Sunday, January 27, 2008


Cincinnati's "Illegals"

The Enquirer - Stop using illegal - and remember Cincinnati's history: "Perhaps because it has been close to 100 years since the last mass migration of foreign-born people arrived in Cincinnati, we have forgotten how mistreated and belittled the Catholic Germans were when they arrived. We have forgotten how the native Cincinnatians denigrated their culture, their religion and their language as they looked askance at Over-the-Rhine and winced at the possibility that these 'Dutch' might, someday, vote. The fathers of our city tried to outlaw Catholicism and banned the speaking of German. Yet, the immigrants came in spite of the hostility, and continued for several decades."

The Lady Bromberg makes a point here. Much the way that so many are avoiding looking at Romney's religion based on a lesson learned over forty years ago, Bromberg forcefully suggests that we remember lessons learned in the immigration debate as well. Many, at even the suggestion that the debate is more complicated than legality, shake their heads patronizingly. The truth, however, is that this debate is a great deal more complicated than the mere laws. We all know though that people are much more willing to take a stance that can fit on a bumper sticker rather than one that is "complicated".

Saturday, January 26, 2008


A Fifty Hanky Movie

The Columbus Dispatch : Actor wore his fame modestly: "What you see is a strapping 28-year-old with sleepy eyes, an amused crinkly grin and out-of-control blondish hair, dressed on this particular occasion in a hooded sweat shirt and ripped jeans.What you get is a lot less obvious: a serious but hard-to-pin-down actor disguised as a California stoner."

My initial reaction to Heath Ledger's death was strange, in that I wasn't terribly familiar with him. It was shocking, but I wasn't sure why I cared. Then I was unclear why the media was so, so very interested. I mean, it was one Oscar nomination for an indie film...what's the big deal? OK, he's a hot dude, but that didn't seem to explain this frenzy. Ironically, I had DVR'd Brokeback the week before, and had been all but avoiding watching it, assuming, as my Dad said, watching a gay rights film when I already know they love the same way everyone else. The problem, as the week wore on, was the constant showing of clips of a movie that I hadn't yet seen. I don't like seeing trailers and snippets when I intend to watch the movie, because it takes me out of it when I am watching (basically waiting for the part I have already seen). So, last night, I reluctantly turned on Brokeback Mountain, thinking I would watch the first fifteen minutes and then turn off what I fully expected to be a cheesy film.
You know, when the awards ceremonies were happening that bestowed the many awards on this movie, I remember thinking that the cheering was probably simple cheers for gays and gay rights. I was wrong, really wrong. To think that anyone could write that material is other-worldly. How anyone could put together those sequences, those words, that love is unbelievable. I don't even know how someone can imagine a love like that, that palpable, deep, longing love. I can't imagine anything like it in real life, and haven't a clue how someone could dream it in their wildest imagination. If this movie had been about a heterosexual couple, it would be a classic, as in Casablanca and the many beloved love stories over the years.
Ang Lee deserved his Oscar as well. The cinematography was another character in the film. Be it the clouds on a beautiful day or the snow-capped mountains, or a river that runs quickly past this love affair, the place mattered.
There were no bad performances in this film. The girl who is in ER took me out of it a bit, but she did pretty well playing the uneducated, vulnerable young girl who wanted a man no matter. She was that woman. We all know that woman.
And Heath Ledger and Jake Gylenhall are so their characters that the viewer is allowed to see the conflicted men and not the movies stars. The simplest scenes, with so little to say, say the most. That is what they always say on "Actor's Studio" is really acting. And saying those words in that dialect is as difficult for the well-educated as Shakespeare. The strands of words were uttered effortlessly. I am sure some of the scenes were difficult for straight men to portray, but those had to be easy in comparison to the type of preparation an actor would have to do to get these characters right. Both of these men got these characters absolutely right.
I have to say that I am a bit haunted by the movie. Maybe it is a reminder of some random feeling of loneliness, but I don't feel that way often at all. Maybe it is, well hell, I don't know what it is. It was powerful. That's what I know. It's a shame that so many think of it only as the gay cowboy movie, because it is so much more. So very, very much more.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Archbishop-Coach Clash Roils St. Louis -

Archbishop-Coach Clash Roils St. Louis - "ST. LOUIS -- A Roman Catholic archbishop's call this week for Saint Louis University to discipline its popular basketball coach for publicly supporting abortion rights has put the Jesuit school in a bind.
If the university takes action against Rick Majerus, no stranger to controversy throughout his career, it risks criticism for clamping down on the free exchange of ideas."

That's funny. I don't remember any public calls on the myriad priests raping kids.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


And Kentucky Smiled With Him

ESPN - Tennessee vs. Kentucky Recap, January 22, 2008: "Even Billy Gillispie smiled about this one.
Playing the kind of gritty defense that was the first-year Kentucky coach's trademark during his days at Texas A&M, the Wildcats smothered Tennessee (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) 72-66 on Tuesday night, forcing even the perennially grumpy Gillispie to crack a smile as the final seconds ticked away.
'We're really getting tough,' Gillispie said. 'I'm telling you they were tired going into the game [but] our guys really fought hard. They dug as deep as they possibly could.'"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Who Wrote this Crap?

Protest leads pope to cancel speech - Los Angeles Times: "Is the pope hostile toward science? Benedict is a strong intellectual who has emphasized the importance of reason in the practice of faith. Yet he also says evolution is the work of a divine creator, and helped defeat Italian laws that liberalized scientifically assisted fertility."

The author, Tracy Wilkinson, does not get it. "Emphasized the importance of reason"? Emphasizing its importance and employing reason are actually birds of a different feather. Working to disallow barren couples from having children is both hostile to science and to humanity. That is saying to the couple, "If God didn't make you capable of having children, suck it up." These stances should make a person angry. This Pope is no more a man of reason than the man on the moon. This Pope is hostile to science in a way that is dangerous to even those he attempts to lead. Once again, the LATimes is giving the Catholic Church a pass in a really dangerous and ignorant way.

Monday, January 14, 2008


More Catholic Sexual Abuse

Sex Abuse in Alaska Church Newsweek National News "It is one of the darkest chapters of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. More than 110 children in Eskimo villages claim they were molested between 1959 and 1986, raped or assaulted by 12 priests and three church volunteers. Families and victims believe that another 22 people were sexually abused by clergy members but have since killed themselves. The Jesuit Oregon Province, which includes Alaska, has agreed to pay $50 million in damages. It is believed to be the largest settlement ever against a religious order...
Only three priests covered in the settlement are still living. They include Father James Jacobson and Father Jim Poole, both in their 80s. Jacobsen is accused of fathering a total of four children with four women, as well as impregnating a 16-year-old who had an abortion. Poole, who founded a popular Catholic radio station in Nome that can still be heard in the villages, also allegedly impregnated a girl. According to court filings, Poole told her to abort the fetus and blame it on her father. According to Father John Whitney, the head of the Jesuit Oregon Province, the priests are under close monitoring at a senior care facility run by the order in Spokane, Wash. Neither could be reached for comment.
Patrick Wall, a former Benedictine monk and Catholic priest who has served as a consultant to Roosa and other lawyers in the Alaska suits, said the Jesuits knew these missionaries were predators. These priests "had abused elsewhere," he said, "and then were unleashed in the most uncontrolled environment.""

I know that anyone who reads through the many rants on Catholic sexual abuse posted here probably understand why I stay so furious about this issue. I had not even heard of this set of cases in Alaska, and it felt overwhelming long before I heard about most of the ones that I post about on here. I ask again, if this were anything but a Church, would we ignore it so fully and unabashedly as a society? If this was an oil company, another non-profit, a hospital, a school, would we give them the pass that we have given the Catholic Church? Would we not stay outraged, each and every one of us, that a whole organization with the power greater than any government could intentionally send predators into communities all over the world to continue raping children over decades and decades? I know that there are some that say the worst is behind us, but I suspect that has been said before. After all, this is not new to the Catholic Church. This is age-old. Why isn't this a cover story? Why aren't there journalists there from all over the world, setting an example of these men despite their age and occupation? Why aren't we telling the next generation of priests that this will be met with jail terms? Why are we not using the Catholic pedophiles as examples of what will happen to ordinary pedophiles? The victims seem to experience the same kind of anguish. The public, however, seems to be just fine continuing to turn a blind eye, which unfortunately means that the new generation believe that this power given them through the Church will relieve them of any responsibility. I am not so sure parents won't hold some responsibility if they leave their children with priests now that we know the pattern. That is, of course, an entirely different matter. For today, I will limit my outrage to the Church, a filthy institution that has never rid itself of this evil.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


LATimes is Bowing to the Catholic Church in Dangerous Ways

Juan Arzube, 89; bishop was lauded as an activist but tainted by accusation - Los Angeles Times: "Arzube's years at St. Alphonsus were troubled in other ways as well. He was pastor there from 1971 to 1981; during that time, two other priests stationed at the parish with him were also accused of sexually molesting minors.

'Assignment histories show that several molester priests were closely associated with Arzube,' said De Marco, who took Arzube's deposition in 2006 while investigating his client's case.

'Several times in his deposition, Arzube acknowledged taking altar boys to his bedroom to train them,' said De Marco. 'That is how Arzube abused him,' De Marco said of his client.

'I believe that Arzube communicated an acceptance of that conduct to other priests,' De Marco said"

The headline is obnoxious. Why does the Times think it has to kiss the rear of the Catholic Church? If this was a CEO of an oil firm, would we talk about any of his accomplishments after there was accusations and admissions to colleagues of child sexual abuse? I can answer that. No, absolutely not. Never! The fact that this bishop was "lauded" could not be less important in the scheme of things. Everyone who reads this who cares about any children at all should be offended in every way! Any adult who takes "boys to [their] room to train them" should be imprisoned, plain and simple. And the LATimes should apologize for caring that others looked past this behavior and cared more about his good deeds than his devilish ones. Juan cared more about his deviancy than he did his faith, the Church, God or those little boys. The fact that so many people appear not to see that is, well, frightening.


On Matthews

Chris Matthews a target for Clinton fans - Yahoo! News: "However, she also said Matthews is the best political analyst on television for his knowledge, quickness and ability to be critical while anchoring a broadcast.
'Chris is relatively impervious to criticism,' she said. 'I think Chris does what he wants.'"

David Bauder, the writer of this article, seems surprised at Matthews strong comments. Uh why? He is a pol. Outside the election cycle, he can seem impartial and is indeed very, very intelligent. Inside the election cycle, however, he is never impartial and you always know what he thinks.
And the comment I linked above is wrong. He does care. He is a pretty sensitive guy. I watched him pretty much every day for a couple of years and I have read all of his books. One thing that is clear is that he does care how people think of him. He does say things that suggest otherwise, but I think it is errant to think he is that confident. I think they are mistaking confidence for ego in Matthews. It is easy for someone to make that mistake, but they should pay a little more attention.
He gets flustered when he has someone around that he respects. He gushes over those people in a very obvious way. He prides himself on asking tough questions but doesn't have the confidence to ask those types of questions when these heroes of his come on the show. You can go back years and see that.
It also doesn't take much to see his slumped shoulders, his reaching body language when he wants to convince someone that he respects, and any number of other obvious signs for those of us that watched him closely. I could not have been a bigger fan when I thought of him as a thinker. When the 2004 election cycle got into swing, however, I realized that I had really misjudged him. I was actually devastated, as you can read back on this blog and see. I wished that I was wrong, but knew that he was just another pol like the rest. I stopped watching for the most part. Occasionally, I will channel surf and listen for a few minutes, but he is not programmed on the DVR. He let me down, and I really never went back. And as it turns out, he is not the best analyst on television. I think she just wanted to be able to get booked after she criticized him.

Friday, January 11, 2008


NKY.Com - Sweet Alice grabs blues torch

NKY.Com - Sweet Alice grabs blues torch: "And, with the recent passing of fellow Queen City blues greats H-Bomb Ferguson and Big Joe Duskin, Hoskins finds herself among the last of her generation of performers, still fussing and fighting to have her songs heard and teach a new generation about an art that she says makes up the very core of her life."

Sweet Alice and the Unfinished Business Blues Band were my introduction to adult blues. I say adult only because she has a tendency of smacking her rear and saying things that sailors would consider before uttering. She was (and probably still is) a great showman. My friends and I used to go see her at a BBQ place in Northern Kentucky when we were in high school. She showed us a side of blues that was rarely seen, and we appreciate her and remember her for it.

Friday, January 04, 2008


My First Grade Teacher: RIP

The Enquirer - Kentucky obituaries: "DOROTHY C. MOORE
FORT THOMAS - Dorothy C. Moore, 84, died Tuesday at Highlandsprings of Fort Thomas Health Care & Rehabilitation Center.
She was a teacher for more than 30 years with the Fort Thomas School District, and member of Christ Church United Church of Christ, Fort Thomas.
Survivors include her brother, Herman Moore; niece, Linda Moore; and friend, Loyce Meadows."

Mrs. Moore was my first grade teacher. I wish I had gone and seen her to tell her thank you. She was indeed memorable enough that my mother saw the obit and rang me to tell me. I wish her family and friends the very best.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Stewart gets West Virginia job, thank goodness

Stewart gets West Virginia job: "SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --Bill Stewart was promoted to head coach of West Virginia on Thursday, hours after leading the Mountaineers to a stunning victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
Stewart was introduced in the morning as he and his team were preparing to return home. He was appointed interim coach in mid-December after Rich Rodriguez bolted for Michigan."

I love hearing this. I got the sense that he is a leader last night as he greeted Pat White, the very talented QB, with the words "I love you, son" after White had a 40 yard scamper that set up a TD. Then White said, in accepting his Offensive Player of the Game award, that "Coach Stew" should be appointed head coach. There are many different personality types that are good for coaching, but Coach Stew's was obvious on my 50 inch flat panel. Congrats, Coach!

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