Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Overheard at St Blog's K of C Clubhouse Tavern

* Mark Sullivan of Irish Elk reports on the recent speech of British Prime Minister Tony Blair before a joint session of Congress. While he links to the entire transcript from The NY Times, Mark reprints the good stuff: "Members of Congress, if this seems a long way from the threat of terror and weapons of mass destruction, it is only to say again that the world's security cannot be protected without the world's heart being won. So America must listen as well as lead. But, members of Congress, don't ever apologize for your values (Applause.) ... That's what we're fighting for, and it's a battle worth fighting. And I know it's hard on America. And in some small corner of this vast country, out in Nevada or Idaho or these places I've never been to but always wanted to go -- (laughter) -- I know out there, there's a guy getting on with his life, perfectly happily, minding his own business, saying to you, the political leaders of this country, "Why me, and why us, and why America?" And the only answer is because destiny put you in this place in history in this moment in time, and the task is yours to do. (Sustained applause.) The spirit of Winston Churchill is still with us. God bless America! God save the Queen!

* Dom Bettinelli of Bettnet is concerned that Carol McKinley of Faithful Voice may be appropriating his writing as her own, in the course of her organization's crusade against the uppity-suburban-white-bread-liberal-pseudo-reform group better known as Voice of the Faithful. A discussion between the two of them continues on his comments page. In my experience, based on both private correspondence and public declaration in the blogosphere, Ms McKinley is not above casting dispersions. It is true that I participated on the discussion board of VOTF. This did not make me one of their bedfellows, as Ms McKinley has asserted. On the contrary, I was singled out by name, in a public statement by VOTF, as a catalyst for the outcry against former SEICUS/Planned Parenthood official Debra Haffner speaking at the VOTF convention last year. The fallout from that outcry compelled VOTF -- up to now the alleged champions of "dialogue" in the Church -- to shut down the message board. I eventually won the respect and goodwill of many in the "second tier" of leadership (which was returned when we met for a delightful luncheon at the bishops conference last fall), while those of the top leadership were too busy posing for Time magazine to pay much attention. All this I accomplished without the imprimatur of Ms McKinley, Faithful Voice, or any other Voice. That's 'cuz I'm my own damn Voice! And when it was over, I passed up the opportunity for more noteriety, and like Cincinnatus, went back to the plow.

* Kathy Shaidle, Mother Goddess of the Catholic Blogosphere, reports on Catholic braveheart Mel Gibson making the jump over the abyss of borderline schism, and paying a short-notice visit to the headquarters of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops. Whatever the criticism by the USCCB of Gibson's production of The Passion, they've never been accused of looking a gift horse in the mouth. Ain't that right, Brother Knights?

* CNN reports on Americans who want to move to Canada, for reasons other than gay marriages: "George, 44, has spent little time in Canada, but said it seems to offer a more relaxed, less competitive way of life. He has no qualms about leaving his law practice and selling the family's upscale home in Minneapolis." From my years on the dance gypsy circuit, and my acquaintance with a certain folk-rock quartet from Toronto, Canadians are a lot like us Yanks, only more civil.

So far, anyway.

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