Friday, June 29, 2007

Wop Sided in Buffalo---

The Wop has gone back to heaven for the weekend to enjoy some of his old haunts. I am sitting here at 9:00 am eating a raw Salens hot dog and loving life. I am going to Mighty Taco, Hoak's on the lake for a real Buffalo Fishfry, will have a plate of "cherrystones", have a beer or two at J.P. Bullfeathers, and party by rear off at Sunset Bay on the Lake. It will get me in the mood to do a Norm at Nite on Tuesday night with the Irish kids when I get back to Washington. To the left is pictured St. Gerard's Roman Catholic Church where I attended school as a kid. The school has long been closed and is now used as a home for unwed mothers.

Interesting news in Buffalo concerns the Catholic Church. The Diocese is plannng to close several Catholic churches and schools in some of the old ethnic neighborhoods around the city. The Polish community has responded very bitterly to the idea. Buffalo Common Council Presient David Franczyk introduced legislation condemning the Bishop's actions including language that the Dioceses' plans has "a whiff of ethnic cleansing" to them because it would force city catholics to attend generic suburban parrishes far from ethnic neighborhoods. Buffalo Bishop Kmieca responded that "Not only to make such a statement, but to put it in writing and to introduce it into the public record is appalling, irresponsible and misinformed" The whole controversy might make a great case study over at Hogwarthe's but then it deals with little people and Catholic issues so maybe it isn't "worthy" of their consideration Read the article in the Buffalo News. The city's Polish community feels particularly picked on in the controversy is predominately Catholic Buffalo and the Buffalo News covered that on Friday. Enjoy the articles if you choose to read them.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

PaddyWop is Going to Germany

PaddyKrautWop will have to be the temporary title, just to make our German friends feel welcome. Nonetheless, I have set my sights on Germany for this winter's break from the University of Chicago (December 7-january 7). All Paddywoppers are invited to join me and I will provide more info about flights and what not soon. I just wanted to throw this plan out there, see if anyone has any tips, any requests.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Open Season

Ok, so we have some self-proclaimed policy hot-shots in the Hogwarts summer program who just cant handle the idea that other people think differently than they on certain issues (no prize in figuring out that these would be Republican-leaning individuals). Today Paddy published the first issue of the Southside P.S., that silly lil lunch-time, desk-published rag that causes so much controversy because the tough-minded, hawkish rightists can't stand the First Amendment. So I throw open the gates of free expression to anyone out there who wants an informed (I think), relatively intelligent, and politically-minded audience: here is the URL of the SPS online. Feel free to comment on any of the articles or write your own. I also publish a hard-copy every few days, so if you wish to write an op-ed (from the right, middle or left) there I'd certainly entertain any submissions.

PS - they've been discussing the 'Bong Hits for Jesus' trial before the Supreme Court and will be meeting with Justice Alito on Friday.


Jun 14th 2007
From The Economist print edition

It is time to let the Russian royal family rest in peace
Peter Schrank

WHEN, a few years ago, word came that British bird lovers anxious about the decline of the house sparrow had appointed a sparrow tsar, it seemed that the tsar vogue must have reached its zenith. France already had a crime tsar, London a traffic tsar, Japan a banking tsar, the European Union a
foreign-policy tsar, and America had tsars for adoption, baseball, B-movies, manufacturing, record labels, you name it. No one, however, could outdo the sparrow tsar, or so you might think. Surely he would prove to be not so much the reductio ad absurdum as the dernier cri, the ne plus ultra in the once-rarefied realm of tsardom? But no. The latest newcomer, unless one has been added since you started this paragraph, is President George Bush's war tsar.

In fact, tsar-creation has never even faltered. Newish title-holders include Canada's copyright tsar, New Orleans's recovery tsar, Singapore's baby tsar, Tony Blair's respect tsar, Thailand's condom tsar and America's nipple tsar (Michael Powell, whose job as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission was to prevent a repetition of Janet Jackson's televised bosom exposure). They join an ever-swelling band of AIDS tsars, counter-terrorism tsars, cyber-security tsars, economy tsars, food-safety tsars, learning-disability tsars, piracy tsars, water tsars and even mental-health-service-user tsars.

All of which is a bit odd. One of the few points of agreement for most of the 20th century was that tsars were a Bad Thing, a particularly nasty example of natural selection that started with some brutal caesars, took in some belligerent kaisers and found its most excruciating expression in the Russian variants. Their rehabilitation in almost every quarter must rank as the most sudden, surprising and complete in the history of brand management. Republican Americans cannot get enough tsars. The purist-nationalist French, overseen by the Académie Française, seem ready to embrace them. And the Russians—yes, of all people, the Russians—have succumbed to an advertising tsar. A haemophilia tsar cannot be far away.

Nowhere is the triumph of the tsars more evident than in the wicked world of drugs. This world is divided into countries whose citizens yearn to see a drug tsar appointed and countries that have already got one. Why is a drug tsar so universally necessary? To see off the drug barons, of course. Until quite recently barons were a Good Thing. They brought bad King John to heel at Runnymede. Now they are a Bad Thing. What next? Führers, Caudillos, Duci, Gauleiters and Generalisimos must be due for a comeback.

It is time to put a stop to all this. The English language, borrowing, as so often, from Latin, already has a word for a supreme head. It is supremo. Journalists should try using it (they can fall back on big cheese occasionally). For their part, governments should try using titles that accurately describe the activities of their officials.

Once upon a time Britain had a minister for war. Now the same job is done by the secretary of state for defence. It also has a Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. No one would guess it, but he is a deputy government whip. Minister for delivery and quality sounds plain and straightforward, but no one knows what he delivers, never mind its quality. Does the minister for social exclusion promote social exclusion, just as the minister for education presumably promotes education? Perhaps it does not matter: in Britain obfuscation is all.

Japan, by contrast, has a minister for the privatisation of the postal services. That is explicit. Unfortunately, minister for the rechallenge is not. His job is to give people a second go in life, though that sounds very much like the responsibility of the minister for disaster management. In Japan, however, that title means what it says. Elsewhere it refers to damage limitation, a task for spin doctors.

Now did the tsars have spin doctors? They certainly had lifestyle gurus. Time, surely, to rehabilitate Rasputin.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Somebody at Blogger is going to pay....

Imagine my surprise at getting an email this morning informing me of the existence of the new and improved PaddyWop... a mere 4 months or so after it happened.

Well, like MacArthur returning to the Philippines; or perhaps more appropriately Napoleon returning from Elba, I'm back. With a vengeance.

Neocons and multiculturalists alike should despair, because this degenerate French aristocrat has a bone or two to pick...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Still on a bar stool......

As the irish character of the new Nanny's continues to fade into corporate nothingness Paddy and the Wop branched out a week of so ago and began to explore Adams-Morgan for new set of bar stools to sit on. We had a great time at The Toledo Lounge on U street. A lot of interesting people sat next to us. A shout-out to the congressional aide we met even if you are a republican with a southern twang. The jello shooters added a new twist to the night....and they were green and purple!

More to come later.