Archive for May, 2009

Padre Alberto’s first sermon

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Father Cutié gets standing ovation at his first sermon at new Episcopalian church

The Rev. Alberto Cutié gave the sermon at the Episcopal Church of The Resurrection in Miami. Episcopalian priests can marry, unlike their Catholic counterparts.

He had barely said good morning when Cutié received a standing ovation. A handful of people held their personal cameras in the air, capturing what they could.

Cutié looked out at the crowd and said, “I am humbled by your presence here.”

He then delivered a sermon that spoke of common themes — God’s love, faith and perseverance — with a few lighter moments referring to his leaving the Catholic church thrown in.

In his sermon, Cutié spoke of a sea captain lost at sea for so long he ran out of water for his crew. Then another ship came by and told the ships crew to lower their buckets. The captain thought this was crazy.

Except, it turns out, the ship had wandered into an area with fresh water.

It was a theme he returned to several times — the love of God is here for all. But first we must lower our buckets.

Cutié closed his sermon saying, “Church is about living in the spirit of God, and the spirit of God is love.”

For the past month the debate in my comments section has raged on, and the comments have become increasingly vicious. It’s time they stop. We need to draw from the waters of human kindness, to use Alberto’s metaphor.

I have an announcement to make:

Padre Alberto has made a decision that I feel is the right decision, and the best decision for him. The time for the debate has ended as far as my blog goes.


You are welcome to offer support and encouragement to Padre Alberto, which he will need in the years to come. All other comments will be deleted.

Commenters at this blog are my guests and if you have bad things to say about this good man, you can start your own blog.

It ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Unfortunately she didn’t win,

Susan Boyle lost Britain’s Got Talent to the ten-person dance crew Diversity. “Lads, I wish you all the best,” said Boyle graciously. It was a stunning loss. Boyle took second place in the voting.

In a fable for our times, Diversity won the day,

Now, if we get Pilobulus to dance to hip-hop, and change their name to PC, as in politically correct, we’ve got a winner!

In the meantime, let’s hope someone signs up Susan Boyle as Mama Rose in Gypsy. Everything’s coming up roses!


Susan Boyle set to make millions after Britain’s Got Talent
Susan Boyle, the undisputed star of Britain’s Got Talent, is on course to make more than £5 million from television, advertising and record deals.

Good for her.

Venezuela: Chavez’s Persecution, and No Debate

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


My latest article, Venezuela: Chávez’s Persecution, and No Debate, is up at Real Clear World Please read it and leave a comment.


Saturday night milonga: El flete

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

From Sally Potter’s The Tango Lesson:

Chávez chickens out

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


Hugo Chávez, rambling as usual in his Aló Presidente TV show (whose 10th anniversary he is celebrating with a 4-day long cadena, as if Venezuelans hadn’t suffered enough), said on Friday that he was willing to debate the speakers at the Cedice conference (prior posts here and here).

Cedice participants Mario Vargas Llosa, Enrique Krauze, and Jorge Castañeda agreed to debate Chávez himself, on the condition that there be equal time for their points so that they wouldn’t be sitting there listening to Chávez rant.

Fair enough.

I have met Mario Vargas Llosa and Enrique Krauze, and they are top intellects. Brilliant men, each of them.

Now, Chávez, self-deluded as he may be, does have a flash or two of lucidity, and decided this debate was not a good idea after all.

He cancelled today’s show without further explanation.

I have an article coming up soon at Real Clear World with more background on Chávez’s current oppression.

Oh, look
Via Drudge, Hugo Chavez to present Obama with book by Vladimir Lenin. Without a hint of irony, the book’s title is, ‘What Is To Be Done?’

Obama discovers an American intelligence agency at a burger joint

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

We’re in the most capable hands:


In which the president discovers an American intelligence agency at Five Guys during a campaign stop:

The transcript:

Obama: What do you do Walter?
Walter: I work at, uh, NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Obama: Outstanding, how long you been doing that?
Walter: About six years
Obama: Yea?
Walter: Yes.
Obama: You like it?
Walter: I do, keeps me…
Obama: So explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial…uh…
Walter: Uh, we work with, uh, satellite imagery..
Obama: Right
Walter: [unintelligible] …support systems, so…
Obama: Sounds like good work.
Walter: Enjoy the weekend.
Obama: Appreciate it.

Not.A.Clue. Daily intelligence briefings? Who knows?

Where’s that TOTUS when you need it?

Now, let’s imagine if a certain Republican president had flubbed it…

The Uighurs

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Andy McCarthy, the prosecutor for the first World Trade Center (1993) bombing, writes, Uighurs: Sometimes, the Obama Friday Night Bad News Dump Is Bad for the Left

The Obama Justice Department told the Supreme Court this evening that the Uighurs have no right to be released into the United States.

The Uighurs, Chinese Muslim detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, received terrorist training at al Qaeda affiliated camps (from an organization formally designated as a foreign terrorist organization under U.S. law) and were captured after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. They are the Left’s combatant cause célèbre. The military took the incoherent position that they were trained al Qaeda terrorists but that their real beef was with China, not us. Thus, the federal courts have held that they are not enemy combatants. The government has been trying to relocate them for years but no country will take the remaining 17 — other than China, where our treaty obligations arguably forbid us from sending them because there is reason to believe they’d be persecuted.

Of course, it’s one thing to say that they are not enemy combatants and should therefore be released. It is quite another thing, though, to say that they should be released into the United States (which, because of their terrorist affiliations, would violate federal immigration law).

Federal judge Richard Urbina tried to order their release into the US; the DC Court of Appeals overruled Urbina,

The Uighurs appealed, and today the Justice Department filed its responsive brief. Solicitor General Elena Kagan argued — consistent with the Bush administration position — that the Uighurs have no right to be released into the U.S.

This is an important decision not only for domestic security, but also because as Michael Goldfarb points out,

European nations are clamoring for the U.S. to accept some of the Uighur detainees in return for accepting some themselves.

Bottom line: the Uighurs have no right to be released into the US.

Pick your “glass hold”, please

Friday, May 29th, 2009

For the “take with a grain of [margarita] salt” file:
The Beeb says ‘Glass hold’ reveals personality.

If the study is accurate, you probably want to hang out with


This type of drinker could be a man or a woman. They tend to be sociable and convivial and “like a laugh”.

They take short swigs from bottled drinks so they don’t miss out on chipping in with the conversation.

The bottle is held loosely at its shoulder for ease. This type of person is always happy to extend their social circle. The best way to approach them therefore is to leap directly into light, good-humoured conversation and make them laugh.

However, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from the browbeater, whether the study is accurate or not.

Organs Needed, Supply Limited

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Today’s must-read: Ed Morrissey‘s compelling book review and article in today’s WSJ:
Organs Needed, Supply Limited
What to do when the wait for a transplant can take seven years?

More than 1,000 Americans die every year awaiting a kidney transplant. Surgeons in the U.S. perform about 7,000 of the transplants annually, but that doesn’t come close to meeting demand: As many as 250,000 patients require kidney dialysis — all of them subsidized by Medicare — but half of them are deemed not sick enough to warrant referral to a transplant program. The wait for a kidney transplant from a cadaver-donor can take seven years.

I’m familiar with these statistics, and the wrenching stories they suggest, because my wife has lived in this precarious wait-and-hope world. She was the recipient of a cadaver-organ transplant, and twice in her life she was blessed with the unbelievable good fortune of receiving kidney donations from friends. Non-family donors are rare, and even within a family, as in our case, finding a good tissue match can be a challenge.

Desperation, then, can slowly seep into the wait for a kidney transplant.

These are the books Ed reviewed,

At Hot Air, Ed asks, Is it time to offer compensation for live kidney donations? This is not an abstract question. As techonology improves, the answer to that question may save your life.

Go read both Ed’s article and post.

A brief question on identity politics

Friday, May 29th, 2009

As the country considers for Supreme Court Justice a woman who actually believes

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

And please do read her entire speech. She said what she meant, and meant what she said.

I would like to ask my readers to consider,

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Do you believe that simply because of that fact I am able to “more often than not reach a better conclusion” than my husband, who was born and raised in Pennsylvania?

UPDATE, Saturday 30 May
Another question, Would Judge Sotomayor Qualifiy as a Juror?