Saturday, January 20, 2018

See Spot. See Spot fly,


 The other day I met a passenger at the airport. When her Delta flight landed and disgorged its contents, I thought I was on Mount Ararat. There were nearly as many dogs and cats as people. I didn’t see the comfort turkey the airline mentioned in its announcement.

So I was not surprised to hear that Delta announced that there will be new standards when it has to carry passengers’ pet alter egos. And I do mean egos.

 Starting March 1, passengers will have to document that their animals are cabin-broken. No more urinating or defecating on other passengers. No more licking the face of the stranger in the next seat. No more attacking passengers – as one dog did to become part of the lawsuit that finally led to action.

 After the break I will say something that will get me called an unfeeling clod.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Please fasten your seatbelts

Whenever Pope Francis gets on an airplane, interesting things seem to happen.  But the Holy Father's flight yesterday from Santiago to Iquique may have broken all previous interesting-pope-flight records, and shattered the awesome-Pope barrier for good measure.   CNN has the report:

As far as Catholic weddings go, it's pretty hard to beat being married by the Pope. On an airplane.  But that's what happened Thursday morning when Pope Francis married two flight attendants in an impromptu ceremony on his papal plane some 36,000 feet over Chile.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Waiting for the sunrise


  For years and years I have been growing old with a bunch of guys who meet at 6:30 on Wednesday mornings to deal with the difficulties of discipleship. Too often, no matter where we start, we end up in the matter of children and grandchildren who have not set foot inside of a church since Confirmation. Or who now attend the Church of St. Jesus Without the Cross. Catholic guilt has given way to Catholic tsouris.

  On the Pray Tell site, Anthony Ruff, OSB took up the issue the other day. I printed out what he said to take to the Wednesday meeting, but the guy I wanted most to react to it was tied up with physical miseries, so I didn’t read it there. Instead, I’m inviting you to read it here.

 Father Ruff rests his thoughts upon Psalm 30: “At night there are tears, but joy comes with the dawn.” That risks coming off sounding like Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy." But there is a long Christian line of similar sayings. Think of Julian of Norwich: “All is well and all will be well and all manner of thing will be well.”  Has Father Ruff found a cure for Catholic tsouris? We consider that after the break.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Dr. King's legacy and his day (a day late)

Our local suburban newspaper came up with some original reporting for yesterday's holiday: reporters asked four local African American leaders, "What would Martin Luther King Jr. say to us today, had he not been assassinated 50 years ago?"

Saturday, January 13, 2018

When will Congressional Republicans crack?

Another boggling week in America, WH division.

Assuming you are fully informed on Trump's racist characterization of other countries and continents, and that his lawyer's pay-off of a porn star in October 2016 has made it to your news source:

When do you think Congressional Republicans will conclude:
  • they've gotten everything they're going to get with their tax "reform,"  
  • that nothing more will be done in this session of Congress, 
  • that Trump is destroying the Republican party, 
  • that it's time to bring him down. 
 The "***hole" comment came from one source, probably Dick Durban or his Congressional assistant. None of the Republicans in the room heard it. Now Lindsey Graham has reported (and Durbin confirmed) that he reprimanded the president for his remark. No reports yet that other Republicans in the room heard that. Back home in Wisconsin at a public event, Paul Ryan allowed that the ***hole comment was unhelpful.

Human nature and original sin being what they are, there has got to be a building, critical mass of congressionals who will act if only out of self-respect.

What are the chances?

Friday, January 12, 2018

A real gaffe house

Is a coarse synonym for “outhouse”, on the lips of the President of the United States, a gaffe?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Talk about protesting too much

  I am trying for patience in 2018, but the pudgy guy with the cheap Chinese neckties could convulse tortoise. There he was last night, with the pleasant  prime minister of Norway, throwing  one of his temper tantrums live, without his Twitter-tweeter.  I checked this morning to make sure I had seen it  and wasn't fooled by  a bit of underdone beef while I slept.
  CNN counted seven uses of "no collusion," and one of "nobody's found any collusion" in a  2-minute non-answer to a question by John Roberts of Fox at the joint press conference. (The question was about whether Trump would meet with the special counsel. After he finished his tantrum we still don't know.)
  "No collusion" refers to Russia, of course. I'll put the full text under the jump break, but here I have to say that -- contrary to what the president said on national television -- no one but he and a handful of toadies who need him to be as real as Tinkerbell has concluded there was no collusion. The failure of people like Gen. Flinn and Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to remember talking to high level Russians during the time for collusion is suggestive. And, in fact, we know from George Papadopoulos's guilty plea and the emails Donald Jr. released that campaign officials tried to collude.
 It could be that they are no better at collusion than they are at making America great again. But that would not necessarily be from lack of trying.