Kim Jong Il is Dead; New Tyrants Come

While you were sleeping our already-roiling world took another hit to its tenuous stability: North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced. Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said. He suffered a stroke in 2008 and was absent from public view for months. Pyongyang described his son Kim Jong-un as the "great successor" … [Read more...]

Detaining Citizens and Shutting Down Free Speech

american lockup

(photo source) So, as we approach the end of 2011 and enter full-force into the tumult of another election year, just a show of hands, here. How many are starting to believe -- like the lady in the next chair in my hair salon -- that "there's not gonna be another election: this maniac is going to declare a state of emergency and stay in power forever." Which if I recall, was pretty much what the left was warning about George W. Bush, at around this time, in 2007. (Just google "Bush" and … [Read more...]

Skins: Encouraging Banality? – UPDATED

There is a headline out there indicating that MTV's controversial new series, "Skins" may be "in danger" of being canceled: MTV’s controversial drama “Skins” is losing advertisers faster than some of its characters lose their clothes. As FOX411 reported, Taco Bell was the first sponsor to withdraw advertising from "Skins," quickly followed by Wrigley, Subway, Foot Locker, L’Oreal and Shick. General Motors and H&R Block both issued statements explaining that their ads were aired … [Read more...]

All Saints Day & Modern Martyrs – UPDATE

Chapel & Tomb of St. Philip Neri, Chiesa Nuova, Rome Podcast of the Readings for All Saints Day via the USCCB Late yesterday, word began to come of a "bloodbath" during Mass at Baghdad's Syrian-Catholic cathedral. Details are still emerging; it portends nothing good: The terrorists, some wearing suicide vests, had taken over 120 faithful hostage at the Syriac Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, one of Baghdad's largest, during Sunday mass and demanded the release of al Qaeda … [Read more...]

Benedict & the UK; The First Fruits

Benedict Speaking on Hildegard of Bingen, 09/08/10 English and Welsh bishops are urging Catholic parents to dress their children as saints this Halloween. At first consideration, that might not seem too remarkable. But when one takes into account how timid Catholics have been in the UK in recent years, perhaps it is remarkable indeed. Perhaps the Halloween suggestion reflects some of the first fruits of Pope Benedict XVI's recent visit to England and Scotland. British journalist Paul … [Read more...]

The Ultimate in Nanny-Statism! UPDATED

Productive citizenry, diligently earning its allowances The Ultimate in Nanny-Stating: UK wants to take paychecks and give citizens an allowance! That's basically what it comes down to. "While we're 'modernizing' our systems, why don't we just take all that messy tax-calculation off everyone's hands?" The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate … [Read more...]

Obama crashes; Hillary Waits – UPDATE

Don't know if this is making the rounds, but it should be - Obi's Sister cracked me up with this opening: While the honeymoon has been over for a while, inside sources whisper that Obama is now sleeping on America’s couch. It won’t be long before he’s kicked out of the house and asks his secretary find him a place to live. Obi's Sister wonders why Hillary Clinton did not speak up about strong-arm tactics from Obamites during the 2008 campaign? Hillary, like Ronald Reagan, would never … [Read more...]

Speaking of Nino & Other Things

Playing with the ongoing non-story of SCOTUS Nominee Elena Kagan's sexual orientation, Michael Kinsley has written a rather amusing satire about the sex lives of Supreme Court Justices: Why does Justice Antonin Scalia, by common consent the leading intellectual force on the Court, have nine children? Is this normal? Or should I say "normal," as some people choose to define it? Can he represent the views of ordinary Americans when he practices such a minority lifestyle? After all, having nine … [Read more...]

John Allen; definitive on Benedict, Scandals

The great John Allen, perhaps the best English-language reporter on the Vatican beat, does yeoman's work in three different articles, to which I am linking today. Allen takes knowledgeable, sometimes devastating but always fair looks at Pope Benedict XVI and the crisis that has engulfed him over the past few weeks and has come to -rather unjustly- define his papacy. None of these pieces is fun to read. All of them are thoughtful, instructive and very valuable, particularly to anyone who wants … [Read more...]

Staring into the Empty Tomb

"There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach." — J.R.R. Tolkien The news is terrible, disheartening, troubling, horrific -choose your … [Read more...]


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