May 2009 Archives

This is how we do scandals in the I-L


The best part about the Roland Burris/Rob Blagojevich transcript is where Burris (D, IL), in telling the former governor's brother that he hopes to launder campaign contributions to Governor Blagojevich through his law firm so that if Burris gets the senate seat there wouldn't be appearance of a quid pro quo, also mentions that his partner is in New York trying to turn federal bailout money into contracts for his ailing financial law firm.

Burris: So if I can talk to my law partner who's been, you know, in New York trying to drum up business

Blagojevich: Oh, good for you,...

Burris: (chuckles)

Blagojevich: good for you.

Burris: 'Cause you know he's trying to get a part of that, ah, Federal bailout stuff.

Blagojevich: Oh, yeah, yeah.

Burris: Okay, 'cause you know we're, you know he's, we've got a financial law firm here so they're trying to get involved in that.

I note here, that as much as this is all madness, aside from this being excellent evidence that Burris perjured himself, it doesn't appear that there's much illegal going on in this conversation.

And by the way, I never did get myself any of that federal bailout stuff...

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Douthat on Dan Brown


Reading this in the New York Times makes me smile:

Brown's message has been called anti-Catholic, but that's only part of the story. True, his depiction of the Roman Church's past constitutes a greatest hits of anti-Catholicism, with slurs invented by 19th-century Protestants jostling for space alongside libels fabricated by 20th-century Wiccans. (If he targeted Judaism or Islam this way, one suspects that no publisher would touch him.)...

In the Brownian worldview, all religions -- even Roman Catholicism -- have the potential to be wonderful, so long as we can get over the idea that any one of them might be particularly true. It's a message perfectly tailored for 21st-century America, where the most important religious trend is neither swelling unbelief nor rising fundamentalism, but the emergence of a generalized "religiousness" detached from the claims of any specific faith tradition.

The polls that show more Americans abandoning organized religion don't suggest a dramatic uptick in atheism: They reveal the growth of do-it-yourself spirituality, with traditional religion's dogmas and moral requirements shorn away. The same trend is at work within organized faiths as well, where both liberal and conservative believers often encounter a God who's too busy validating their particular version of the American Dream to raise a peep about, say, how much money they're making or how many times they've been married.

These are Dan Brown's kind of readers. Piggybacking on the fascination with lost gospels and alternative Christianities, he serves up a Jesus who's a thoroughly modern sort of messiah -- sexy, worldly, and Goddess-worshiping, with a wife and kids, a house in the Galilean suburbs, and no delusions about his own divinity.

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Prayer for Memorial Day


Via Vatican Information Services, here is a prayer Pope Benedict XVI offered yesterday at a military cemetery:

VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2009 (VIS) - At 6 p.m. today, after celebrating Vespers, the Pope travelled by car to the Polish military cemetery at Montecassino which contains the bodies of 1,052 soldiers who died in the battle of May 1944 against German forces occupying the hill on which the abbey stands.

The Holy Father lit a votive candle and recited the following prayer for the fallen of all countries in all wars:

"O God, our Father,
endless source of life and peace,
welcome into Your merciful embrace
the fallen of the war that raged here,
the fallen on all wars that have bloodied the earth.
Grant that they may enjoy the light that does not fail,
which in the reflection of Your splendour
illumines the consciences of all men and women of good will.
You, Who in Your Son Jesus Christ gave suffering humanity
a glorious witness of Your love for us,
You, Who in our Lord Christ
gave us the sign of a suffering that is never in vain,
but fruitful in Your redeeming power,
grant those who yet suffer
for the blind violence of fratricidal wars
the strength of the hope that does not fade,
the dream of a definitive civilisation of live,
the courage of a real and daily activity of peace.
Give us your Paraclete Spirit
so that the men of our time
may understand that the gift of peace
is much more precious than any corruptible treasure,
and that while awaiting the day that does not end
we are all called to be builders of peace for the future of Your children.
Make all Christians more convinced witnesses of life,
the inestimable gift of Your love,
You Who live and reign for ever and ever

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Ahhh... the good old days.


From David Denby's look back at the work of Victor Fleming, director of, incredibly, both The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.

In this manner, the three men worked eighteen or twenty hours a day, sustained by Dexedrine, peanuts, and bananas, a combination that Selznick believed would stimulate the creative process. On the fourth day, according to Hecht, a blood vessel burst in Fleming's eye. On the fifth, Selznick, eating a banana, swooned, and had to be revived by a doctor. Many good Hollywood movies have been saved by last-minute revisions, but this ill-fed, hazardous, all-male acting-and-writing marathon must be the strangest of all interventions.

I'm sure many a director wishes they could return to the days where directors could smack around their starlets and humiliate leading men onset for their alcoholism.

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MT4 Tip


So, since we switched over to Movable Type 4, several things about my own blog have annoyed me. One is that I could not figure out how to separate the "Lu" in Papa Lu from the "on" that follows it in the line just below the title. I even found the spot in the template where the code that produces this line resides and I still couldn't fix it after adding an empty space. Well, I just fixed it and am posting it here in case anybody else using MT4 has this problem:

After you log in to Movable type, go to the blog you wish to fix and click the "Design" button towards the top of the screen. When it loads, you'll see a box with a heading that says "Quickfilters." One of the links under there should be "Template Modules." Click this link and in the list that then appears click "Entry Metadata"

You will now be inside the template that produces that text. Find the line that begins with the word "By." It should read somewhat as follows:

By <address class="vcard author"><$MTEntryAuthorLink show h_card="1"$></address> on

You might think that all you need to do is add a space between the code that prints the name of the author of the post and the word "on." That's where I made my mistake trying to fix it the first time, but you'll notice there's already a space there. So I put a space in between each of the bracketed lines, so my template now looks like this:

By <address class="vcard author"> <$MTEntryAuthorLink show h_card="1"$> </address> on

I don't know exactly which of the two extra spaces fixed it, but it worked.

Yes, it's a small problem, but when I got my 20th email addressed to "PapaLuon," I decided enough was enough.

QUICK UPDATE: I don't know if this works the same for all styles, or not, but I think it should. In case it matters, I'm using "Minimalist Green." I imagine it would at least be the same for all "minimalist" styles.

UPDATE 2: ARGH! Figures! this is only an internet Explorer thing. All of you people who use real browsers (I only have IE at work) were probably wondering what the h I was talking about.
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Help a brother out


Just a few posts down I mentioned Daniel Mitsui as one of my favorite bloggers. As it turns out, Daniel's wife just gave birth to their firstborn son, and the medical bills for 3 days of labor and a caesarian delivery are staggering. He has put some of his original artwork up for sale at reduced prices to pay the costs. If you've not seen his stuff before, well, I don't know what to say except that you have to see it. This is an opportunity to obtain original, stunning works of art and help a young family.

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I nominate John Zmirak for the Laetare medal


Notre Dame's craven hunger for secular esteem is hardly unique in American Catholic history. Think how giddy with joy we were when the skirt-chasing son of a bootlegging Nazi appeaser won the election in 1960 on the votes of dead Chicagoans. From the grubby, roughnecked immigrant families of eight or nine Vinnies and Patricks who'd filled the ethnic parishes and pickle factories, we'd finally made our way into the "mainstream," to join the lapsing members of the old American elite -- whose Protestant faith and natural virtues were even then dribbling down their pants leg like John Cheever's spilled seventh martini. We've arrived. There goes the neighborhood.

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Because not everybody is on Facebook...

| is a picture of my boys with their cousin Rachel, who is a month younger than our Baby T.


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Devotion to St. Joseph


(Yes, I know this is four days late, but the timing is purely coincidental.)

In college I was a member of "The Household of St. Joseph", a group of men considering the priesthood. We prayed nightly a devotional prayer to St. Joseph, which I think is a wonderful prayer. A few months ago, I searched fruitlessly for the version we used.

Today I listened to Father Z's podcaZt of March 19, and in it he reads the prayer in Latin and English. I put my transcription gloves on and punched it out. Here it is, copyright laws be danged (at least until somebody's lawyer calls me) and with somewhat arbitrary line breaks:

To you oh Blessed Joseph do we come in our tribulation,

and having implored the help of your most holy spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God,
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you to regard graciously
the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

Oh most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ.

Oh most loving father,
ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence.

Oh our most mighty protector,
be propitious to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness,
and as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God's holy church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity.

Shield too each one of us by your constant protection,
so that supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously to die holily
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.


Here it is as a google document, formatted for printing, though unfortunately google docs have a limited range of fonts (you get what you paid for). Here it is in the intended font, but as a pdf. Pick your poison.

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Catholic Eye Candy


Three reasons why Daniel Mitsui is one of my favorite bloggers. He also does original artwork, and I understand that his bookplates make excellent Father's Day, Christmas and birthday presents. :)

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The Basepaths of Righteousness


A couple of these border on blasphemy (#9 stands out), but I can't say I disagree with that many of them.

Ten reasons why baseball is God's game

8. It has its Suffering Servant, viz. the Chicago Cubs, the "Cubbies," a team annually "like a sheep led to the slaughter" (and crucial to the game is the play called the "sacrifice"). But "Cub fans love the Cubs, warts and all, no questions asked. This quality is called faith" (Peter Glenbock).
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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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