Monday, April 30, 2012

NATO - Experience Chicago's Neighborhood People Eddie Carrol Suggests

I met Eddie Carroll, the Morgan Park neighborhood Philosopher, Gad-about Swain and Roofer to the Stars in the very long lines at County Fair Foods at 108th & Western.  The after-Mass crowds of shoppers from Sts. Barnabas, Cajetan, John Fisher (east of California) and Walter parishes were especially active this Sunday.

Mr. Carroll is best known as the CEO of Carroll Roofing - the haberdasher to our homes. Eddie is to roofs as Optimo is to fine head wear.  Mr. Carroll is a committed bachelor often beset by toothsome young women intent upon his sole attentions. Alas, Eddie Carroll is cosmopolitan universalist with regard to affections - courtly though cavalier and considerate without constancy.

 I asked Eddie about the upcoming NATO Summit and what Chicago could do to welcome the salt-water Belgians, Brits, Spaniards Germans and Gauls.

Eddie said that Chicago has the most beautiful skyline, because of our lakefront and the imagination of the sons of Burnham, a world class playground for tourists complete with Beans and fountains old and new.
He grew more thoughtful than usual and soon decanted his latest vintage  of thought on this matter.

" Pat, this is one great town for kids, sport, art, literature, music and stand-up comedy.  I hope that our European guests will avail themselves of the first class wits and humorists featured at Chicago's fine light entertainment venues - Second City, Zanies, of course.  But they might also take in the laughs at blue-collar neighborhood taverns and saloons - Stash's Dot U Again?, Lou's Change, Bar Nun, the Flags, Fluke's Wrong Wit U? out here and  away from the dry Urban Center.  Here is some of the side-splitting drollery that our guests might hear here* from the likes of any one of the comic genius gents coming out of the head after leaving a bucket o' beer for the Water Reclamation District.  A McKinley Park MadCap, or Canaryville Cut-up, or Hegwisch Humorist  with a shirt-tail pecker protruding zipper high to play Panatloon- we are an earthy lot given to free expression and damn the outcomes and costs. I heard ourt own local wags offer these droll insights - exemplum gratia . . .

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats so they have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.

Also, the French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

It is not only the English and French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased its alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." Two higher levels remain: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

Lastly, the Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish Navy can get a really good look at the Old Spanish Navy.

Pat, I sure hope that our NATO guests and all of the foreign and domestic journalists, Wobblies, Reds, Anarchists, Occupiers, Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Noam Chomsky, and other humorlessly worn-out folks get a chance to bump into real Chicagoans and get the full favor of this our City of Neighborhoods. We are a droll folk."

I thanked Eddie for the wholesome and thoughtfully pleasant use of  time in the line. Eddie stacked his selections onto Donna's check out converyer belt - organic vegetables, brown rice, Fava beans, soy curds, plain Greek yogurts, Perrier, and a 16 oz. bottle of Pepto Bismal marked down to $ 2.75.  Eddie remarked, "That is value, Patrick. That is value.  I see you have a basket full of empty calories, salty and sugary snacks, canned soup - Progresso naturally, Flamin Hotz, and Slim Jims. Looks like a five dollar Billy Buck's ( equal or exceeeding $ 100 in goods) day for the Hickey Household. Yet, no Pepto Bismal. No Pepto Bismal.  Think of that."

With that signal blessing we parted.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Savage Bullying of Teens - Fully Funded and Progressive Approved

Nobody bullies like like a bully, who deeply and passionately believes that he has been bullied - a little corporal in Vienna, who avoided tobacco, alcohol, and bullets during WWI, found his art and lifestyle to be a laughing-stock to jeering Jews and callous Catholics and effeminate critics.  It got better.

He went on to pen a world-wide best-seller about his personal struggle and became a transcendent post-political world leader.

It gets better, unless one and others  happen to be au contraire. One can almost hear the smartly turned-out jack-booted progressive voices -Sie, nach rechts! Sie nach links!

Dan Savage* is a Chicago boy who tells one and all that his lifestyle has made him feel that he was somehow outre; well, different, conspicuously, or grossly unconventional or unusual. Dan is homosexual. For that,  Dan Savage has told every carbon foot-print within earshot, or the ability to read that he suffered from bullies.

The only human being, about whom I have some empirical knowledge, never bullied on this earth might possibly have been Swannie (circa - 1950-Present?)  Swanie lived at 75th Pl. & Honore Street two houses south of the tracks. He bullied me, Al McFarland, Terry Smith, Larry Fiscelli, Jimmy & Leo Shea, my brother Whitey, the Lutherans Dave and Danny Krieger, The Hamilton Dairy drivers, Brother Sloane from Leo,  the Two Mike Kellys, the Railroad Dicks, the Cops from Gresham, the Mercy Nuns, Clara Barton Grammar School, Msgr. Stephan McMahon, my Dad and his six brothers, the late Moose Skowron, three shifts at Donahue Steel on Damen, three shifts at Rheem water heater over by the Old Mill on the north side of the tracks, generations of Norway rats, stray dogs, and wild onions. Swannie-Invictus, intacta, et improviso

Jesus was Bullied, Moses was Bullied, St. Paul was Bullied, Oscar Wilde both bullied and was Bullied, Ho Chi Minh was Bullied - hell, he was a dish-washer in a French restaurant, Mao was bullied, and even George Sanders was bullied . . .I think.

I hate bullies.  Having been bullied I tried to be one myself  and had my ass kicked wholesomely - not worth the trouble or the accompanying shame.

Bullies hate being confronted.  I hectored, not bullied mind you, the sweet, smart, lovely and talented Tamara Holder due to my misunderstanding of her work in expunging criminal records. Ms. Holder set me straight and that is not reverse bullying.  Ms. Holder gave me what for with the facts; we be friends. Ms. Holder holds what some would call Progressive points of view.  I value my Catholic, anti-abortion, tribal, close-knit ethnic, pro-real labor beliefs.  We believe in truths; we are not truth itself; that is bullying.

This is bullying and it is fully approved by the media, government and our current Justice Department**.

A few months ago, It seems to me that in order to clear the way for Rep. Greg Harris' Homosexual Marriage Campaign in Illinois, media types took shots at the Catholic Church and Catholics because of its and their Belief that Marriage is between a Man and a Woman, because a man and woman can procreate - breed, have children.

No less a bully than Neil Steinberg chastised Catholic High Schools for not sending students to see a play at the Steppenwolf Theatre that celebrated a gay girl bullied at a Catholic School.

Mesdames et Messieurs, Notre intimident peu idiot, Neil!

          Catholic schools avoid Steppenwolf play on gay student bullied — at Catholic school

Most schools have some kind of anti-bullying program, though — since schools don’t like to acknowledge the existence of sex, either (parents tend to go crazy) — most of those programs don’t actually discuss sexuality, even though half of school bullying is against kids who are either gay or seen as gay. Neil Steinberg March 6, 2012 6:24PM

Gee, and everybody loves Wagner! The opera guy!  Wagner gave that little smokes and booze free vegan Viennese corporal paper-hanger the spirit and juice to show everyone that It Gets Better!

Why does Israel bully Old Dead Dick Wagner and not allow his tunes ( His music is better than it sounds - Mark Twain, a huge American bully) to get play ?

Must be something in Bible.

 *Dan Savage was born to William and Judy Savage in Chicago, Illinois.[6] He is of Irish ancestry.[7] The third of four children,[6] Savage was raised as a Roman Catholicand attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary North, which he has described as "a Catholic high school in Chicago for boys thinking of becoming priests."[8] Though Savage has stated that he is now "a wishy-washy agnostic" and an atheist,[9] he has said that he still considers himself "culturally Catholic."[8][10]Savage attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied theater and history.[6] As a theater director, Savage (working under the name "Keenan Hollahan") was a founder of Seattle's Greek Active Theater.[10] Much of the group's work has been queer recontextualizations of classic works, such as a tragicomicMacbeth with both the title character and Lady Macbeth played by performers of the opposite sex. In March 2001, he directed his own Egguus at Consolidated Works, a parody of Peter Shaffer's 1973 play Equus which exchanged a fixation on horses for a fixation on chickens. Savage has not directed, produced, or performed in any productions since a 2003 production of Letters from the Earth, also at Consolidated Works, his trimmed version of Mark Twain's The Diary of Adam and Eve, which received scathing reviews, including one from his own paper, "My Boss's Show Stinks".[11]Savage and his husband, Terry, have one adopted son, D.J.,[12] and were married in Vancouver, BC in 2005.[13][14]

** ARLINGTON — Hundreds of Texas educators, politicians and LGBT activists attended the White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools and Communities to hear about the Obama administration’s efforts to fight bullying and prevent hate crimes and to discuss local progress. [...]
Holder said the administration has “created a record we can all be proud of” in terms of protecting LGBT rights and “a sense of momentum that today we stand poised to build upon.”
“This morning I’m proud to join you in affirming a very simple truth and renewing this administration’s commitment, as well as my own, to an essential idea that no one, no one, deserves to be bullied, harassed or victimized because of who they are, how they worship or, and hear it when I say it now, or who they love,” Holder said.
Holder said the “It Gets Better” campaign is more than a slogan, but something the administration is backing up with “robust action,” like the five-year settlement with the Anoka-Hennepin school district reached March 5.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bernard J. F. Lonergan, SJ (1904-1984) - A Black Robe in Our Savage Secular World

I got home from the Leo Alumni Banquet at about 10:15 P.M. and could not turn-in until my daughter Clare bounced home from an evening of pre-prom prep-talks with the ladies of her circle - before midnight but well after 11 P.M.  I read.

I re-read passages of an old volume of Insight by Canadian Jesuit philosopher and theologian Bernard Lonergan.  The book was given to me by Dr. Jim Kennedy, M.D.  while I was a teacher at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, Illinois. Two Doc Kennedy's kids went form Mac/La Lumiere to Boston College. 

Lonergan taught at Harvard as well as Boston College. In fact, Lonergan is regarded as one of the most original thinkers since Cardinal Newman.   Lonergan is no Noam Chomsky - the Jesuit makes sense.

We all have thoughts, insights; some are good and most are really, really bad.  Lonergan warns,  “The seed of intellectual curiosity has to grow into a rugged tree to hold its own against the desires and fears, conations and appetites, drives and interests, that inhabit the heart of man,”

My, is he judgmental.  Most geniuses are very judgemental and should be. Cogito ergo sum - I think therefore I am, must beg the question , "And so what?"  Hitler was here, Charlie Sheen is here, and the Anarchist idiots will be here in Chicago on May 20th; after checking in to the various Double Trees, beefing that the ice buckets are two small, checking the cable to see if it has HBO, they will light tire fires, break windows, trash the sidewalks, shout for the TV and get taken to the joint.  NATO Summit a great idea?

Insight is all about understanding how we understand.  Lonergan holds this to be "unrestricted act of understanding" UAU.  This method holds that we Experience, We Judge and We Understand.
Experience is a restricted sense of understand and likewise the other two.  Together, man can come to some understanding. The book is structured to ask two things -What is happening when we know? What is known when that is happening?

Jesuit Bernard Lonergan is one hell of a Black Robe and a great read.  Unlike, Jesuits in 17th Century North America suffering torture and martyrdom at the hands of Iroquois, Bernard Lonergan makes too much sense and requires too much effort on the part of intellectual bigots and frauds, like Chomsky and others.  Lonergan's martyrdom is the shunning of his work.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Analyze This! " - God Responds to Latest Scientific Study: People of Faith Don't Think

Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike.
I was awakened again, thanks be to God. Said my prayers, fed the cat, and got to it.  Read the Tribune and the posted article and asked God what he thought of it. Here HE is!

God ( aka - Supreme Being, Dominus, Lord of Hosts, Yaweh, Allah, Prime Mover, Triun God, Original Gangstah! & etc. )

Hickey, do you know what time it is ?  Oh, ME!  You got Company? Sorry about the get-up,folks,  this goof wakes before I intended man to rise.  Hickey, you are really lucky I turned-in early, or you'd really be up $hit-creek for fair, Paddy Me Boy!  As it is you just added a few semesters to your stay in Purgatory. Take a walk or something - I sure Hell don't need you staring over my shoulders. Now, Blow!
Hi, everybody!  Again, sorry about my state of dress; I'm God for Crissakes, not Adolph Menjou.  He really is an inconsiderate pain in the ass, but he means well, I know. . . .before we get to the meat of the matter, let me first congratulate all the Leo Alumni who will be celebrating their commitment to Leo High School ( 1928-2012 Anno Mine) at the Lexington House in Hickory Hills tonight.  The doors will open at 5:30 P.M. and cocktails will be served between 6:30 - 7:30 Post Meridian central Standard Time.  If any of you guys are thirsty, just wait; there will be plenty of time to toss back a few and remember DUI laws are enforced.  I created the each human body differently - age, weight, gender, food intake prior to consumption of one ounce of alcohol must be considered.  For some of you gents who slept through Brother Finch's chemistry and physics class, which I dou . . .am certain never happened, remember an ounce of booze is an ounce of booze - beer, wine, or loudmouth.  Have fun but if you plan to whack down an inappropriate amount of cold ones, have a sober driver.  Remember to eat.

Leo Men!  You are my sons in whom I am very well pleased!

The weather is going to be a bit odd - Hey, you live in Chicago! 

That's about it.

Now, a group of smart kids used grant money to justify the current war on Faith.  This is a political gimmick that Bismark used in the 19th Century in order to consolidate the 101 German States and principalities under Prussian control.  Kant and Hegel were and still are used to make a case against me.  Knock yourselves out, Lads.

This current study is meant to Balkans folks.  If you believe in Me, all to the good.  If you choose to not believe in Me . . .see you in a few years; right Mr. Hitchens?  Any way. 

This new study, which is really as old as human arrogance, holds that Doubters are smarter than Believers. They use math and science to prove this using a series of John Dewey's tests and measurements.  These are the same class of  talented youngsters who measure and calibrated the wheels on the very expensive Bombardier Rail Car Wheels that the City of City bought like a pig in a poke last November.

Measure twice; cut once works only if the carpenter has learned which end of the rule which - remember that scene in This is Spinal Tap?  That was great!  The Stonehenge scene.  Where the stage manager wrote down inches ("s) instead of feet (')? Here, Watch This!

You guys kill me . . . and then I Resurrect!
Anyway, ever since Moses took his sandals off when I lit that bush on fire ( Charleton Heston!  Take a bow, Son!) you need proofs. Thomas the Apostle, that was a close one for you, Kiddo. No matter what I say, do, or demonstrate there will always be doubt - supposed to be.  I don't want you clowns stumbling around in the dark, or depending upon your trust of Kellogg's that there is exactly 16 ounces of corn-flakes in the box, or worse allowing science alone to be your guide - looks at how much weight Al Gore put on since he obsessed with glaciers and penguins.  That and his pretty wife gave him the gate.

I am perfect. Sorry, the job's taken.  Everything else is limited ( you can only drink so many beers, guys), fallible, disappointing, and in exact.  The earth is nice and round.  Water freezes at a some point, given certain circumstances, and it boils at some point, again given certain circumstances.  The NBA does not draft Pygmies - is that certainty, or what if Shorty Mnumbaka has a hang time measured in 0.58 minutes X Two and standard English yard ( 3') s times Seven?   Shorty will go into his freshman year at Brother Aman Prep School in Gungu, Uganda just a bit north central of Lake Albert.  Don't believe me?  Got Proof? just kidding.

Look, you have computers and they are all coded using 0s and 1s. You have DNA coded A, T,G, C with three billion of these letters in every human cell - math is limits.

I have been talking to you all for millions of years; some choose to believe on a few thousand of years, Whats a few numbers off between friends?  I AM. . . .don't just take my  Word for it. Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize winner for quantum electrodynamics, said, "Why nature is mathematical is a mystery...The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle."

Here's the deal. No matter how many numbers, proofs, or tests, you all have Free Will.  No Charge! 
One caveat - There really is only One test, all the rest are Old Styles and Slim Jims, really.  It is Pass/Fail and really can not study for it - call it The Final.,0,7996681.story

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chicago Ward Guinea Pigs - Urban Center Chicago Breaks Ground

                 Five Guinea Pigs 40th, 46th, 48th, 49th and 50th - Forty-five to follow

Wee Lad -Dad, can I have five dollars to get Guinea Pig?

Old Dad - Absolutely not, Son. Here's ten! Go get a nice Irish girl.

Five North Side wards have been chosen as guinea pigs for a change Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes will save the city $60 million a year at the risk of alienating homeowners and aldermen — by switching from a ward-by-ward to a grid system for collecting Chicago’s garbage.
Last summer, Emanuel asked consultants to “develop a route system” for garbage collection that creates an “equitable workload for drivers” without regard to ward boundaries. The goal was to bring Chicago’s $225-per-ton cost closer to the $135 per ton spent in other major cities. Two months later, the mayor incorporated the grid into his 2012 budget, pegged the annual savings at $60 million, but counted on only $20 million the first year because he planned to start slowly.  Fran Spielman

Fran Spielman announced the shovel-ready ground tossing marking the end of Chicago and the coming of Urban Center Chicago.

For well over a year, I have been posting about the planned end of the City of Chicago, which will follow the arrival of the Garbage Grid.  The Garbage Grid is means by which City Services, under Chicago's Charter as a 'weak mayor' form of municipal government, are stripped from the hands of Aldermen and given to a private contractor - Waste Management n'cest ce pas?   Ward services will be as invisible as Rosie O'Donnell on the Oprah Channel.

The Skyway, Chicago Street Parking, Water Rates and Public Education have become luxury items where once they were boons to citizens.  Since the University of Chicago became the ex officio government of this city, which I happen to timeline start on either of these two dates in Chicago history December 10, 1993 - the day Richard M. Daley moved from Bridgeport to 16th & Indiana, or October 22, 1997 - the resignation of Alderman and City Council Floor Leader Patrick Huels - with that the Old Hamburg SAC was eclipsed by University of Chicago.  You can move a south side neighborhood guy out of McKinley Park ( St. Maurice's), or Wrightwood ( St. Tommy More) and place him in Moscow, but he will never leave his roots and return without any noticeable change. However, when anyone turn your back on the very  people who shaped, assisted and backed every decision and pick up associations, values and associations diametrically oppossed to them, that person is a New Man, or in Latin Novus Homo et novus civis.

In ancient Rome the patrician class, the betters, was depleted by war, dissipation, or political proscription. After telling the plebeians, the tax-payers, that the rights of citizenship belong only to one class of people - the bonni - patricians, or the betters - the patricians realized that they had no one to fight for them, make their goods, sweep the streets, collect their garbage, purify the waters of the Tiber River, as if, or from whom to collect more taxes their came about the the Conflict of the Orders 367 -287 BC) followed by a grudging admission of some plebeians or New Men, who had some dough, ability and a desire to turn their backs on the old neighborhood. Marcus Tullius Cicero is the best example of the new man -"how the lowly born but inherently worthy man may properly rise to eminence in the world" Seneca.

It seems to me that Richard M. Daley was washed in the Blood of the Maroon by moving out of Nativity Parish, the Hamburg, Bridgeport, Canaryville with a Mastercard, and was confirmed in the Faith with his summary shunning of Patrick Huels.  1993 and 1997 mark the beginning of the Progressive Chicago Policy Doctrines now being enacted and enforced by Archbishop Rahm Emanuel.

The Garbage Grid did not pop up over night. You can trace this Acts of the Apostles odyssey through the rise of Hyde Park, University of Chicago and our anonymous leaders.  In the old faith, one could identify the chieftains and the gallowglasses of government - George Dunne, Ed Vrdolyak, Charles Chew, Wilson Frost.

Make way for the anonymous Urban Center!

Now, the city has chosen five North Side wards to be the first to take the plunge: the 40th, 46th, 48th, 49th and 50th.
In the ward-by-ward system, city crews begin garbage collection on Monday and finish on Friday. The pick-up day is different, depending on where in the ward you live. Under the new system, the entire ward will be picked up on the same day.

That could make for a rocky first few weeks, with loads light in some areas and overflowing in others. It will also make community outreach essential.

“They’re gonna have is to get used to a new garbage day. That, for the public, should be the biggest difference and, frankly, the only difference,” said Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th), the mayor’s City Council floor leader.

“Chicagoans are savvy. If there’s a little bit of discomfort in the transition and they realize we’ll end up saving significant money, they’ll be okay with that. Bugs should not last long.”
Some aldermen have been dead-set against the grid for fear that it would deprive them of their ability to respond to special requests for services. They’re determined to maintain control over housekeeping services that are an alderman’s bread-and-butter.

How about that?  Stroke the plebeians and tell them how savvy they are if they act like the City Council -“Chicagoans are savvy. If there’s a little bit of discomfort in the transition and they realize we’ll end up saving significant money, they’ll be okay with that. Bugs should not last long.”

Did you pick up any condescension in that?  Any veiled contempt? Of course not.

Pre- 1993-1997 Chicago Ward Committeemen, Alderman and Precinct Captains connected with the citizens.  No more. Without Daley's move from Bridgeport, but especially the exile of Pat Huels, a singularly good man in my estimation, there could be no place at the trough for Mike Quigley, Forrest Claypool, Toni Preckwinkle, G. Flint Taylor, Locke Bowman, Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, Joe Moore, Allison Davis, Judson Miner, Terry Cosgrove, Marilyn Katz, and most significantly President Barack Obama.  In pre 1993 Chicago, these worthies would be as welcome to political dialog as skunks to a flower show.

Imagine anyone in Cook County Government or City Hall prior to Mayor Daley making a call to Peoples Gas on behalf of Desiree Rogers for any position other than . . . dang!  I'm stumped. Only in this age of Novus Homo/novus cives politicians - Catholics who play with Planned Parenthood money help abort infants - can a dim-witted cutie pie jump the vocational gradus from Lotto Ball Spinner -to President of Peoples Gas-to White House Brander -to CEO.

The end game is to make Chicago and Urban Center -when services go, so go the plebeians.  The Urban Center will be haven - gated community - that is childless, Green friendly and very affluent. 

Unless the Guinea Pigs die in the cage that is. God willing.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Catenation! Cats + Caffeine + Comestibles = Japanese Cat Cafes

I live in a blue collar ethnic neighborhood, Morgan Park of Chicago.  This is place where folks live in bungalows, Georgians, raised ranches and two, or three flats . . . over by Western . . . Western Ave.  There are two sets of train tracks, alleys aplenty and the od prairie ( Archiac Chicagoese for an open lot between two buildings N.B. I had originally written  "a space between two buildings," , but that is more correctly termed a gangway.  Families with kids, lots and lots of kids live here.  Kids need pets and the largest fur-hided, four, or three legged, determined by the fleetness of the critter where CXN trains are concerned, demographic is the dog. The dog is a great pet and man's best friend. It also makes a tasty snack with peppers and coconut milk for future transcendant and post-racial Presidential timber.

Dogs are easy to train and fun to tease.  As a young buck I prided in my Irish Terrier Leroy who could sit for ten minutes with an Oreo perched on the bridge of his smeller, until given the Okay to snap it into his yap.  Leroy was the ugliest dog on the planet circa 1964 - 1977 - he had a red goatee  and a thumb sized tail.  He was also a bad-ass and won the acclaim of my contemporaries around 75th & Wood Street by kicking Bowzer ( a mixed bull terrier & Nowegian rat) Lanigan's ass. 

Dogs need affection and constant attention, because they are fundementally trusting, sloppy, needy and not real bright. Dogs of both genders are male in this way; hence Man's best Mirror.

Cats are feminine.  They are aloof, sexy, alluring, dismissive, neat and brilliant.  Cats are independent for the most part and require only clean torpedo sand, or $6 a gallon stink free stuff, water and Whiskas.

Hickey -I have a cat, now. 

Auditor/Reader -Pussy.

Hickey - This we know.  I bought my kids a cat four years ago, knowing full well that its care would fall into the hands of dear old Pa.  It did.  I am a quick read in some ways.  Sophie is a female-woman cat, with fur as black as a mother-in-law's heart.  Sophie is a strange agent.  She will stand with one fore-paw balancing her upright on a foot stool, while crossing her hind legs - exactly like Mr. Peanut.  Tru Dat.

She also joins me for morning prayers and leads me to the day's task immediately like a goodwife: " Scoop the Poop, Change the Water and spill the Whiskas! . . .Now! If not sooner! $hit, shower and shave on your own time!"

With those tasks completed, I read and not until.  I now read at the computer and Sophie perches on my right shoulder, following her ablutions and breakfast. Having read, I get to practice my prosing. Sophie is astride my clavical as I type.

I read this morning that in Japan, due to the tyranny of condo and apartment holders, cats are denied to people.  With Nippones business savvy, an enterprising gents have created a Cat-Cafes - Super Happy Hi Kitty Number Ibe Starbucky Plenty . 
Cat cafés are huge in Japan right now. As the name suggests, these are coffee shops where cat lovers go to sip overpriced lattes and hang out with an adorable smoosh pile of kitties. In the past five years, exactly 79 such cafés have popped up all over Japan. What’s weird is that the café cats aren’t expensive pedigreed felines like Persians or those other ones with the funny bendy ears, they’re just the everyday mixed breeds you might find in the back lot of your local supermarket, cats who, in the immortal words of Brian Setzer, “slink down the alley, looking for a fight/Howling to the moonlight on a hot summer night.” Likewise, in the past few years, there’s been an explosion of photo books and DVDs featuring average-joe cats. If people are so fascinated by what are essentially domesticated alley cats, why don’t they just swoop one up from the legions of strays all over Japan and take them home? I’ll tell you why: because landlords in Japan are dicks.

I would have written Diques just to gussy up the prose for the feinter of heart. . . . well, maybe.
I enjoyed this exchange between the author and customer.

                                        Are you a regular here?

Kayoko: I first visited three weeks ago, and since then I’ve been coming here every week. I’m completely hooked.

You sound like a devoted fan. How did you discover this place?

I ride the Yokohama Line train a lot, and one day I saw a glimpse of the café’s interior while I was passing through. If you tiptoe you can see people playing with the cats from the train. I checked out their blog and it looked like a nice café, so I invited a friend to come with me and we found that it was a really friendly place. Now I come alone, like a lot of customers here. Chatting with other people is part of the fun.

It looked like the cat you were playing with earlier was scolded by one of the staff. What did he do?

I saw him grab a stick of sugar from the table with his mouth and run, so I told one of the staff. I had heard they’re not allowed to do that. So he ended up getting scolded… Apparently that was his third time today. Other cats try to lick milk out of the pot that they bring with your coffee. Maybe that’s just their way of saying that they want to play with you.
I wondered if the Japanese scold in the same manner they revealed during the Greater Far-East Co-Prosperty Sphere.
Hickey -  Sophie, may I have word with you about the hair-ball suprise my toes and nose had this moring?


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Peace, Music, Genocide and Samantha Power

The Power behind Policy - Samantha Power

Last night I attended a concert at Orchestra Hall ( Symphony Center, but it will always be Old Ted Thomas' Orchestra Hall to me) developed and conducted by Francis Cardinal George and Sir Gilbert Levine. Cardinal George was the Executive Producer of this concert and had brought together people of many faiths, talents and points of view.

Leading the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus in a special concert celebrating the first anniversary of the beatification of John Paul II. "Peace Through Music: In the Spirit of John Paul – Chicago 2012" Sir Gilbert Levine helped bring people of all faiths and political points of view together through music.

This event coincided with the visit to our fair city by the Nobel Peace Laureates and Sean Penn.  The concert's genesis was the seventeen year partnership and intense friendship between a young musician and the Pope who brought down Communism.  One of the Nobel Laureates was Lech Walesa who along with the Polish Pontiff defied the balkanizing and soulless dictates of secular materialism through their faith, courage and commitment to something greater than themselves. It would be pretty tough to be a self-absorbed celebrity on the docks of Gdansk.

Music is essentially math.  What we consider mathematics in our post-spiritual material world is bean-counting, whether it measures glaciers, or counts the bodies of slaughtered innocents.  Music is God's math in truth. Music sweeps our souls clean. It is the primal  antiseptic and narcotic. 

In celebration of the Beatification of Pope John Paul II, music brought people together.  Jews and Catholics, secularists and people of faith.  The first half of the concert featured a 1,000 year old Polish hymn to the Mother of God, a modernist choral and orchestral piece, and Bach's Magnificat in D Minor.  J.S. Bach was a Lutheran whose devotional  sense of music shunned not the Faith from which he and his family parted company.  The second half of the evening's performances was devoted to Ludwig Von Beethoven's Symphony # 3 - The Eroica. Eroica means "Heroic."  Hero comes from Old English or Anglo Saxon - ἥρϝως meaning protector, or defender.

Beethoven originally dedicated Symphony # 3 - to Napoleon, until the Little Corporal crowned himself Emperor.  Instead, the deaf man of Bonn praised the human spirit without borders. Sir Gilbert Levine swept notes, talents, personalities, assumptions, backgrounds and beliefs into a tornado of spirit in the Fourth Movement.  I have listened to The Eroica many times and at the command of the batons of Sir George Solti, James Levine, Henry Mazer, Carlo Maria Guillini and Andre Previn. I have heard it live as a a teenage punk janitor laying on the stairs, or the red plush boxes of Orchestra Hall while the CSO rehearsed or performed.  May Malibu CD player has churned out Beethoven's Third.  I did not really get it until last night with the 4th and final movement - Beethoven is all over the place guided by a bass-line.

The bass-line, it seems to me anyway, is the recognition of  the human constants - the sanctity of human life, the courage required to move here and there and at subtle but necessary changes of pace and tone in order to be truly heroic - to protect life, liberty and human happiness.  Music is math.

The human spirit tires.  Pope John Paul II seemed to instinctively know that we all need to become souls refreshed - he too suffered under the worst that the human spirit allows when it gets too tired of counting costs and bodies - nationalistic fascism and international Communism.  Through music, Pope John Paul seemed to say "It is easy to go along when you are tired; snap out of it and get back in the game!"

I got home at 11:45 P.M. last night and woke up at 4: A.M. most refreshed.  I don't remember what I dreamed about, but it must have been good.  I read.

I read about President Obama's visit to the Holocaust Museum yesterday and his announcement of  the U.S. Atrocities Prevention Board to be headed by National Security Adviser Samantha Power.

Nobel intentions and goals.    Ms. Power was a force behind President Obama's outreach to the Muslilim World, his promises to Hamas, his dismissal of Amercan Exceptionalism and his policies against Israel.
 Ms. Power's board is yet to be named.  That will bear some attention, I believe. Samantha Power was  ayoung reporter who covered the War in the Balkans and wrote a best seller about America's failure to act while Croatians, Serbs, Christians and Muslims engaged in ethnic cleansing,  She was most affected by the slaughter of Muslims there.

Ms. Power has taken a view of Israel besieged that makes sense to Oscar nominees, but is lost on most people.  Ms. Power even advocated a US invasion of Israel to prevent another Holocaust. No, really.

Genocide is about as unheroic as human beings can get.  Islam has been pretty clear on its intentions with regard to Israel from the Grand Mufti to the leadership of Hamas.

Dafur, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, Soviet history and the Third Reich are warnings of the failure to refresh the human spirit - the bass-line was ignored.   The bass-line theme of The Eroica.  Pope John Paul II understood the power of music.  Ms. Power knows accounting.  I do not believe that President Obama understands music, much less accounting.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Catholic Was as Catholic Remains - Michael Smith and Jaimie O'Reilly's Songs of Catholic Childhood

Yesterday, I went to Chief O'Neill's restaurant and Pub up north on Elston.  Chief O'Neill is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in my neighborhood.  O'Neill was the Superintendent of Chicago Police during the 1904 Stockyard Strikes and somehow managed to keep the violence between strikers, also buried very close to the Chief, and trainloads of strikebreakers brought in to Chicago  by Swifts and Armours to destroy the Amalgamated Meat-Cutters Union (AMC),  The Packers succeeded with the help of  social justice icons Jane Addams and Dr. Cornelia De Bey. Race relations in Chicago begin and end with the Stockyards Strike. Chief O'Neill kept the killing to a minimum.

As my legion of reader will note, I have been concentrating on issues Catholic . . .noooo, honor bright? on the square, really; this prosing only in reaction to the popular trend to treat Catholics in America, like Coptics in Alexandria.

The Sunday afternoon at Chief O'Neill's was a real pallate cleanser.
Chief O'Neill could not be bribed, unlike the iconic reformers who were patronized by the robber-barons for their help in destroying the AMC. Chief O'Neill was content to do his job and when time allowed to play, preserve and protect Irish Music.

The fine restaurant and pub named in his honor was wonderful venue for celebrated songwriter, singer, guitarist and unapologetic Catholic Michael Smith and songstress Ms. Jaimie O'Reilly to Launch their upcoming CD -Songs of Catholic Childhood. The songs and tone itself was a celebration of Catholic experience, especially those of us who remeber pre-Vatican II.  May Crownings, Christmas memories and sweet classroom moments were celbarted in songs adapted or written by O'Reilly and Smith.

Michael Smith's brilliant song The Dutchman has been recorded by singers such as the late Steve Goodman, Jerry Jeff Walker and Liam Clancy. Ms. O'Reilly has been cited by Rick Kogan as One of Chicago's Notable Persons, an accomplished performer and teacher of voice for De Paul University.

Together Smith and O'Reilly have created a two-hour song tribute to the American Catholic Experience.  This is not a nun-bashing, priest eviscerating abattoir, but banquet of sacred and touching memory of Catholic Childhood.

I hope that venues like Beverly Arts Center, Irish Cultural Center, Balzekus Lithuanian Museum, the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, and the Polish National Museum avail their facilities to these great artists.

I know that Mike Nix could pack the Beverly Arts Center with this show.  My neighborhood is Catholic Ground Zero - even the Unitarians have an Irish Castle.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

“What kind of Catholics do they think we are?."

“What kind of Catholics do they think we are?."

That question was thundered at the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D. C. by Knights of Columbus Carl Anderson.  The question was rhetorical.

President Obama has said that he was quite a poker player in his Springfield days.  I don't know about that Obama Bio Nugget, but I have lost piles dollars playing poker myself.  I 'invested' more than enough years ago in a personal Solyndra of waste.  Like me, who wears his heart on his sleeve, face, and shirt-front, has a tell - a tell is a signal to other players. Many times a tell goes unnoticed for many hands, but eventually jumps up.

President Obama's tell with regard to faith and liberty screamed out last May when his NLRB Chicago team declared that St. Xavier University was not a religious institution. As Vice President Biden once said over hot-mic, " It is a BFD!"

In November, Cardinal George and then Cardinal Designate Dolan of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sat down with the Springfield Kid and his three-card monte HHS Contraception Mandate shill Sec. Sebelius. The Tell was picked up, but not really obvious until Shill Sebelius, a Vichy Catholic herself, punched down the HHS Mandate. It is a supreme hypocrisy and threat to religious freedom.

Catholics and They are at war.  No kidding.

The rhetorical pronoun "They" refers to the current White House, Democratic National Committee, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Southern Law and Poverty Center, Academia, Hollywood, and the Media.

Catholicism by state -There sure are many Catholics.

1Rhode Island63Catholic
4New Jersey39
6New York36
7New Hampshire35
North DakotaLutheran
New Mexico
South DakotaLutheran
North CarolinaBaptist
South Carolina
48West Virginia8Baptist

We pretty much know what "they" think Catholics to be: Lock-step voting demographic, close-knit tribal white blue collar ethnics, homophobic breeders, slow-witted, unsophisticates easily cowed by their betters, and    sheep of patriarchal undemocratic autocrats.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson summed up the American spiritus mundi 2012 brilliantly -

The spirit of our age is profoundly secular.
And secularism accepts religion – if it accepts it at all – only on its own terms.
Under this view, religion is subordinated to the political interests of the secular state.
And it is precisely this subordination of religion to the state that the First Amendment seeks to prevent.
Let us be clear: we value religious liberty not only because it protects our personal autonomy.
We value religious liberty because of the goodwhich religion brings into the life of the individual believer and into the life of our nation. Carl Anderson National Prayer Breakfast 4/19/2012 ( emphasis my own)

"They" have the stage, the microphone,the camera, the White House, the Justice Department and a sea of ink.

We have the Nicean Creed, seven sacraments, at least eight years of Catholic schooling, which trumps 12 years of a public school education, a rich history of commitment to liberty for all of our neighbors, and for the first time in decades a group of courageous, generous, thoughtful and patriotic American Catholic Bishops standing for first principles - the sanctity of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

What kind of Catholics do they think we are?

Here in Chicago, the great work of Cardinal Mundelein, who was the first prominent American to condemn Hitler, who Americanized Catholic Education, who reformed the Chancery Office, built the largest American Catholic seminary at St. Mary of the Lake and hundreds of schools is all but ignored.

The role of Bishop Bernard Sheil who fought for real American Labor with John L. Lewis, educated parolees without state funding, operated the largest sports and vocational network for youth -The Catholic Youth Organisation ( CYO) which gave opportunities away from the streets for all races creeds and colors.  Sheil who?

Instead, you would think that Saul Alinsky actually mattered in the lives of people.

What kind of Catholics do they think we are?  The types of Vichy Catholics* they create, it seems to me, are acceptable, fund-able and suitable for high and low public office. If a Catholic gets money from Planned Parenthood, or Personal PAC, more importantly accepts that money to push abortions that is what they think Catholics should be.

We shall see in November.

* A term that I heard first from the late Chicago genius and Renaissance Man Tom Roeser - it equates the public Catholic  who demands every, if not most, social agendas that conflict with Catholic teaching and doctrine with the pro-facist French who helped the Nazis round up Jews and enemies of freedom.  Simply, any self-stated Catholic who admires and defends abortion, homosexual marriage, and pretty much every DNC secularist plank in the platform. AKA Catholics for Obama 2012.