May 2009


“I hate Missouri Nazis” edition.

What do you do when a stupid hate group adopts-a-highway and you have to put its name on the signs?

Why, rename that stretch of highway after someone they hate, of course…

Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, got an amendment added to a transportation bill to rename [the road] the “Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway.” Heschel marched with Martin Luther King Jr. at the Selma, Ala., Civil Rights march in 1965.

Take that, you racist jack-booted thugs! For your blatant abuse of freedom of speech and association, you are now subject to keeping the rabbi’s highway nice and spit-polished clean.

Excellent job, Rep. Lampe! I hope your bill passes into law. And for your excellent counter-troll (for all neo-nazi groups are flamers), we award you the George Takei Troll of the Week award.

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Just two weeks ago at my local parish I was rather surprised when the children’s choir sang the opening hymn in Latin. I think, despite recent Papal encouragement of both Latin and the Tridentine mass, that Latin is now an inappropriate language to use for the Roman Catholic Mass.

My reasons are many, but I will boil them down here.

Primus, Latin isn’t old enough. The use of Latin is, in fact, a recent development dating to only the 6 century. Before that, Greek was used.

Secendus, although some claim virtue by using a sacred language, they can not escape the fact that Latin, in fact, uses a secular alphabet providing no sense of mystery. Consider the bilingual missal where you will see IESUS on the Latin side. Consider the mystery present in Ἰησοῦς. Be honest — aside from context who Ἰησοῦς is a mystery. See?

Tertius, and again diminishing the mystery provided by Latin, the ‘missal Latin’ commonly presented uses punctuation and spacing, a 15th century innovation. Not to mention lower case.

Quartus, although some claim that Latin unifies us across time and space with other Catholics, this in fact is not true. It deliberately excludes the Eastern Rites (to make no mention of the Chaldean).

I hope you know where this is all heading. Latin just isn’t good enough. Never settle for second best in your liturgies — demand Ancient Greek. Good enough for the Gospels, good enough for you.

At noon on December 9th, Lt Dan Neubauer of Marine Corps Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, a F/A-18D pilot, after a series of bad decisions all around, made a final bad decision to attempt to make the Miramar runway and crashed into a house killing three members of a family (Young Mi Yoon, who was in her mid-30s; her 2-month-old daughter, Rachel; and her mother, Suk Im Kim). The pilot, on a training mission off CVN-72, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, ejected after the left engine failed. He was flying on one engine after being forced to shut down the right engine due to an oil leak.

On September 10, 2003, in a session of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Barney Frank (D. Mass.), in response to concerns about the GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said “I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios.” On September 25, 2003, in response to the request for additional regulation on Fannie and Freddie, Frank opined “I do think I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness that we have in OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] and OTS [Office of Thrift Supervision]. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.” Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), speaking to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez said “Secretary Martinez, if it ain’t broke, why do you want to fix it? Have the GSEs [government-sponsored enterprises] ever missed their housing goals?” Senator Chris Dodd (D. Connecticut), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee which regulates mortgage lending, has been linked to preferential mortgage terms as a friend of Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo.

Countrywide Financial has crashed due to management and regulatory failures. The entire mortgage banking system crashed as a result of bad loans securitized by FNMA and FHLMC. See Fit to Fail.


So we have two crashes. One of an F/A-18D killing a family of four, and one of the entire US financial system and world banking market. What do we observe in the aftermath?

The marines, in court, brought charges and discharged four member of the Corps. The commander of the squadron, its maintenance officer and two others have been relieved of duty. Nine other Marines have received other disciplinary action. The disciplinary action cites deferred maintenance, faulty aircraft-ground communications, and bad decisions. The F/A-18D was flying on a left engine which had been logged with a faulty fuel-low sensor indicator, and rather than perform maintenance flew 146 additional missions. When the right engine was shut down on an oil leak, the left engine ran out of fuel. Poor maintenance decisions contributed to the crash. The pilot was also criticized in the report for failing to use his emergency checklist. While the Lincoln’s controllers advised of a North Island landing, the squadron officers requested the pilot to make for Miramar, a decision which relied on unrealistic assumptions about the aircraft’s condition. Collectively, the duty officer, the operations officer and commanding officer exhibited poor judgment. For all the criticism of the US Military, the US Marine Corp owned up to its mistakes and took decisive corrective action.

The US Congress has yet to own up to its role in the crises and in fact now wants us to believe that it, and more regulatory agencies, are in fact, the solution. When are we going to see an equivalent acceptance of responsibility? My suggestions:

  1. Rep. Barney Frank, discharged from Congress for gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.
  2. Senator Chris Dodd, discharged from the Senate, for ethics violations, conduct unbecoming, and gross dereliction of duty.
  3. Rep. Maxine Waters, discharged from Congress for incompetence and gross dereliction of duty.
  4. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, discharged from Congress and banned from ever holding a public office, for incompetence and gross dereliction of duty.
  5. Rep. Henry Waxman, discharged for cowardice in the face of the enemy, dereliction of duty, insubordination, and conduct unbecoming.

Suppose, just hypothetically speaking, you live in an 85 year old house with just one full bath and one half bath.

Suppose, again hypothetically speaking, your four year old son managed to make the full bathroom door lock itself after he left the bathroom. The full bathroom has no windows, and is on the second floor. It is completely enclosed.

The lock on the full bath is a mortise lock similar to http://www.historichouseparts.com/images/0216-03.jpg ; but there is no keyhole on the outside; the lock itself is only on the inside.

Hypothetically speaking, how do you open the door?

Hypothetically speaking, do you let the son live?