Friday, August 30, 2013

Don't Send Your Kids to a Private (read Catholic, or Religious) School; Save Your Money for Medicinal Marijuana and ObamaCare, and Don't Forget LaLaPalooza 2014!

Bad parents made their kids go here

Good Parents  send their kids to public schools and save money for Medicinal Marijuana, LaLaPalooza, Pitchfork, Vegan Carry-outs and Indigo Girl Tix.

I read a really goofy Manifesto on Slate by Allison Bendikt and I knew that Bruce Dold of the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board could not wait to re-print it after Eric Zorn shoved it under his nose.  The Tribune Editorial Board and its stable of quirky, edgy and too cool for Catholic school columnists has all the gravitas and discernment of MSNBC.  Here is Ms. Benedikt's attempt at public discourse - premise - Parents who send their kids to private schools ( Catholic, Jewish, Lutheran, Muslim, Dutch Reformed and Suburban Secularist) are bad people.

Allison Benedikt is married to John Cook, who also writes for national Progressive publications like The Nation, Salon, The Republic.  You magazines read by rich people who really hate rich people.

Allison is not as strident as her hubby, who demands that private schools be outlawed just The Reich did in the 1930's.  Allison merely points to bad parents who send their kids to Catholic schools . . .private schools. She's not strident merely judgmental.

I am not an education policy wonk: I’m just judgmental. But it seems to me that if every single parent sent every single child to public school, public schools would improve. This would not happen immediately. It could take generations. Your children and grandchildren might get mediocre educations in the meantime, but it will be worth it, for the eventual common good. (Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)
 So, how would this work exactly? It’s simple! Everyone needs to be invested in our public schools in order for them to get better. Not just lip-service investment, or property tax investment, but real flesh-and-blood-offspring investment. Your local school stinks but you don’t send your child there? Then its badness is just something you deplore in the abstract. Your local school stinks and you do send your child there? I bet you are going to do everything within your power to make it better. . . .( YES WE CAN!!!! SI! SE PUEDE!!!!!) . . .Sorry but I could help myself.Now here comes the payoff!  . . . 
There are a lot of reasons why bad people send their kids to private school. Yes, some do it for prestige or out of loyalty to a long-standing family tradition or because they want their children to eventually work at Slate. But many others go private for religious reasons, or because their kids have behavioral or learning issues, or simply because the public school in their district is not so hot. None of these are compelling reasons. Or, rather, the compelling ones (behavioral or learning issues, wanting a not-subpar school for your child) are exactly why we should all opt in, not out.
Ms. Benedikt notes that she is fine ( perfectly content) with her ignorance of history as well as other public school education afforded gaps in her intellectual capacities.   Catholic schools teach that Ignorance is human, but Stupid is forever.  Ignorance needs to be corrected.  Human aspiration is the result.  A stupid person does not care a whit about what she/he does not know.  Back to paragraph # 1, parenthetical close:

(Yes, rich people might cluster. But rich people will always find a way to game the system: That shouldn’t be an argument against an all-in approach to public education any more than it is a case against single-payer health care.)
Rich people cluster, Catholics muster, but what about all those African American kids like the 90% here at Leo Catholic High School?  They have bad parents, Aunties, Grandmas and GrandPappies?  Bad Sponsors?

Ms. Benedikt admits to the sorry state of American public education in her Manifesto
I  believe in public education, but my district school really isn’t good! you might say. I understand. You want the best for your child, but your child doesn’t need it. If you can afford private school (even if affording means scrimping and saving, or taking out loans), chances are that your spawn will be perfectly fine at a crappy public school. She will have support at home (that’s you!) and all the advantages that go along with being a person whose family can pay for and cares about superior education—the exact kind of family that can help your crappy public school become less crappy. She may not learn as much or be as challenged, but take a deep breath and live with that. Oh, but she’s gifted? Well, then, she’ll really be fine.
My spawn all attended Catholic schools Pre-12 because we are Catholic.  However, were I Wiccan my spawn would have donned Catholic schoolyard jumpers, or Virgin Mary blue polos and navy strides from Zemskis anyway. I love my children, but more than that - I am obligated to their development as Americans.  Americans are not moral relativists, but committed citizens who know that they are not  the center of the Universe. To that end, I must do for my children from conception until I shed my mortal husk.

The total cost for the Catholic schooling of my spawn breaks out like this

Plutocrat Hickey Games the System, or From 1988 - 2014 for Spawn Total of 3

P-8   $ 26,000 in Tuition
P-8   $   6,400 in Books and Fees
9-12 $ 75,000 in Tuition
9-12 $   9,450 in Books and Fees
Spawn Total $ 116,850
My salary range between 1988-2013* Before Mortgage/City/County/State/ Federal Taxes & my Social Security Payments

1988 - $ 22,000
2013 - $ 71,000
* Two Parent Income 1988-1998 ( widowed 1/14/1998 all kids received Social Security Death Benefits monthly and socked away; plus generous gifts from family members in Memoriam)- Single Parent 1998-2013.

The Spawn Payoff - My oldest daughter and her fiance are going to close on house in Oak Lawn next month; my son is taking his Boiler Operations Class prior to his October journeyman's exam for IUOE Local 399 and my baby girl is engaged in the Freshman Seminar at Western Michigan University. All three Spawnies are committed voters ( Anti-Abortion Democrats) tax-payers and free of any criminal record.

That makes me a Bad Parent*.

Ms. Benedikt has cast her thoughts upon the waters of public opinion - good on you, Allison.  The Benedikt Manifesto will aid the Public School Industry's propaganda machine and reach the eyes and ears of millions.

My tens of readers have been offered my homey homily.

So long as whack-jobs continue to be afforded the microphones, the air-time and print shoved in front of  politely silent ( stunned?) audiences, what passes for American thought will continue to be as compelling as the Manifesto: Private School v. Public School in Slate, The New Republic, or The Nation.

Personally, I find more gravitas in periodicals like Jugs and Ammo. 

* One of the most laughable memes employed by the Public School Propaganda Ministry Contra School Choice is tired old saw - " BUT, People, Catholic Schools can kick out kids and have done with them."
Here is an exchange with a young man who lost a brother ( CPS Alum) to gang violence last October and went into a tail spin of truancy - we could not have the young guy back unless he chose to live at Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Posted to Facebook.
  • Conversation started Thursday

  • (PHOTO Name REMOVED) Thank you for everything you and Mr.Mcgrath did for me last Mr. H, Last year was the roughest year of my life and I'm glad you to (sic) we're there to support and motivate me.. I couldn't express that anymore! Thank You
  • Today
  • Pat Hickey

    You are a fine man, #$%%. God knows the troubles that have beset you in your young life, but He will help you over come anything. Dan and I both miss you. Stay strong. Old Man Hickey

  • ( PHOTO REMOVED )I'll try, that's the best thing I can do
    Times are tough, but only tough people make it past hard times ..
  • Pat Hickey

    You got that right. Fight the goofy impulse and work with your strengths - you are wicked smart, witty and good-hearted - work with that. McGrath and I are here for you 24/7 - Dude.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm Sorry. I Can't Talk Right Now . . .

Look. . .just try and  understand . . . :
I'm having just a splitting Haddock. Yes, there are crepes as well. . .Jesus.

You think this stuff is easy?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cardinal George is No Sun Times Columnist!


Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago*, past President of the American Conference of Catholic Bishops, internationally honored author and theologian, Oblate of Mary Missionary priest is no newspaper columnist and he certainly is no Progressive member of the Cook County Democratic Party, nor is he any way near a GOP tasseled loafer suburban fence sitter, like Senator Marque Kirque and gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner.

How can a scholar of sacred theology expect to reason with a Mark Brown**, an Eric Zorn, a Carol Marin, a Neil Steinberg, or a Proco Joe Moreno and maintain any semblance of moral high-ground? Recently these folks have opined upon the Secular Redemption of Milliken Don James St. James who merely slaughtered his entire family in 1960's served his time in the nut house, deemed clean, was released, advanced degreed, changed his name and lived anonymously among the folks as respected member of the academic community, not unlike Dr. Josef Mengele or other South Americans of post-Holocaust redemption. Columnist love this American Progressive Gatsby narrative. But that is Columnist Theology.

Today, Mark Brown, one of the very few columnists who actually offers a semblance of a fair shake, recounts his 'cordial' exchange with Cardinal George concerning this summer's hoo-ha over Proco Joe and company's outrage in letter form protesting Catholic Campaign for Human Development's (CCHD) decision to no longer fund the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights( ICIRR).

Mark Brown wrote a searing column that burned the fibers of manly hearts that already agree with him on matters relating to same-sex marriage and scorched the muscles of that vital organ in the womanly breasts of maids and dowagers who equate bike repair with non-Euclidean sex and Civil Rights.

Cardinal George found fault with Mr. Brown's column; hence the 'cordial' dialogue.

George expressed his opinion that the funding cutoff “wouldn’t have been an issue if we weren’t in a campaign for governor.”
That confused me a little, because I certainly would have raised the issue whether there was an election next year or not. The cardinal reiterated that his understanding is that some people want to use gay marriage as an issue in the governor’s race.
I suggested it was his decision to halt funding from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to the immigrant groups that made this an issue. He rejected that assertion, arguing that the leaders of the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights in effect cut off funding to their own member groups with the decision in May to endorse gay marriage.
You see, Cardinal; George is not only an episcopal and evangelical leader of the Catholic Church in Chicago, but he also happens to be a Chicagoan and someone who can and does read print.

To avoid any confusion, there is a race for governor.  The signer of the hostile and historically damaging Illinois Civil Union Bill, Governor Pat Quinn, lost the May bid to make Same -Sex Marriage the Lincoln Log Cabin for his Reelection, chinking every crack with Progressively pious platitudes.  Quinn is even more unpopular than his enemies who are growing up out of the ground from the dragon's teeth sown by the very forces that own Quinn's political soul - ( SEIU, Planned Parenthood, Dr. Quentin Young, Abner Mikva, the ACLU and Fred Eychaner). We now have Bruce Rauner, a billionaire buccaneer hopping out of Rahm Emanuel's vest pocket as a GOP standard bearer and Bill Daley who gave Rahm his first job.  We have Kwame Raul as a wedge candidate to gobble up Quinn's African American base, if there ever had been such, and a cavalcade gimpy-wimpy GOP dependables.

Now, that is something to confuse one, Mr. Brown.

The Catholic Church has been sanctioned for fire bombing by the DNC, because of its implacable defense of the unborn and traditional marriage.

Cardinal George knows the political landscape and it is hostile.  What passes for an evolved culture in this country finds the Gay Ann Landers, Dan Savage,  to be a sober and thoughtful Catholic voice and it finds the certitude of ethical and moral principles just too mean for a queen. Mark Brown offers his last word on the matter ex-cathedra, or swivel seat, or easy chair in a much less than cordial manner.  Mark Brown wants that to be his column's take away?

The cardinal acknowledged his own characterization of the pope’s comments on gays may have been “jarring,” as I put it, but he said he was frustrated by journalists missing the pope’s point.
“In our culture, ‘Who am I to judge’ means nobody has the right to distinguish right from wrong,” which wasn’t what the pope meant, the cardinal said.
“He was saying that a person who has given up their sinful ways, you don’t judge them. You accept them,” George said. “. . .He started out saying: gay sex is wrong.”
I told the cardinal I never believed for a moment that the pope was changing church policy toward gays, only setting a different tone that was missing from his own approach.
The cardinal expressed frustration that, in the current political climate, Catholics can’t express their opposition to same-sex marriage without being regarded as bigots.
“”When that becomes the criterion for accepting gay and lesbian people, then we’re in the bind we’re in now, which is a real bind,” he said.

No - that is not what a Sun Times reader must take away from the 'coridal' exchange of the columnist and mere Cardinal.  It is this.

"Nobody really expects the Catholic Church to change, only to adapt."

Millions of European Jews were told that very thing. Now, that was some lesson in social evolution . . . very scientific.

* Francis Cardinal George, OMI Education
Bachelor in Theology, University Ottawa
Master in Theology, University Ottawa, 1971
MA in Philosophy, Catholic University America, 1965
PhD in Philosophy, Tulane University, 1970
STD, Pontifical Urban University, Rome, 1989
Ordained priest Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 1963, provincial central region, 1973—1974, vicar general, 1974—1986; coordinator Circle of Fellows Cambridge Center for Study of Faith & Culture, Massachusetts, 1987—1990; ordained bishop, 1990; bishop Diocese of Yakima, Washington, 1990—1996; archbishop Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, 1996—1997, Archdiocese of Chicago, 1997—; elevated to cardinal, 1998; cardinal-priest S. Bartolomeo all'Isola, 1998—
Career Related
Vice president US Conference Catholic Bishops, 2004—; chancellor Catholic Church Extension University St. Mary of Lake, 1997; member Congregation Divine Worship, Discipline of Sacraments, Congregation for Oriental Churches, 2001—, Congregation Institutes, Consecrated Life, Societies Apostolic Life, Pontifical Commission for Cultural Heritage of Church, 1999—, Pontifical Council Cor Unum, 1998, Congregation Evangelization of Peoples, Pontifical Council for Culture, 2004—, Catholic Commission on Intellectual & Cultural Affairs
Creative Works
Author (pastoral letter): Becoming an Evangelizing People, 1997, Dwell in My Love, 2001
Mem.: Am. Catholic Philosophical Association, Am. Society Missiologists
Roman Catholic
Office: Archdiocese of Chgo Pastoral Ctr PO Box 1979 Chicago IL 60690-1979
** Mark Brown

Brown grew up in central Illinois, graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1977 and then attended the Public Affairs Reporting program at University of Illinois-Springfield, then known as Sangamon State, where he was a Sun-Times intern. Brown worked four years at the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, before joining the Sun-Times full-time in 1982.
At the Sun-Times, Brown worked mainly as a general assignment reporter specializing politics and government, which led him into investigative reporting. In September 2000, Brown began writing his column, which currently appears Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday. One of his strengths is that he has experience covering not only Chicago City Hall, but also Cook County government and the Illinois Statehouse.
Brown, a third-string high school basketball player, grew up obsessed with St. Louis Cardinals baseball, Chicago Bears football and Bradley basketball. Only Bradley has moved down on his radar, replaced by the Bulls.

Friday, August 23, 2013

'And It's No Go a Tear . . .' Leo Pipe Laureate Dave McKee '46 Pipes Lions Through Heaven's Gate

Couple brought together through love of bagpipes
Dave and Kitty McKee

Dave McKee. Leo '46 has gone home to Christ.

The only sad part of my wonderful job is watching brave, generous, witty, tough and talented men part this world for their places in Heaven.

Bernard Pepping possesses the most dutiful eye for Leo fallen and I regret each note he sends me announcing the passing of Eugene Phillips, James McNicholas, or Jophn P. Coakley. Last night, I received the news from Bob Hylard about the nearing end and the passing of Master Piper Dave McKee.

Mr. McKee piped Leo Men to the Colors at every Veterans Observance and into the hall of most Alumni Banquets.  He was a classmate of Bob Hylard, who played in the Leo Marching Band and edited The Oriole.

" very close friend dave McKee,leo '46.. the bag piper is in extremely critical shape at Christ hosp...he's probably close to the you know he piped the vets day doings at leo until he no longer could about 4 years ago....he led the..." Stockyard Kilty Bagpipe Band"... for 50+ years....he and the band were featured in Chicago Trib many times through the years...he is a noteworthy and colorful character and I thought maybe you could get your friend rick kogan [trib] to do an obit honoring a guy who was there anytime he was asked or needed.....pat .i'm writing this approx. 8pm Tuesday and he is still hanging on, but barely....when the end comes I will forward this to you and hope that rick sees the value of a story about a great guy and the band he led through some much of Chicago you probably know the s.y.k.b.was the lead band for the southside st Patrick's day parade ever since it went big time... Years back Dave and the band was on the cover of the trib sunday magazine section...very glossy in those ad ..great story on tamara holder....tnx pat.......if rick or another writer can do obit Dave's son Matt would be great source of wealth of info....Matt McKee   708/229-1253...tnx pat........"

Thanks Bob.  I know I will get the official news in few hours from Bernie Pepping.  One thing you can count on on this world and that is a Leo Man.

Being a Little Flower HS grad, I offer this small tribute to a sweet and talented Leo Man.  The poem is from a Northern Ireland poet and an Orangeman.

Bagpipe Music

It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
Their knickers are made of crepe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with head of bison.

John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
Kept its bones for dumbbells to use when he was fifty.

It's no go the Yogi-man, it's no go Blavatsky,
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
All we want is a Dunlop tire and the devil mend the puncture.

The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
Mrs. Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
Said to the midwife "Take it away; I'm through with overproduction."

It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh,
All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.

Louis Macneice

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tamara Holder - Leo Man

Leo High School opened the school year a week ago.  The school welcomed the freshman class and their families and greeted the returning Lions and their folks.

Absent from the returns was a young gent who earned the respect and affection of every soul in this eight-seven year old Catholic high school for males that has been the home to young guys from Chicago's south side. Many of those Leo Lions are now many of the most successful and generous leaders in every vocation. CEO's who were once poor kids who lived along the tracks that run through Auburn, Gresham, Englewood, Brainerd and Chatham received a Leo education that is fundamentally different from any public or charter school.  The difference is that God's law is the foundation of all studies and activities.

For 87 years, poor kids, as well as the sons of blue-collar parents learned that a Leo High School education is earned and owned jointly with the generations that have gone before them.  A Leo Education still means what it did to the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, the Irish, the Italians, the Lithuanians, the Poles, the Swedes, the Germans, the Mexicans and the African Americans who walked through these portals on 79th Street.

Most of our students receive some financial aid, just as many had in the Great Depression, but no one gets everything.  There are no free rides. Families and students invest time, treasure and talent to earn a Leo diploma.

One guy who is not a particularly bookish student, or a hot athlete, or a magnificent singer, or the reincarnation of St. Francis family could not afford the most modest stab at meeting tuition.  He was going to a public school.  That left a huge hole in the heart of the Lion.

President Dan McGrath had men drive over to the kid's home and we took him out for lunch at Schaller's Pump ( owned by Leo Hall of Fame 1943 Alum Jackie Schaller) in order to negotiate an important man back to Leo High School.

The school had allocated financial aid to all of our registered students, but as is always the case, more is needed because financial situations change like Midwest weather. We told our guy " You worry about your studies; let us worry about how to pay for them.  You are a Leo Man.'

We left it at that.  Dan paid for lunch and we headed to the parking lot.  An eighty-seven year old man was slowly working his way out of his car - it was none other than Louie Knox - Leo '42.  Mr. Knox was a member of Darby's Rangers and had the honor of "liberating Rome" days before General Mark Clark and his Army.  When the Rangers were wiped out Mr. Knox became one of America's pioneer Special Forces warriors fighting in Italy and Southern France with a mixed Canadian/American commando unit. 
Lou Knox -Leo '42 throws out the first pitch at Comiskey Park.

Louie Knox met our guy patted in on his shoulders and admonished him 'to be a Leo Man.' We dropped the Leo Man off at home - now, how to find help.

One can go to the well much too often.  No one knows that more than a person who is tasked with raising money.  We have Go-to-guys in the hundreds(  e.g.Sam Leno Class of 1963 spearheaded this summer's transportation campaign The Lion Express to Opportunity) but there are only so many dollars.  Leo works 24/7 to widen the well and dig in new locations.

One of our Advisory board members and the only woman among a thick baker's dozen middle aged African American and Irish American males who look like the cast of Deadwood,  is an exceptionally tall, athletic, smart, witty and beautiful Jewish woman - Tamara Holder. (See? Tamara is Just one of Guys!. . .Not.)

  Tamara is a criminal defense attorney, as well as a national television figure.

Tamara is a guys-gal.  She has not a drop of pretense coursing through her veins, despite being one of the sexiest women in America. She holds her own with the Brothers and  Boyos who tend to be the polar opposites of NPR-types.  Tamara delights and dazzles the Alumni with an occasional visit to Alumni meetings at Father Perez Knights of Columbus and treats inner city kids who have never ventured north of Chinatown to lunches at Harry Carray's.

I called Tamara in between her appearances  on Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity as a Fox Television Legal Analyst.  I told Tamara about our guy,  Like a Lou Knox, Ms. Holder took command.of the objective and reached out to public and private pals.

The hole in the Lion's heart is filled by a leggy girl who leads with her heart.

Tamara Holder, like WII hero Lou Knox, lives the Leo motto Facta Non Verba - Deeds Not Words - every day.

Thanks, Baby!

Ogden Nash on Planned Parenthood and Lovers of Abortion

À Bas Ben Adhem ( of Personal PAC Illinois, Organizing for America and PPA)
My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What's he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I'm supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn't it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succint:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician's voice
He names himself as Nature's choice.
The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.
Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It's simply that I'm sure I can
Get on without my fellow man. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Was Senator Dick Durbin a Defrocked Priest?

No wonder Senator Dithering Dick is so chummy with the abortion crowd.

Bad Poetry That is Scads of Fun - Lady Caroline Norton (1808-1877 and not minute too soon!)

" Fritz, I asked about that snake bite . . .  Doc sez, yer not gonna make it!"

We know what the people of America think. This is a very bad idea. (Senator Richard Durbin D. IL)

A very wise man wrote " It strikes me that the turpitude of our politicians might come into starker relief if we were to view them as bad poets: pathetic and desperate souls, free from restraints of harmony and good form, who must fill the world with their corrupt and ugly visions and endeavour to shape it to them."

It do seem so. People who recite poems in public settings tend to limited their study of the art to the poems that helped us as kids. Memory skills are developed with poems whether tying shoes or remembering days in a month.  My encounters with bad poems had to do with punitive post-school day assignments afforded me by Sister Mary Alaric, RSM,  The more sing-song the poem the better for the memory.  Often the themes are as humanly rudimentary as the wee human's place . . .elementary.

No one is more WEE than a politician. Politicians have themes for each grift they intend to perpetuate e.g  "Monica, gimma a Vet's poem for the old gimps at Hines VA this morning. You know,  all that 'Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye!' bullshit. Then I got a date with some  Sheenies up in Lincoln Park for lunch, followed by the Old Timey Shine Ministers - dig up some Yiddish  Yiddle-Fiddle crap and some WEB DuBoy  'I Hate Whitey Stuff'  -Hey, I love this stuff you dug up for the Shuttle Disaster Survivors! Who wrote it? . . .Don't know?  Ah, neither will they!

"O Moon, when I gaze on thy beautiful face,
Careering along through the boundaries of space,
The thought has often come into my mind
If I shall ever see thy glorious behind."

The more Bathetic the more the poem is recited. 

Imagine, if our elected dolts had actually developed any level of discernment through the study of poetry? Imagine Dick Durbin without AE Houseman?  Where would a Joe Biden go for work?  Where would Gov. Pat Quinn find a paycheck?  Where else but behind bars would a Rod Blagojevich be?

Imagine not needing to endure a very bad recitation of "IF" at every political campaign kickoff from a dolt who would struggle to spell the title of the poem let alone tell you that it was Kipling who wrote - Henry Wadsworth Kipling. Even great poets like John Donne and William Wordsworth wrote some pooches. 

I really enjoy the ballad form that told stories of highwaymen, outlaws, briggands, badmashes and the bollocks.  The absolute best are the closed couplet train-wrecks like the offering attached.

Don't get me wrong - Bad Poetry rocks! The Stuffed Owl Variety.

Poetry is a blessing and had at one time been the most important discipline. The More undisciplined the poem the more it hits the mark as bad poetry ' The Boy stood on the Burning Deck . . .& etc.'

Lady Caroline Norton was the granddaughter  of the Irish wit and playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan ( The Rivals) and reputed to be one the most beautiful women in Great Britain.  She was witty, well-read, kind and warm-hearted; married to her polar opposite - a slow-witted lawyer with soul of a gnat. This titanic midget of man sued his wife for 'Criminal Conversation' -adultery with Lord Melbourne,in a fit of sissified jealousy. Divorce was unheard of at the time, but the couple were separated for keeps.

Though this gorgeous and talented woman was known in her day as a poet - The Female Byron by some -she is known these days for activism for woman's children's rights.  Here is why.

V. Bingen on the Rhine
By Caroline Elizabeth Sarah (Sheridan) Norton (1808–1877)

A SOLDIER of the Legion lay dying in Algiers—
There was lack of woman’s nursing, there was dearth of woman’s tears;
But a comrade stood beside him, while his life-blood ebbed away,
And bent, with pitying glances, to hear what he might say.
The dying soldier faltered, as he took that comrade’s hand,        5
And he said: “I never more shall see my own, my native land;
Take a message and a token to some distant friends of mine,
For I was born at Bingen—at Bingen on the Rhine!
“Tell my brothers and companions, when they meet and crowd around
To hear my mournful story, in the pleasant vineyard ground,        10
That we fought the battle bravely—and, when the day was done,
Full many a corse lay ghastly pale, beneath the setting sun.
And ’midst the dead and dying were some grown old in wars,—
The death-wound on their gallant breasts, the last of many scars;
But some were young,—and suddenly beheld life’s morn decline,—        15
And one had come from Bingen—fair Bingen on the Rhine!
“Tell my mother that her other sons shall comfort her old age,
And I was aye a truant bird, that thought his home a cage;
For my father was a soldier, and, even as a child,
My heart leaped forth to hear him tell of struggles fierce and wild;        20
And when he died, and left us to divide his scanty hoard,
I let them take whate’er they would—but kept my father’s sword;
And with boyish love I hung it where the bright light used to shine,
On the cottage wall at Bingen—calm Bingen on the Rhine!
“Tell my sister not to weep for me, and sob with drooping head,        25
When the troops are marching home again, with glad and gallant tread;
But to look upon them proudly, with a calm and steadfast eye,
For her brother was a soldier, too—and not afraid to die.
And, if a comrade seek her love, I ask her, in my name,
To listen to him kindly, without regret or shame;        30
And to hang the old sword in its place (my father’s sword and mine),
For the honour of old Bingen—dear Bingen on the Rhine!
“There’s another—not a sister,—in the happy days gone by,
You’d have known her by the merriment that sparkled in her eye:
Too innocent for coquetry! too fond for idle scorning;—        35
Oh friend! I fear the lightest heart makes sometimes heaviest mourning!
Tell her, the last night of my life (for, ere this moon be risen,
My body will be out of pain—my soul be out of prison),
I dreamed I stood with her, and saw the yellow sunlight shine
On the vine-clad hills of Bingen—fair Bingen on the Rhine!        40
“I saw the blue Rhine sweep along—I heard, or seemed to hear,
The German songs we used to sing, in chorus sweet and clear;
And down the pleasant river, and up the slanting hill,
That echoing chorus sounded, through the evening calm and still;
And her glad blue eyes were on me, as we passed with friendly talk,        45
Down many a path beloved of yore, and well-remembered walk;
And her little hand lay lightly, confidingly in mine …
But we’ll meet no more at Bingen—loved Bingen on the Rhine!”
His voice grew faint and hoarser,—his grasp was childish weak,—
His eyes put on a dying look,—he sighed and ceased to speak:        50
His comrade bent to lift him,… but the spark of life had fled!
The soldier of the Legion, in a foreign land was dead!
And the soft moon rose up slowly, and calmly she looked down
On the red sand of the battle-field, with bloody corpses strown;
Yea, calmly on that dreadful scene her pale light seemed to shine,        55
As it shone on distant Bingen—fair Bingen on the Rhine

Thought that Square-head'd never die. I guess the French Foreign Legion had Nazi war criminals on the run even in the Mid-19th Century. Did not know that.