31 December 2009
The Old 'False-Flag Trick'
You know, Chief, this nude bomb might solve a lot of problems. For one thing, flashers.... And there'd be no more trouble with concealed weapons. I mean, if everyone were nude, there'd be no place to hide a gun or knife. Well, there is a place, but it could be painful.
--Maxwell Smart, the redoubtable Agent 86, finding the upside to KAOS's terrorist threat to destroy the world's clothing with its dreaded Nude Bomb.
In an utterly predictable response to an unsuccessful attempt by a would-be Jihadist to emasculate himself in mid-air by detonating a small explosive charge (a very small one, of course), the Regime is moving, slowly but inexorably, in the direction of requiring airline passengers to strip nude.
There is plentiful evidence to suggest that the same Regime acted as an accomplice – most likely a passive one – in that same failed bombing attempt. Call it a delayed-action nude bomb: One Nigerian nutcase conceals a firecracker in his wedding tackle, and before long everybody will have to strip nude in order to fly.
Granted, the nudity would be "virtual," temporary, and limited in its exposure. Passengers would be violated one at a time by the same thoughtful people who have made a career out of rifling through other people's dirty underwear.
Airport security screeners have "got to have some way of detecting things in parts of the body that aren't easy to get at," insists former Homeland Security Commissar Michael Chertoff. "It's either pat-downs or imaging."
A third alternative is to avoid commercial aviation outright whenever possible. I suspect an ever-larger number of Americans are going to join me in choosing what's behind door number three.
Government is the only human enterprise that profits from failure. Once that principle is understood, many otherwise inexplicable choices made by ruling elites and their servants can be made intelligible.
For instance, we can begin to understand the perverse persistence governments display in courting preventable catastrophes, and then capitalizing on such incidents to enhance their power to do exactly the same things that resulted in disaster. In this case, in addition to requiring the helotry to undergo unconscionable personal violations before flying, the Regime is exploiting the incident aboard Northwest Flight 253 to escalate the ongoing military assault on Yemen, thereby increasing the human misery that helps propel international terrorism.
And so it is that the Regime – which has squandered trillions of debased dollars in the name of "fighting terrorism" (hundreds of billions to build a domestic garrison state, and even greater sums to conduct wars of aggression overseas) – will continue to do exactly the same thing following an episode that demonstrates, beyond serious dispute, that the "war on terror" has done exactly nothing to make Americans safer.
While it's not clear that the flight was in mortal danger, it is clear that the plot failed because a detonator failed to ignite, and a group of passengers shed the shackles of government-imposed docility to subdue the terrorist suspect. The attempt to massacre the passengers of Flight 253 was stopped without the Regime's help – and in spite of what has to be considered, at very best, the Regime's criminal negligence.
Owing to what must have been an anguished report from his father, Umar Abdulmutallab was known to the CIA and the State Department as a potential terrorist. Umar Abdulutallab the elder, a banking official from Nigeria, met personally with CIA officials to express concerns that his son – who had gone to Yemen for the supposed purpose of studying Arabic – was falling into the company of suspected terrorists.
U.S. officials took this valuable intelligence and promptly buried Abdulmutallab's name in an official database. Yet it was not placed on the official "no-fly list"; apparently, that status is reserved for people who make themselves troublesome to the Executive Branch without actually posing a threat to innocent people.
Additional layers of official negligence were revealed by a passenger named Kurt Haskell, who was next to Abdumutallab as the would-be bomber checked in at the airport in Amsterdam:
"An Indian man in a nicely dressed suit around age 50 approached the check in counter with the terrorist and said `This man needs to get on this flight and he has no passport.' The two of them were an odd pair as the terrorist is a short, black man that looked like he was very poor and looks around age 17 (although I think he is 23 he doesn't look it). It did not cross my mind that they were terrorists, only that the two looked weird together. The ticket taker said `you can't board without a passport.' The Indian man then replied, `He is from Sudan, we do this all the time.' I can only take from this to mean that it is difficult to get passports from Sudan and this was some sort of sympathy ploy. The ticket taker then said `You will have to talk to my manager,' and sent the two down a hallway. I never saw the Indian man again as he wasn't on the flight. It was also weird that the terrorist never said a word in this exchange. Anyway, somehow, the terrorist still made it onto the plane. I am not sure if it was a bribe or just sympathy from the security manager."
Haskell also says that he stood a few yards away from another Indian man who was handcuffed and held in customs "after a bomb sniffing dog detected a bomb in his carry on bag and he was searched after we landed. This was later confirmed while we were in customs when an FBI agent said to us `You are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. Read between the lines. Some of you saw what just happened.'.... What also didn't make the news is that we were held on the plane for 20 minutes AFTER IT LANDED! A bomb could have gone off then. This wasn't too smart of security to not let us off the plane immediately."
Assuming that Haskell's account is correct, Abdulmutallab received some variety of official help to board the plane, and was apparently part of a team of bombers. The reported connection to India is of particular interest, given a growing dispute between Mumbai and Washington over a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen allegedly involved in the 2008 terrorist rampage at the Taj Mahal Hotel that left 166 people dead.
1. I pray that all my readers are having a blessed and holy Christmas; I thank you for the many well-wishes and words of encouragement you have sent during the year. I thank those whom I annoy for sending me the many amusing comments that usually lift my spirits--and only occasionally dampen them-- as well.
2. The end of the year is a traditional time of thanksgiving for the blessings of a loving, almighty God. So for myself, I thank Him most of all for His Being, His Love, and all that He does for us. It is pretty nice of Him to keep the world and all of us in existence, and He sent His only Son to suffer, die and rise to save us from sin. I thank God for His Holy Catholic Church, which is the means of the salvation of man. I am grateful for His Mother, and I thank her as well for all she does to assist me as I try to work out my salvation in fear and trembling. I renew my consecration of myself, my family, my work and all that I do to her. Mother, do with me as you will.
I thank God for the embarrassing bounty of spiritual and material blessings He gives me. My sainted wife, my beautiful children, the means to earn a living to support them, good friends, family and everything else.
I thank Him for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who just might be Benedict the Great one day. Summorum Pontificum is not his only achievement, but it would be enough, I think, to merit the title. I thank God for the many faithful sons and daughters in the priesthood and religious life whom I have been privileged to meet and get to know, often because of this ridiculous blog, especially for my spiritual director.
And I thank Him for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. I credit the Institute with being the oasis of the faith in my life.
3. St. Francis de Sales Oratory will be singing a solemn Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year today at 5 pm. The faithful who attend may receive a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions of detachment from sin, sacramental confession, Holy Communion, and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli;
tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim
incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum
sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
(kneeling)Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni:
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum,
Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te;
Et laudamus Nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua,
Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi:
non confundar in aeternum.
(Translation, because it's Christmas:)
We praise thee, O God :
we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee :
the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud :
the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin :
continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy :
Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty :
of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world :
doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man :
thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death :
thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
(kneeling) We therefore pray thee, help thy servants :
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people :
and bless thine heritage.
Govern them : and lift them up for ever.
Day by day : we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name : ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us : have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us :
as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted :
let me never be confounded.
Merry Christmas again, and a very happy and blessed New Year!
30 December 2009
Emergency work was ordered and performed on the stained glass windows on the north side of the Oratory this Christmas.
One of the consequences of the shifting foundation of the church tower is the cracking in the masonry and the bowing of the historic stained glass windows of the church. The windows most seriously affected are the ones on the north side, on the right side of the choir loft. Unfortunately, the structural damage of the windows has reached a point where it is now necessary to remove the stained glass segments in order to save them.
Detail of damaged stained glass window, showing daylight streaming through the opening created by the bowing of the wondow.
Exterior view of the bowed window.
Due to compressive stress exerted on the main church building by the tower whose foundation has shifted, one of the stained glass windows has been seriously affected. The metal support of the stained glass artwork has been bent outward over time, resulting in a gap in the seam. Immediate intervention is necessary to maintain the integrity of the window and to salvage the irreplaceable artwork.
After removal, the stained glass sections will be carefully stored, and the large openings in the window covered with painted wood for the time being. Complete restoration of the stained glass windows cannot take place until the tower foundation is stabilized. In addition, extensive work is now needed to reinforce the terra cotta columns with horizontal steel bars to maintain its stability.
The stained glass artwork in St. Francis de Sales Oratory was made by Emil Frei, Sr., who immigrated to the United States from Bavaria, Germany, in the late 1800s. The stained glass creations overseen by several generations of the Frei family is renowned throughout the country. Stephen Frei, the great-grandson of the man who designed and made these windows at St. Francis de Sales, is now managing the removal and repair of the windows. We are indebted to Emil Frei Associates, Inc. for their dedication to find an innovative solution to preserve these windows until future repair may take place. The permanent restoration of the stained glass windows will begin only when the tower foundation is stabilized.
All photos courtesy of Mark Abeln of Rome of the West.
- The 9-11 killings led to the execrable Patriot Act, which gutted the ancient right of habeas corpus-- which dated back more than 500 years.
- The bureaucracy created to ensure "security" in our country makes up lists of potential "terrorists" that encompass pro-lifers, states-rights and individual liberties advocates.
- The Real ID Act was also foisted on us, which is supposed to make us "safer" by laying the groundwork for a national ID card, and by computerizing sensitive personal information. This of course works really well to keep illegal immigrants from getting driver licenses and auto insurance, thus raising our insurance premiums and causing hit-and-run cases to spike. It doesn't work really well to keep airlines from being attacked, as this latest case shows. Also, it allows crooks to "skim" our personal information off of our passport and "smart" IDs.
- Every reported failure by the government causes ordinary citizens to suffer greater governmental control, pay more money, and become accustomed to being treated as sub-human.
- Long lines, no shoes, no belts, no water, no shaving cream. Now, the call is out for immoral "full-body scanners". Why? So we will be safer. Yet a foreigner without a passport but with a bomb waltzes on the plane.
When will people wake up? This is ludicrous. If these terrorist threats are real, why are we so content to allow the government to continue to administer airline security? It has failed miserably. Why not allow the private companies to take over this function? Private companies have a vested interest in their planes not being blown up. Bad for business, yes? Private companies are motivated to succeed because their very existence is at stake. Not so with the government. Private companies have experience in providing for the security of their assets and customers. Armored cars seem to be a good example of a security system, privately implemented, that works well. Obviously, the nature of the threat is different in an airport, but the principles involved are the same.
About the only reason the government still does this is because it wants to. It wants the control. It either believes that it can do this job better, despite every appearance to the contrary, or else it doesn't really want the airlines to be too secure.
Did I just say that? Yes, but you know I'm a little off, right? I mean, what if there really isn't a terrorist threat? Nah, impossible.
2. The reports of the "defrocking" of St. Christopher have been greatly exaggerated, despite what you may have heard. I overheard part of a conversation at a restaurant recently concerning this topic. No, I wasn't eavesdropping. The parties involved were members of what my brother labelled, in an attempt at humor, the BHC-- as in, the Blue-Haired Crowd. They were speaking very loudly. All of them proudly stated they went to 12 years of Catholic school.
Well, one guy begins on how he wasn't going to give any money to the local seminary. Another talks about the lack of certainty in religion, and how the Catholic Church can be wrong. "Just like when they defrocked St. Christopher." Loud agreement by most, complete bewilderment by one. So, the guy relates how they said he didn't exist a few years ago and just booted him from the calendar, and "now you're not allowed to wear St. Christopher medals anymore." At this point I am slightly tempted to try to intervene, because this is not true. But I hold back, just in time to hear this retort:
"But I saw 'em sold over at Catholic Supply."
Whoa! This was the first time I began to doubt myself. Being sold at Catholic Supply is, at best, a 64% indicator of Catholicity. Don't get me started. So, I thought, maybe I'll blog on this.
The deal is this: St. Christopher is a saint. He existed. He was a martyr. His cult goes back at least a thousand years. His feast day is July 25, shared with St. James the Greater.
In 1969, the same people who tried to destroy the ancient Mass also were thoughtful enough to denude the Roman calendar of many, MANY saints. I mean, who would want to venerate a Saint when they could instead celebrate the awe-inspiring Year II, Cycle B, Wednesday after the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time? Thank goodness, St. Christopher was not allowed to gunk up this new religious experience.
In any event, some of the saints were determined by somebody somewhere not to have enough historical evidence to allow them to be on the "official" calendar. This point of view is explained fairly well here. However, even the sceptics admit that he existed-- they just don't like the traditional pious stories believed about him.
But St. Christopher remains a saint, and his feast day is unchanged. It is still marked on the traditional calendar on July 25, and he is still listed in the Roman Martyrology-- the official listing of Catholic saints. Catholic Encyclopedia has an nice entry here.
3. The combination of the above two items leads me to conclude with a third. Somebody asked me over the weekend about how the blog was going. I made a polite reply, and then opined that my target audience might be very, very, very serious Catholics who love Catholic tradition, distrust the federal government, know what a tunicle is, believe that an apocalyptic event is about 5 minutes away at any given time, wish the Spanish Armada had won-- and those who love them.
That's why the seven of you reading this are my favorite people in the world. Have a great Wednesday!
Saint Christoper, pray for us!
29 December 2009
28 December 2009
27 December 2009
24 December 2009
Woman knocks down pope at Christmas Eve Mass
Witness video obtained by The Associated Press showed a woman dressed in a red hooded sweat shirt vaulting over the wooden barriers that cordoned off the basilica's main aisle and rushing toward the pope before being swarmed by bodyguards.
The video showed the woman grabbing the pope's vestments as she was taken down by guards, with Benedict then falling on top of her.
The commotion occurred as the pope's procession was making its way toward the main altar and shocked gasps rang out among the thousands who packed the basilica. The procession came to a halt, the music stopped and security rushed to the trouble spot.
A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini said the woman appeared to be mentally unstable and had been taken into custody by Vatican police. He said she also knocked down Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who was taken to hospital for a checkup.
"During the procession an unstable person jumped a barrier and knocked down the Holy Father," Benedettini told The AP by telephone. "(The pope) quickly got up and continued the procession."
It was the second year in a row that there had been a security breach at the Christmas Eve service and this was the most serious incident involving the public in Benedict's five-year papacy. At the end of last year's Mass, a woman who had jumped the barriers got close to the pope but was quickly blocked on the ground by security.
That woman too wore a red hooded sweat shirt, but Benedettini said it was not immediately known if the same person was behind Thursday's incident.
Benedict lost his miter and his staff in the fall. He remained on the ground for a few seconds before being helped back up by attendants. At that point, a few shouts of "viva il papa!" (long live the pope!) rang out, followed by cheers from the faithful, witnesses said.
After getting up, Benedict, flanked by tense bodyguards, resumed his walk to the basilica's main altar to start the Mass. The pope, who broke his right wrist in a fall this summer, appeared unharmed but somewhat shaken and leaned heavily on aides and an armrest as he sat down in his chair.
Benedict made no reference to the disturbance after the service started. As a choir sang, he sprinkled incense on the altar before opening the Mass with the traditional wish for peace in Latin.
The incident was the first time a potential attacker came into direct contact with Benedict, and underscored concerns by security analysts who have frequently warned the pope is too exposed in his public appearances.
23 December 2009
22 December 2009
To use shorthand of the playground, "I call no take-backs!"
Reid Bill Says Future Congresses Cannot Repeal Parts of Reid Bill
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) pointed out some rather astounding language in the Senate health care bill during floor remarks tonight. First, he noted that there are a number of changes to Senate rules in the bill--and it's supposed to take a 2/3 vote to change the rules. And then he pointed out that the Reid bill declares on page 1020 that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board cannot be repealed by future Congresses:
--There's one provision that i found particularly troubling and it's under section c, titled "limitations on changes to this subsection."
--And I quote -- "it shall not be in order in the senate or the house of representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."
--This is not legislation. it's not law. this is a rule change. it's a pretty big deal. we will be passing a new law and at the same time creating a senate rule that makes it out of order to amend or even repeal the law.
--I'm not even sure that it's constitutional, but if it is, it most certainly is a senate rule. i don't see why the majority party wouldn't put this in every bill. if you like your law, you most certainly would want it to have force for future senates.
--I mean, we want to bind future congresses. this goes to the fundamental purpose of senate rules: to prevent a tyrannical majority from trampling the rights of the minority or of future congresses.
This leads me to demand that if such a provision can stick, I demand that it work for Quo Primum. Heck, if the powers that be would trade even up, I'll call it a deal.
21 December 2009
20 December 2009
But what do I know?
The Church has bent over backwards for decades trying to clear Venerable Pius' name while reaching out to Jews. Enough already.
19 December 2009
18 December 2009
12.18.09, 04:33 PM EST
OBAMA SAYS BECAUSE OF WEATHER REASONS WILL RETURN TO WASHINGTON BEFORE A FINAL VOTE AT UN SUMMIT
Was it just a dream? Or did I appear on Jeopardy! this week?
[dooodly-doot, dooodly-doot, wavy lines...]
"I'll take State-run Media Headlines for 400, Alex."
"Answer: Federal Hate Crimes Cases at Highest Level since 2001"
"What happens when you call everything your politically-incorrect opponents do a hate crime and you have no problem using the power of the federal government to persecute them?"
"Answer: 22 mid-Missouri people arrested in drug sweep"
"What does law enforcement do with billions of dollars of strings-attached government money instead of looking for Bin Laden?"
"Correct, well done!"
"Cool, Alex, let's do it for 1200."
(siren blares) "That's our first daily double!"
"I'll wager it all, Alex."
"Answer is: Drunk 4-year Old in Drag Steals Christmas Presents."
"What is evidence of the first homework assignment of Safe-schools Czar Kevin Jennings' preschool program?"
"Correct! Nicely done! And that puts thetimman in the lead as we head to our first commercial break. Now a word from Metamucil..."
The charge of the 280 Dems
By Dick Morris - 12/08/09 05:45 PM ET
Let’s first channel Alfred, Lord Tennyson from his poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade”:
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred. (two-hundred eighty)
But still you charge. Still you vote for a bill the American public has repudiated, after extensive debate, by 18 points. Still you back legislation that seniors oppose by two to one. Still you use your majorities to pass the single most unpopular piece of legislation in recent history.
Civil rights, Social Security, women’s suffrage — all of Harry Reid’s metaphors — were popular and had broad approving majorities. This bill has the opposite: a nation paralyzed with fear for what you are about to do to its healthcare.
Will you listen to the elderly who absorb 40 percent of medical care and not to the AARP, which you have bought by way of a promise to eliminate Medicare Advantage?
Will you listen to the doctors of America, two to one in opposition, and not to the AMA, which you have bludgeoned into submission via your threats of reimbursement cuts?
Will you stop to examine how, as Democrats, you can vote to slice $500 billion from Medicare and cut home healthcare? Former comrades-in-arms, former party-mates, do not commit party-cide by passing this bill!
Is this to be your epitaph? That you put all healthcare under government control? That your legacy is to be the waiting list to see a doctor? That the memorial to your public service is to be the denial of care at a bureaucrat’s whim?
Many of you must know that you are sacrificing your careers. Can Blanche Lincoln, Byron Dorgan, Harry Reid and others really believe they will return?
Can any of you believe you will remain in the majority after you have so flouted the obvious will of your constituents?
Why does this pied piper have such power over you? His approval is sinking in every poll at a pace unprecedented for presidents. If he promises you judgeships, ambassadorships, Cabinet posts or other patronage to enliven your retirement, can you doubt that there is but a two-year term in the offing?
And think about what the deficit you are creating will do to your country. The nation you have already burdened with so much debt that you know and we all know that inflating the currency is the only way out! In your souls you must know that in five years and 10 years and 15vyears, it will be the skyrocketing cost of the system you now put in place that will animate future deficits. You must realize that the CBO estimates are a fiction created by 10 years of taxing divided by six years of spending.
What has gotten into you? Where are your senses? What happened to your instincts?
Are you all to line up and drink the Kool-Aid, march off the cliff in lockstep? Charge into the cannon?
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
Have you truly worked for this all your life: to sacrifice your political careers to pass the most unpopular piece of legislation I can ever remember passing Congress?