Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The Vatican announced a few days ago that it will toss out some of the godawful cutesy verbiage that it adopted in 1964 when it tossed out the traditional, centuries-old Tridentine Rite Latin Mass.
For instance, the Tridentine "Dominus Vobiscum" response: "Et cum spiritu tuo," became: "The Lord be with you." response: "And with you too."
Now it will revert to the more precise English translation "The Lord be with you." response: "And with your Spirit."
But it will still be in English.
And a bunch of other changes will be adopted when the Romans get around to implementing them in 2011. For one, the Priest will no longer be permitted to run around hugging everybody at the part of the newish Mass where they do such things.
This is, no doubt, a great relief to Catholic communicants with young boys.
Also they seem to be clamping down on the use of such trendy innovations as altar girls and "extraordinary ministers of communion," whereby just about any Bozo can play priest and distribute communion.
Hopefully, for Catholics with any sense of aesthetics, this will mean an end to guitar Masses and that absurd "Kumbayah," song. (Do they still belt out that musical atrocity?)
All of this is very nice, but frankly it is way too little, way too late, for those of us, who, as little children were imbued with traditional Catholicism only to have it casually tossed aside like so much meaningless flotsam and jetsam.
About the time the Church of Rome was adopting its disasterous, institutionally suicidal changes, Jack Brickhouse was the TV and radio announcer for the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs really stunk back then. And when they would be down something like 9 to 2 in the bottom of the ninth, occasionally they would show a little glimmer of life.
Their woeful shortstop, Andre Rodgers might somehow draw a walk and their fat catcher, Dick Bertell, might get hit by a pitch and Ron Santo would then come up and belt a 3 run homer. The next three Cubs would whiff harmlessly and the Cubs would end up losing 9 to 5.
And the ever optimistic, Brickhouse would bellow, "OH Boy! A day late and a dollar short!!
My sentiments precisely at the Roman Catholic Church's latest attempts at damage control.
It's not my fight anymore.
And Tom Lehrer's "Vatican Rag" satire of the 1964 Second Vatican Council's idiotic iconoclasm makes me laugh today.
Monday, August 23, 2010
The Chicago Zoning Board may render a decision as early as today as to whether or not to grant a special use permit for an Islamic Education Center to occupy the site of a storied West Rogers Park eatery.
The site, once occupied by Fluky's at 6821 N. Western Ave. has been tenatively purchased by the Faizan E. Madina Islamic Education Center. It occupies a full 2/3 of the block of Western Ave. between Farwell and Pratt Aves.
According to Sun-Times reports, the proposed development has encountered a flurry of opposition from local community groups who decry the loss of yet another tax generating commercial site to a religious tax-exempt group.
Over the past 5 years, the strip of Western Avenue between Lunt and Howard has become home to 3 other Islamic facilities, two of them quite sizable.
The addition of the former Fluky's site would likely make this swath of West Rogers Park the heaviest concentration of organized Moslem activity in the city.
Currently operating on the Western Ave corridor are:
Sharia Board of America - A Division of Rahmat-E-Alam Foundation, 7045 N. Western, (photo above) a former insurance company headquarters which occupies 2/3 of the block,
Mahdevia Islamic Center of Chicago, 7419 N. Western, which occupies 2 formerly commercial storefronts and has no offstreet parking,
Bosnian Islamic Cultural Center, 7022 N. Western, which occupies 2 former commercial storefront and has no offstreet parking.
Muslims ready to convert the Fluky's site (photo below) into a mosque say they're facing opposition that churches and synagogues in the neighborhood have not. But objecting neighbors say their opposition is economic.
"In America, everybody has the opportunity to practice their religion and where they want to," said Ahmed Shakil, a member of the Faizan E Madina Islamic Education Center. "If this was a church or a synagogue they would not have these objections, I don't think."
"There is no bigotry involved here," said Amie Zander, president of the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce, told the Sun-Times over the weekend. "Our sole objection is that we want this prime location to remain a commercial site, paying property tax."
Other residents expressed concerns about possible traffic and parking congestion during peak times. They also are concerned that the site -- given its prime location and ample off-street parking -- is capable of attracting a big-name restaurateur and jobs.
Over the past 5 years one large storefront, one large stand-alone restaurant and one sizable commercial vocational school building on the nearby Touhy and California corridor have been converted into Orthodox-Jewish synogogues without community opposition.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
On the far North side of Chicago is a little known institution of higher learning called Northeastern Illinois University.
I use that term "institution of higher learning" advisedly because this place will admit anyone with a pulse, who somehow manages to squeak out a passing C average from any Chicago Public high school.
NEIU has a remedial reading program, designed to get its incoming students above an 8th grade reading level. It is a wildly popular program.
For some odd historical reason, this North side "high school with ashtrays", has had a long association with the Chicago Socialist Party. The little campus is always littered with those drab Socialist handbills decrying one or another bourgeoise American outrage against the downtrodden proletariat.
Fortunately most NEIU students lack the literacy levels to comprehend that drivel.
And the Social Science indoctination at this taxpayer supported school is wildly and uniformly left-wing.
Students are indoctrinated with a skewed view of history designed to leave the student subject with a belief system that goes:
People of Color = Good.
White Man = Bad.
American White Man = Very Bad.
In the course of this indoctrination, enormous emphasis is put on the U.S - Indian Wars. They are characterized as an outright genocidal onslaught by white American men against the innocent, nature-loving red man.
This is used as a rationale to indict anything America does. It is also put forth as a rationale to support race-based job and education giveaways to blacks, Indians and Latinos and financial reparations for black descendents of slaves.
But in my casual beachside summer reading I came across several interesting historical facts.
1) Mexicans waged a cruel bloodthirsty war on the Native Americans of the Southwest, and
2) Some Indian tribes fought with the Confederacy during the Civil War, because they, themselves, were the owners of Black slaves.
Get a load of these excerpts from the 1966 Compact History of the Indian Wars, by historian John William Tebbel:
"In the Southwest, the Indians had a direct stake in the (Civil) war...since they, themselves were slaveholders who had brought their Negroes with them when they were displaced from their Alabama, Georgian and Florida homes." p. 198
"The Apaches had made their tribe so feared in Northern Mexico, that the provinces there stood ready to pay $100 for an Apache warrior's scalp, $50 for a woman's and $25 for a child's." p.192
So I ask the Blame American White Men First racialist crackpots on the NEIU faculty:
how are we going to work out the racial spoils system now?
Should the Latinos give up their affirmative action quota slots and pay reparations to the Native Americans?
Should the Native Americans give up their affirmative action quota slots and pay reparations to the blacks?
Oh things are getting so complicated in Obama's post-racial America!
Friday, August 13, 2010
This coming Sunday, St. Jerome’s Croatian Catholic Church in Bridgeport is going to hold its 104th Annual Croatian Fest.
It is certain to be a wild affair. Because you see, St. Jerome’s is likely the only Church on the North American continent to have a full blown hard liquor bar in its church basement. It’s a real bar complete with a long mahogony rail, barstools and ample supplies Jack Daniels, Gordon’s gin, Popov vodka and assorted more esoteric native Croatian high-octane libations.
I have been in scores, if not hundreds of church basements for one reason or another over the years and this is the only one that I have ever seen that has a bar.
When I asked why they had a bar in their basement, I was told it was because, “The fellows like to unwind after Mass.”
I can see it now. The priest solemnly utters the final words of the ritual: “Go. The Mass is ended.” To which the assembled faithful proffer the response:”Thanks be to God!” And then the worshipers excitedly and hurridly pile down the stairs to the church hall like the Monsters of the Midway barreling down the tunnel onto Soldiers Field for the opening kickoff.
This party-loving parish is throwing its annual ethnic pride bash this Sunday. Its print ads tout that it will have an authentic European-styled procession (see above photo), bingo, a $30,000 raffle, beer and wine (naturally) and 85 whole lambs barbecued. This is not a fete for the sensitive minded vegan teetotalers at PETA.
The event kicks off at 10:30 am this coming Sunday, August 15th. It will be at 2800 S. Princeton in Bridgeport – just blocks from Mayor Daley’s ancestral bungalow.
Lakefront Air & Water Show, be damned, I’m going off to party with the Croatians.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Yesterday, the U.S. Congress interrupted its summer recess to rush thru a $26 billion bailout for cash strapped state governments. According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the measure was necessary to save some 160,000 teacher's jobs. President Obama immediately signed the bill into law.
But just why are state and local governments so incapable of meeting their teachers payroll?
Could it be because an astonishingly high number of area teachers are making more than 6 figures a year?
Chicago's grand champion for hauling down taxpayer's cash for a teaching job is one Timothy Bouman, a high school teacher at Noble St. Charter School in Chicago who boasts an annual salary of -- get this -- $632,000.
He is just one of literally hundreds of Chicago area teachers pulling down more than six figures a year for a job which takes up only 9 months of their time.
To look up the salary of a particular Chicago area public school teacher or to see all of the teacher's and school administrators salaries in your district, go to this site: Family Taxpayer's Network.
While perusing these gold plated salaries consider that the average income of the taxpayer who underwrites their salaries is $46,000 per year.
Congress' and Obama's bailout of their high salaried friends in the Teachers Unions reminds one of the old Monty Python skit about the reverse Robin Hood, Dennis Moore:
He steals from the poor
And Gives to the Rich
Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore
Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The folk-rock Chicago anthem, "Lake Shore Drive" was recorded 40 years ago today. Irony of ironies, its authors and performers, Aliotta,Haynes and Jeremiah were, in fact, not Chicagoans, but rather cheeseheads from West Allis, Wisconsin.
In any event, it was a regional hit in the Chicago area throughout 1971 and can still readily be found on jukeboxes throughout the Chicago area.
The soft, folkish song evokes really nice feelings about Chicago and its beautiful lakefront, while employing a few double entendres relating to LSD use.
It always fostered nostalgic feelings toward Chicago with me when I was living out of town -- feelings that readily dissipate when confronted with the realities of the daily hellish bumper to bumper traffic along Lake Shore Drive while stuck living here.
But as the famous Chicago expatriate choreographer, Bob Fosse, so aptly put it: "Chicago is a great place to be from."