Friday, June 27, 2008

Filthy Lucre

A guy in Davenport, Iowa is going to spend a week in jail for contempt of court. His crime: he tried to post a $100.00 bond in dirty pennies and singles.

When the man opted to go to trial on a case of driving with a defective tire, the court required him to post a $100.00 bond. So he arrived at the courthouse with a box of allegedly bug-ridden bills and a bucket of gooey pennies. The clerk of the court said they had to use rubber gloves to count out the filthy lucre. When the judge found out what was going on in the clerk's office, she ordered the guy arrested for contempt of court.

Here is the Iowa statute defining acts of contempt:
665.2 ACTS CONSTITUTING CONTEMPT. The following acts or omissions are contempts, and are punishable as such by any of the courts of this state, or by any judicial officer, including judicial magistrates, acting in the discharge of an official duty, as hereinafter provided:

1. Contemptuous or insolent behavior toward such court while engaged in the discharge of a judicial duty which may tend to impair the respect due to its authority.

2. Any willful disturbance calculated to interrupt the due course of its official proceedings.

3. Illegal resistance to any order or process made or issued by it.

4. Disobedience to any subpoena issued by it and duly served, or refusing to be sworn or to answer as a witness.

5. Unlawfully detaining a witness or party to an action or proceeding pending before such court, while going to or remaining at the place where the action or proceeding is thus pending, after being summoned, or knowingly assisting, aiding or abetting any person in evading service of the process of such court.

6. Any other act or omission specially declared a contempt by law.
So which one of these subsections does posting a filthy bond come under? The only ones it might conceivably be stretched to fit under would be 1 and 2. But then there is the problem of intent, which the statute requires in its plain terms: who deliberately keeps a box of yucky money around, just in case they want to express their displeasure at having to post a trial bond? And if you charged with contempt every single person who comes into the court clerk's office with bad hygiene or a complicated, time-consuming problem, you'd have to let all the real criminals out of the jails to make room for them.

I remember, when I was eight or nine years old, my parents bought a Chevy pickup, and made the down payment almost entirely in singles they'd saved and kept in an old wine jug. Lucky for them the auto dealership didn't have contempt powers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Behind the Scenes: The Statehouse Restoration has a slideshow of pics taken inside Idaho's century-old Capitol buildling while it undergoes restoration and expansion. The Idaho State Capitol Commission has more information about the project, including slide shows, historic photos from the original construction, and time-lapse footage. The statehouse is not scheduled to re-open until next year.

It's good that this important piece of Idaho history is being restored to its earlier grandeur. It'll be even better when the project is finished, and we can finally have the huge mess downtown cleared up.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22: Feast of St. Thomas More

The saint's last letter, to his beloved daughter Margaret, written with a charcoal stick the day before his execution:

Our Lord bless you, good daughter, and your good husband, and your little boy, and all yours, and all my children, and all my god-children and all our friends. Recommend me when ye may to my good daughter Cecily, whom I beseech Our Lord to comfort; and I send her my blessing and to all her children, and pray her to pray for me. I send her a handkercher, and God comfort my good son, her husband. My good daughter Daunce hath the picture in parchment that you delivered me from my Lady Coniers, her name on the back. Show her that I heartily pray her that you may send it in my name to her again, for a token from me to pray for me.

I like special well Dorothy Colly. I pray you be good unto her. I would wot whether this be she that you wrote me of. If not, yet I pray you be good to the other as you may in her affliction, and to my good daughter Jane Aleyn too. Give her, I pray you, some kind answer, for she sued hitherto me this day to pray you be good to her.

I cumber you, good Margaret, much, but I would be sorry if it should be any longer than to-morrow, for it is St. Thomas's even, and the utas of St. Peter; and therefore, to-morrow long I to go to God. It were a day very meet and convenient for me.

I never liked your manner towards me better than when you kissed me last; for I love when daughterly love and dear charity hath no leisure to look to worldly courtesy. Farewell, my dear child, and pray for me, and I shall for you and all your friends, that we may merrily meet in heaven. I thank you for your great cost. I send now my good daughter Clement her algorism stone, and I send her and my godson and all hers God's blessing and mine. I pray you at time convenient recommend me to my good son John More. I liked well his natural fashion. Our Lord bless him and his good wife, my loving daughter, to whom I pray him to be good, as he hath great cause; and that, if the land of mine come to his hands, he break not my will concerning his sister Daunce. And the Lord bless Thomas and Austin, and all that they shall have.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 19th: Feast of St. Jude Thaddeus

...who happens to be my mother's patron saint. A martyr for the faith, like all the Apostles, St. Jude was beaten to death and then beheaded in Persia. The confusion of Jude Thaddeus with Judas Iscariot led to his being regarded as the patron of hopeless causes. He is also the patron of the desperately ill.

Prayer to St. Jude

Glorious Saint Jude, with faith in your goodness I ask your help today. As one of Christ's chosen Apostles, you are a pillar and foundation of His Church on earth. You are among the elders who stand always before God's throne.

Brother Jude, you are renowned for your kinship with Christ and your physical resemblance to our Savior. Help me remain close to Christ and resemble Him in my outlook and actions.

Holy Apostle, you are venerated for your work of preaching the gospel and your faithfulness to Christ by a martyr's death. Assist me to preach the good news of Christ by word and example, and remain steadfast in His service as you were.

From your place of glory, do not forget the needs and difficulties of Christ's little ones like me, still struggling on the way home to God. Pray for me that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in my necessities, tribulations and sufferings, particularly (name special problem) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.

Intercede for us all, gracious, brother Saint Jude, and pray for us to the Lord our God in our daily toil and our necessities. Amen.

Prayer to St. Jude for the Desperately Ill

Dear Apostle and Martyr for Christ, you left us an Epistle in the New Testament. With good reason many invoke you when illness is at a desperate stage. We now recommend to your kindness (name of patient) who is in a critical condition. May the cure of this patient increase his/her faith and love for the Lord of Life, for the glory of our merciful God. Amen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sounds Like a Plan to Me!

Catholic World News reports that a senior Vatican official says the Holy Father wants the extraordinary rite to be revived in every parish. Quoth the story:
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the president of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, told a June 14 press conference in London that the traditional Latin Mass should be reintroduced throughout the Catholic world. Asked whether the old liturgy would eventually be used in many parishes, the Colombian prelate replied: "Not many parishes; all parishes." [Emphasis added.]
Read: the Pope is determined to rein in all the liberal bishops who are determined to continue to suppress the extraordinary rite. Shall we take a wild stab at who is bound to prevail?

By the way, in a shocking gesture of disobedience to all the liturgical "experts" out there who not only despise the extraordinary rite, but also claim it is unlawful to have anything on the altar, this is Pope Benedict celebrating Mass at an altar decorated with candles and [gasp] a crucifix.

Still on Hold

Catholic World News reports that the beatification of Pope Pius XII is not imminent. There will be a conference and a photo exhibit in Rome later this year to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pope's death; however, his beatification still remains "in the kingdom of the future," said Fr. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican press office director. The beatification (and, hopefully, eventual canonization) are thus not ruled out altogether; however, even the title "Venerable" is still being withheld from him, despite the requisite finding of heroic virtue by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in May of last year.

There are certain people who, blinded by their hatred for the Catholic Church, and notwithstanding the mountain of evidence to the contrary, insist on buying into the old lies about Pius XII being Hitler's lapdog. These lies originated in the Soviet Union, which, before the Second World War broke out, had itself entered into a secret alliance with the Nazi regime for the purpose of carving up and conquering vast tracts of Eastern Europe. The play The Deputy, which has been the source of the rumors of Pius' purported collaborationism, was the product of a KGB conspiracy to undermine the Church by discrediting the then-deceased Pope -- who, being dead, could no longer defend himself. The "controversy" surrounding -- and probably stalling -- the late pontiff's cause for sainthood is thus entirely contrived.

True, Pope Pius XII's cause for sainthood is not the only one that doesn't seem to have any steam, for reasons passing understanding. It has now been 399 years, for example, since the beatification of Bl. Margaret of Castello, 289 years after her death. But it is frustrating to think that Pius XII cannot be venerated, much less beatified, on account of lies that have been more than torn to shreds, and despite the truth that has not yet passed out of living memory.

Those who are fearlessly proclaiming the truth should never grow weary of doing so, until the holy and unjustly maligned Pope Pius XII is finally raised to the altar.

(And while they're at it, they can canonize Little Margaret, too.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jack Lucas, R.I.P.

On June 5, 2008 -- the day before the 64th anniversary of D-Day -- an 80-year-old veteran passed away at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. In the far-off days of his youth, when his country became enmeshed in the Second World War, he leapt into the fray, lying about his age so he could join the Marine Corps at the age of 14. Just days after his 17th birthday, he fought at Iwo Jima, where he performed a deed that very nearly cost him his life, and that would make him the youngest Marine ever to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The Congressional Medal of Honor is awarded only to one who has risked his life in a deed of personal bravery or self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty, so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the recipient from his comrades. Of the millions of Americans who have worn their country's uniform since the Medal of Honor was created in 1862, fewer than 3,500 have been awarded this highest honor.
Here is the full text of Jack Lucas' Congressional Medal of Honor citation.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division. Place and date: Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 20 February 1945. Entered service at: Norfolk, Va. Born: 14 February 1928, Plymouth, N.C. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 1st Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, 20 February 1945. While creeping through a treacherous, twisting ravine which ran in close proximity to a fluid and uncertain frontline on D-plus-1 day, Pfc. Lucas and 3 other men were suddenly ambushed by a hostile patrol which savagely attacked with rifle fire and grenades. Quick to act when the lives of the small group were endangered by 2 grenades which landed directly in front of them, Pfc. Lucas unhesitatingly hurled himself over his comrades upon 1 grenade and pulled the other under him, absorbing the whole blasting forces of the explosions in his own body in order to shield his companions from the concussion and murderous flying fragments. By his inspiring action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, he not only protected his comrades from certain injury or possible death but also enabled them to rout the Japanese patrol and continue the advance. His exceptionally courageous initiative and loyalty reflect the highest credit upon Pfc. Lucas and the U.S. Naval Service.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Ike's D-Day Address to the Allied Expeditionary Force

Click on the picture for a link to an image of the original document, in which -- like FDR in his address to the nation above -- Ike shamefully tears down the "wall" between church and state.

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the german war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of hte world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Laborers for the Harvest

Tonight the Diocese of Boise reaps a bumper crop of new priests. Saul Reyes, Camilo Garcia, Jose Gonzalez, Adrian Vazquez, Julio Vicente, and Mariusz Majewski will be ordained at 7:30 at St. John's Cathedral in Boise, Bishop Michael Driscoll presiding. This is the largest number of men that have ever been ordained at one time in this diocese, making this an historic occasion.

From my birds-eye view in the now-remondeled choir loft (where I can now actually see what's going on), I can testify that, under the tutelage of the cathedral's new music director, there will be a pleasing blend of chant, polyphony, and liturgically appropriate modern music. As a prelude to the Mass, the men of the choir will chant the Te Deum. There will be absolutely no chinga-chinga music, no dance-party music, and nothing for which people will feel like holding up lit cigarette lighters.

In fact, the only thing I can come up with to complain about as far as the music is concerned is that St. Thomas More, that roaring lion of two-fisted cool, will not be mentioned in the Litany of Supplication. But I have no doubt he will show up all the same.

Prayer to St. John Vianney, Patron of Priests

Dear Saint John Vianney, your childhood dream was to be a Priest, to win souls for God. You endured years of toil and humiliation to attain the Priesthood. You became a Priest truly after God's own heart, outstanding in humulity and poverty; prayer and mortification; totally devoted to the service of God's people. The Church has exalted you as model and patron saint of all Parish Priests, trusting that your example and prayers will help them to live up to the high dignity of their vocation to be faithful servants of God's people, to be perfect imitators of Christ the Savior, Who came not to be served but to serve, to give His Life in ransom for many.

Pray that God may give to His Church today many more Priests after His own Heart. Pray for all the Priests under your patronage, that they may be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd. May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance; be examples of humility and poverty; shining modelss of holiness; tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God; zealous dispensers of God's Grace in the Sacraments. May their loving devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary His Mother be the Twin Fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry. Amen.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Do We Believe Him Yet?

Maximum Pipsqueak Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran is once again huffing and puffing and threatening to blow Israel's house down. "I must announce," declares the ferret-faced terror-monger, "that the Zionist regime, with a 60-year record of genocide, plunder, invasion and betrayal is about to die and will soon be erased from the geographical scene" -- repeating, as primly puts it -- "his controversial belief that Israel will soon disappear." This is a genteel reference to Ahmadinejad's belief in the forthcoming advent of the Twelfth Imam, under whose gentle tutelage the state of Israel, the United States and all other "satanic powers" will vanish off the face of the earth.

By any chance, is Ahmadinejad talking about more than just his religious beliefs? Is his idea of the Age of Aquarius coming along fast enough for him, or is he a little impatient? Is he thinking in terms of a few hundred megatons to usher in the Twelfth Imam? Are we, and those we elect to govern us, seriously asking ourselves these questions?

Over sixty years ago, we discovered, to our considerable cost, the perils of ignoring a lunatic. Have we learned our lesson, or will we need to learn it all over again?