmm. I'll fight dhimmitude to my last breath, because it's absolutely against my deeply held religious beliefs, but also because you are going to have to pry my BLT out of my cold dead hands. And dispose of it yourself. And burn it with my stuffed Piglet and my copies of Charlotte's Web and Pigs Have Wings.

Madam Justice Kennedy? (or, O'Connor Redux)

Well, Bush had to fill "the O'Connor slot", but he didn't have to fill it so faithfully. David Frum has it about right here. Now, Harriet Miers is a real nice lady from Dallas, but, to be honest, I mostly remember her as a RINO and a Dallas city councilwoman. I wouldn't go all pinning any strong conservative hopes on her. So - George heard us and didn't put up Alberto; he just put up a different crony. Um, yeah, okay, George. I just hope she doesn't "grow" too much. Hometown reaction is here: Bush taps Dallas native; Legal community overjoyed; Reaction to Harriet Miers' nomination. (Note: I would also take with a grain of salt her contributions to Lloyd Bentsen and Al Gore; Lloyd Bentsen was a relatively-conservative boll-weevil pork-getter, and she contributed to Al Gore in 1988, when he was the conservative Southern Democrat choice, before all this earth-in-the-balance folderol and when he was still kind of tentatively anti-abortion [I won't say, exactly, pro-life]. Not my ideal candidates back then, but not like contributing to them or their heirs today, either.)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cooler than a Leif Garrett hairdo

I was at Chapters (for Americans: it's kind of Canada's Borders) this evening and flipped through the second issue of Make (which is super-cool if you're at all inclined to things computersish or DIY-ish). On the last page, they had an Atari 2600 portable that this fellow, Ben Heckendorn, had hacked together. I thought that was about the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I mean, how many of those little game cartridges are still out there? Well, I got home and looked it up, here's the picture from his website:

Atari 2600 VCSp

Go here, then click on the "Original VCSp" and you can see what he did. And read his story - the way he tells it is a riot! And - if you're a Gen-X'er like him (and me) and want to recapture the joy of Christmas 1977, he is now manufacturing Atari portables. Oh, yes, my friend. So tell that 15-year-old down the street with the newest Japanese machine to get lost and get down with your 35-year-old bad self! (Actually, if you have an "old" system that you just can't let go of, he has a whole set of forums dedicated to modding and converting various systems, and now a book and kits as well, plus the "Atari portables" he's making. Rock on!!!)

It's all about the grassroots, baby

Now, this is a serious post. Short, sharp (for a politically-minded fellow), heartfelt. And he's quite right. The Conservatives have to figure out who they are and "sell" that. The Liberals might be SOBs - everyone knows they are - but they benefit from "the SOB you know" syndrome. You and I might realize that Stephen Harper is a fellow you can trust, but if he can't get a message together and keeps generating cranky letters to the Post from borderline-Conservative constituencies in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, well, what good does that do? Just be conservative, for gosh sakes! Forget the media, forget the polls, forget the focusing, find some heart and some reality. Monte Solberg's blog is my A-#1 example (it's over in my sidebar there). Genius. Tell it like it is, with charity and with humor, but don't pull punches and don't play games. You'll get it. Living here, I have strong hopes for Canadians - things can change. But you have to find your own positive, Canadian, conservative vision, and get out there and sell it.

DaVinci's Inquest/City Hall quiz

So, DaVinci is supposed to have been elected mayor. A coroner pushing a safe-injection site getting elected mayor of Vancouver? Nah, that'll never happen. Next thing you know, they'll have DaVinci in the Senate - DaVinci's Peace Tower, right? Where do they come up with these wacky storylines? (Not that I actually watch it, I just saw five episodes last fall when I moved here to get the flavor. It's too darn depressing. Like a drizzly week in February in Vancouver . . .) Here's the quiz. One of these men is not involved in Vancouver/British Columbia politics/media. (In real life.) Who is it? a) Gordon Campbell b) Michael Campbell c) Nicholas Campbell d) Larry Campbell You're ineligible to answer if you live in Vancouver or are a DaVinci's Inquest nut. There's no prize, just the ineffable joy of being yourself, and not a driven workaholic like Dominic DaVinci. I just personally loved the whole one-of-these-Campbells-is-not-like-the-others situation of it all. *Here is a Wikipedia link for DaVinci's Inquest which of course will tell you the answer, more or less. If you are American or just didn't know.

Obligatory Can-Con*: Are you really missing the CBC?

Me neither. However, in case you're getting too antsy, I have a fun quiz for you. See the next post! *For Americans: Abbreviation for "Canadian content". A government requirement on Canadian television (and other media), now a popular phrase to designate anything Canadian-related. See here for more info.

Clip-art templates up at

Thank goodness - Martha's people are finally rounding up all the clip-art templates and putting them together. Used to be, if you missed one month's and didn't download the PDF, too bad sucka. Frankly, this is more Martha-like (in the adjectival, not necessarily personal, sense). It's a good thing.

More on why we shouldn't draw human analogies from penguins

First up, even if it'll be a few days old. I loved March of the Penguins as a movie about penguins but, as a card-carrying member of the "Christian Right", can I just say, it was about penguins???? Geez Louise. This is one of those tempests in a teapot that . . . oooooh, well, here's the latest: Gay icon causes a flap by picking up a female Love in the time of penguins, I suppose.

Back in black

Well, the text is black, isn't it? I know you've been waiting, but I've had a lot on my plate and then of course I had to get the template just right (still haven't got the comments there yet, and don't be surprised at minor tweaks), but Oct. 1 was my personal deadline so here I am. Of course, it is, as they say in retail and restaurants, a "soft" opening, but please take a look and do syndicate me, especially if you've liked my previous efforts and/or my comments elsewhere - my life is settled down now (all praise be to God, and my dear husband) and so I'll be here to stay.