Monday, November 28, 2005


Eskimos and Cigars

Congratulations to the Edmonton Eskimos who won the Grey Cup yesterday in a thrilling fashion over the Montreal Alouettes in overtime.

If you are fan of the Esks and an American, then I suggest that you quickly order some RP Vintage Euro cigars from Cigars International. Why? Just because of this write up in their catalog:

"For the most part Europeans are an odd lot aren't they? Those wacko clothes, wormy personalities and anti-America crap they spew forth..." Yes, the rest of the review is about a cigar!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Price Gouging!

I cannot believe it! I just found out that I was gouged when I went to fill-up the other day... at McDonald's! Those jerks make 13.8 cents for every dollar in sales; and those jerks at Coke make 21.2 cents for every dollar in sales.

Sheesh! All this time the likes of Boxer and Feinstein have been worried about the 9.8 cents per every dollar in sales made by the American oil industry. Where are their heads?!?!?!?!?

Monday, November 21, 2005


The Question of Tookie

Stanley "Tookie" Williams faces execution in California on December 13. Many lefties are making a plea to Governor Schwarzenegger to grant him clemency and commute his sentence to life in prison. The common thread in these pleas, including Earl Ofari Hutchinson's piece in Sunday's Los Angeles Daily News, is that Williams is a reformed man. What is also common about these pleas is a complete lack of focus on the murders for which he was convicted. Hutchinson, and others, think that the question that should be asked now is "is Williams worth more to society alive than dead?" Hutchinson is wrong.

The question that needs to be asked is "Does Stanley Williams pose a threat to society?" As the co-founder of the violent Crips gang, society should be concerned as to whether or not Williams intends or has tried to exert influence on the Crips that would harm society. All the evidence is that he has not, nor that he will in the future. His life should be spared, but not for the reasons typically given.

Monday, November 14, 2005


Destroying Glendale

First, there was Councilman Bob Yousefian's salivating endorsement of the Americana at Brand project that will dramatically increase the congestion and pollution in the southern business section of Glendale. Now the man who has no concern for quality of life issues is advocating more building in the transitional residential area of north Central Avenue.

"In this particular area it is pretty much all built out with the exception of two or three lots that are underutilized," stated Yousefian recently. He argues that since there are only a couple of lots that have not been converted to apartments or condos in the small area that they are underutilized. But what does underutilized mean?

Is Brand Park underutilized? Nibley Park? Verdugo Park? Where he lives?

Yousefian's blatant disregard for the quality of life of Glendaleans will continue until he is forced out of office. If you live in Glendale, please urge him to change his mind or resign.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


The Next Step

(I apologize for any typos, but I am in a hurry)

So, what went wrong on Tuesday? More precisely, what wrong before Tuesday?

The governor of California made three tactical errors: 1) he allowed some incompetent fool to circulate an initiative on pension reform that contained one section that could be legally construed as denying beneifts to the widows and widowers of dead firemen and policemen. By doing this, he appeared to be insensitive to some of the greatest people in the state; 2) he held a special election that no one wanted. People focused their hatred of the special election on his initiatives; 3) his initiatives were poorly thought through even though some of the issues addressed are critical to the state's future.

So what next? Scharzenegger has decided to play ball with the Democrats in Sacramento. I am not sure that this will really work, nor will it excite the Republican base during his re-election campaign. Although it may seem distasteful to suggest it, I would suggest that he include some popular initiatives to be included on the primary and general election ballots.

First, he should come out with a simple teacher tenure plan that is not an ex post facto law like the one recently proposed. Advocate that "permanent status" be granted after three years which is the common practice in most states. Arnold was unable to prove that a plethora of bad teachers existed and, hence, were the cause of bad schools and test scores. He should leave the firing process alone so that the CTA might actually be enticed to support him the next time around.

Second, and this one is more controversial, he should propose a constitutional amendment that eliminates all mandatory spending in all fields. Thus, future legislators and governors will have to balance the budget every year based on forecasted revenue. This initiative makes legislators do their job. Currently well over 60% of the budget is "locked in" and untouchable. By focusing on Proposition 98 in his attack, the governor looked like he was anti public education, and he came off as a rich Republican who did not care about the masses. If he sells the new initiative as one that makes the legislators and himself accountable every year in a very public way, the voters should be easy to convince.

Now, the CTA will most likely attack my second initiative, but the counter to the CTA is quite obvious. Since the state legislature will be dominated by Democrats for the foreseeable future, and since the Democrats are the allies of the CTA, it is highly unlikely that education will be negatively affected to any substantial degree. The governor should state that education will be the #1 priority in any budget that he is presented, and so long as the legislature presents him with a balanced budget, he cannot be blamed by reasonable people if the education budget doesn't grow at the rate it may have grown under Proposition 98.

I have other ideas, but in the game of politics, you need to play the right cards at the right time. Arnold did not do that this week. I hope he does so in the near future.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Liberty Leading the People

Eugene Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People shows the united masses of France rising against the corrupt government of 1830. Although today's French government may seem corrupt and/or ineffectual, Liberty is not rising against it. Rather it is the "disaffected" youths of the country.

Or is it?

In reality, the problem today is the unassimilated masses of Muslim who the French have been appeasing who are uprising. Coupled with a broken economic engine, the world is seeing the failure of the type of government so admired by John Kerry and his brethren.

What can we learn from all of this? Perhaps reading Patrick Buchanan's latest article will open your eyes.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Real Reform

Dan Walters is exactly right when he writes that Californians really do not know what they want from the government. He is also dead on when he states that we have a real budget problem that needs to be fixed.

Is Governor S.'s plan the right way? It appears that he needs to rethink and reorganize himself first. Walters' has an interesting view on Schwarzenegger:

Schwarzenegger bears some blame for that political disassociation. He made nice during the first months of his governorship - raising spending while cutting taxes - and inferentially proclaimed that he had mastered the Capitol, that everyone was singing from the same hymnal, and that everything was "fantastic." And then, having had an epiphany of some sort, he abruptly shifted gears, proclaimed the Capitol to be dysfunctional and launched his crusade to change its balance of power.

Instead of truly challenging Californians to confront their contradictions and resolve them, Schwarzenegger embraced them, sending as many mixed messages to voters as they were sending to him, setting himself up for demonization by public employee unions and other defenders of the status quo - and perhaps squandering a unique opportunity to transform the recall into a restoration of governance.

Perhaps he will focus and get better information before launching more initiatives. The reason for his initiatives, the budget problem, is real; however, his solutions are muddled at best.

I honestly hope that he comes back with better thought out ideas in the near future that I can whole heartedly back.


The Propositions

Proposition 73 - YES

Proposition 74 - NO

Proposition 75 - NO

Proposition 76 - NO

Proposition 77 - NO

Proposition 78 - NO

Proposition 79 - YES

Proposition 80 - NO

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I like you Bob, but don't hold my hand!

Hey, Bob!

The difference is to choose to focus on the horizontal and protestant mentality or the vertical and traditional Roman Catholic position during Mass. I choose the latter.

A return to Latin, should it happen, does not mean a return to the old rite. Every indication is that it would be a return to the language of the church while celebrating the Novus Ordo. Latin is the universal language of the Catholic = universal church. It trumps any gestures of holding hands like at a protestant service. The GIRM is under review again with a target date for release of 2006. Early indication is that it is solely focused on proper translation of prayers from Latin, implying that for the last 30 years or so, we have been getting it wrong. That should be cause for concern that is much greater than imposing unwarranted posture changes.

Our being at Mass as a parish and reciting the Our Father together is an overt action of full participation. Holding hands with the person next to me does little or nothing to enhance the sense of community and quite often is a distraction and irritant (thus divisive) when someone grabs at me or glares at me since I won't hold their hand. As you can see here, the position (hand holding, orans posture, etc.) of the faithful during Mass is not one of the things that the Bishop (or local priest for that matter) is allowed to alter nor promote to be done right now (versus asking Rome for permission to do it or to change the GIRM). Given the track record of the Man on Wilshire it comes as no surprise to me that he continues to thumb his nose at Rome by his actions and through his loyal liberals. In this case, he has no authority to "customize" the service to welcome all (neither does the local priest saying the Mass).

I'll shake your hand as it is allowed (but not all churches do this... this is the type of customization that is permitted) and is part of the local and permitted culture, but I am not going to violate the GIRM or canon law. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is quite clear on postures at Mass. What you are supporting is not approved:

"The Church sees in these common postures and gestures both a symbol of the unity of those who have come together to worship and a means of fostering that unity. We are not free to change these postures to suit our own individual piety, for the Church makes it clear that our unity of posture and gesture is an expression of our participation in the one Body formed by the baptized with Christ, our head. When we stand, kneel, sit, bow and sign ourselves in common action, we given unambiguous witness that we are indeed the Body of Christ, united in heart, mind and spirit."

Vivat Jesus!

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Hey, Miracles Never Cease!

There is actually something interesting in Slate.

And, no I don't want to hold your hand (and you can boot the sign of peace while you at it since it is optional).


St. Martin de Porres

Today's Mass readings maybe found by clicking on the link.

Saint Martin de Porres is the patron saint of barbers... so maybe today is the day you finally go and get your haircut!

But, hopefully, your barber will not treat you as St. Martin did himself:

He made a martyr out of his body, devoting himself to ceaseless and severe penances.

Those scissors can hurt!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Poll Update

The latest from the Field Polls (acrobat reader needed).


All Souls Day

Often lost in the shuffle of modern life, All Souls Day is an important day for Catholics that, unfortunately, has lost its meaning for many. On this All Souls Day of November 2, 2005, Catholics should be reminded of the fact that there are many in purgatory who no longer can help themselves in the way they were able to when they were part of our temporal realm. Thus, it is important for us to pray for them so that the tradition remains solidly in place when we need their prayers when most of us find ourselves in their shoes (so to speak).

It is also important, as an act of Christian charity, to pray for those who have no one else to pray for them. We need not know their names, but God will understand the intentions of our prayers and act accordingly.

We can go beyond just praying for the dead by having Masses offered for specific and general deceased members of our Christian community. There is no better offering for these souls than a Mass. Additionally, the nominal donation (ususally $10) to the priest and parish helps support our underfunded parishes and priests.

Do not forget that the faithfully departed can also pray for you. Freed from the bonds of purgatory, their thanks will be in prayers that will help you here and in the hereafter.

May the souls of all the faithfully departed rest in peace.


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