Are there any rules prohibiting a dead guy from urging you to invest in gold? Rather ominous but then maybe good. Who knows more about what’s going to happen than a guy who’s already crossed over and sees the other side? Every day when I turn on Fox, there’s Jay Johnson, former director of the U. S. Mint pitching Goldline International. He looks good, ruddy complexion, a twinkle in his eye and crisp, smoothly waved white hair. But last month he toppled over dead at the age of 66. He was a former northern Wisconsin TV anchor and one-term Wisconsin Democratic congressman who after he was defeated was hired by the Clinton administration. Dead or not, he gives his spiel without an obvious worry in the world. And, hey, he looks a hell of a lot healthier than I do today.
But as I reflected this morning while scraping my chin and eyeing Jay on the tube, it’s good to see Johnson there pumping his spiel for investment in gold. He is a living…er, deadly… reminder of what dear old Ernie used to say on Saturday morning’s class before we freshmen would board our college blue bus that took us to Saint Cloud, Minnesota (then population: 28,000, circa 1946) for our Bacchanalian revelries:
“Gentlemen, as you depart on the Johnnie Bus for your Saturday evening recreation, I leave you and your colleagues with this observation: `Be sober and watch for your adversary the Devil prowls about the world seeking whom he may devour.’-I Peter 5-8.” And one afternoon when I was clambering on, I looked over my shoulder and there was Ernie watching us. I said: “Do you have any benediction for us, Father?” He said, “Yes–`Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man comes'” It stayed with me that evening as I drank my 3.2 % Coldspring for 15-cents a bottle at Weibel’s…playing Big Man…while cud-chewing farmers in overalls (we didn’t know enough to call them jeans) played Scat (pronounced “scott”)-a German card game that is as mysterious to me now as when I was 18. Incidentally, the drinking age in 1946 as now was 21 but that was the thrill of it. Oh, yes, if you could pony up 25 cents you could order up a bottle of Green Death, known as Glueck Stite beer: 12%.
Ass of Himself.
While conservatives say the Fort Hood killings of 13 (including the unborn child) is domestic terrorism…while liberals are describing it as possibly an unconscionable killing spree by an unbalanced psychiatrist…they’re both wrong. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley went on another ungrammatical tirade of his own-using every opportunity to shill for “gun control” while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the Chicago confiscation ordinance….making a roaring ass of himself. You see, Fort Hood was caused by laxity in gun control. In other words, an Army major should have been under severe constraint…possibly massive constraint…in obtaining firearms. So that’s what went wrong at Fort Hood. With Chicago-style gun control, Major Hasan would have been turned down and all 13 dead would be alive. Of course Hasan could have easily got a gun at Fort Hood-but… Hey, there’s an idea! Maybe we ought to install gun control at Fort Hood!
Anti-Catholicism is Everywhere, I Tell You!
Chicagocatholicnews.com is an interesting website…too liberal for me, understand…but you get some interesting stuff from it: and there’s professional writing there too from its editor Rob Herguth, the son of Robert Herguth whom you will remember wrote a fun column for years for the Sun-Times. I’m pretty sure young Herguth went to Loyola University as a classmate of my daughter Jeanne.
Anyhow, in his column “From the Portico,” Herguth reproduces a sentence from a book by the ecclesiastical leader of our archdiocese that is …well, I’m sure unintentionally…startling. It goes: “Priestly abuse of children and young people is a great tragedy of unbounded proportions and bishops must take responsibility for it…” Well, that’s not a generous assumption of responsibility because who else but the bishops SHOULD take responsibility. But get the next portion says:
“…but it is also an occasion to unleash the anti-Catholicism that has never been far beneath the surface in U. S. history.”
Two points-clerical pedophilia first.
As result of the gross mis- and malfeasance of pedophilia in this diocese by its ecclesiastical leaders…including the seminary rector who ordained Dan McCormack and has said he’d ordain him again (before the rector was promoted to auxiliary bishop here)…shutting their eyes, falling down on the job, seeing that those responsible are promoted to higher posts-no one can fault any dispassionate observer from becoming cynical if not anti-Catholic. I’m hardly anti-Catholic but I can sure see why people are if they see children victimized by priests. What about those who are in positions of responsibility who fail to adhere to that responsibility? Especially people who write books assailing authenticist and far-left Catholics, calling them “cult leaders.” Which means that after you cull out the rightists and the leftist Catholics, there’s only one remaining: himself.
Second on anti-Catholicism: Anti-Catholicism “that has never been far beneath the surface in U. S. history”? This strikes me as just so much whining. Sure, Catholics weren’t bowed and scraped to and, for the most part immigrants, had to make their way in U.S. lineage without affirmative action-but they didn’t do too badly, beginning with Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Md. and his brother John, the first bishop in the colonies. Catholic Charles was the richest man in the colonies…the only American to sign both the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence. When he signed the Declaration, he made a special point of adding after his name “of Carrollton” so the British would know what Charles Carroll they were looking for-and as he sat down, Benjamin Franklin murmured to his seatmate: “There go a few millions!
Expressing grievance about our history of anti-Catholic prejudice is a special hallmark of this diocesan leader. Ah how terrible the anti-Catholicism has been! Starting with Catholic Roger Taney [1777-1864], Andrew Jackson’s AG who went on to become chief justice of the United States succeeding John Marshall. I expect that for historians to note Taney’s authorship of the Dred Scott decision that relegated blacks to inferior status this would be an example of anti-Catholicism.
Ah but how that anti-Catholic bigotry flourishes. A Catholic president elected in 1960; his brother almost sure to be elected in 1968 (I hope you’re not going to tell me Bobby was assassinated because of Catholicism)…the first in line to succeed to the president, the vice president is Catholic…the second in line to become president being the Speaker of the House Catholic…the Republican leader of the House Catholic…of the 435 in the House 134 Catholic…in the 100-member Senate 26 are Catholic…of the 50 governors 23 or 46% are Catholic. On and on.
The interesting thing is that very few of the aforementioned support Catholic precepts on abortion. But that fault can be laid at the doorstep of faulty catechetical training-attributable to the bishops.
To what is our archdiocesan leader referring when he refers to the anti-Catholicism that “has never been far beneath the surface in U. S. history”? It so happens I know what he’s referring to…because he cited this to me before which stuns because it’s so minor. It happened the day he told a civic club that “it can be argued that the Republican party never had a soul”-and when questioned said “aha, you didn’t listen to what I said-I said `it can be argued that the Republican party never had a soul.'” Well it can’t even be argued since the Republican party was founded by those who wished to end slavery. He’s referring to a character named James G. Blaine.
James G. Blaine [1830-1893] was the Republican senator from Maine, a Speaker of the House and secretary of state and a presidential candidate. He came from a Catholic family, incidentally, but was imbued with the desire to keep the feds from supporting Catholic parochial schools. Yes-yes that’s it.
Can you imagine the hurt, the pain, the anguish, the humiliation every Catholic feels every morning when he/she arises and retrospectively knows first-hand that he/she has been degraded, discriminated against and turned into second-class citizens by this insidious James G. Blaine? Take a look at what’s happening today-all these Catholic schools like…ugh…Notre Dame being shorn of federal funding…all their students, dewy-eyed because of James G. Blaine! Think of what DePaul would be like if federal funds were given to it: to get those federal funds it would have to shirk off its Catholicism! And we know Catholic schools who receive federal funding wouldn’t do that would they? DePaul…Loyola…Georgetown…Notre Dame. I tell you the discriminatory ghost of James G. Blaine still stalks the land.