Tim Blair notes that art for arts sake has now been replaced by Show me the money:

As the Obama administration tackles the challenge of shoring up the economy through infusions of capital and job creation, cultural leaders are urging the president not to forget arts institutions, which are also reeling from the market downturn.

“We wanted to make sure arts were not left out of the recovery,” said Robert L. Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, a national lobbying group. “The artist’s paycheck is every bit as important as the steelworker’s paycheck or the autoworker’s paycheck.”

Read the whole thing, nobody does a comedy fisking like Blair

Told ya:

Statement of His Excellency Bernard Fellay, Superior of the Fraternity of St. Pius X

We have become aware of an interview released by Bishop Richard Williamson, a member of our Fraternity of St. Pius X, to Swedish television. In this interview, he expressed himself on historical questions, and in particular on the question of the genocide against the Jews carried out by the Nazis.

It’s clear that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesiastical authority except on questions that regard faith and morals. Our Fraternity does not claim any authority on other matters. Its mission is the propagation and restoration of authentic Catholic doctrine, expressed in the dogmas of the faith. It’s for this reason that we are known, accepted and respected in the entire world.

It’s with great sadness that we recognize the extent to which the violation of this mandate has done damage to our mission. The affirmations of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any sense the position of our Fraternity. For this reason I have prohibited him, pending any new orders, from taking any public positions on political or historical questions.

We ask the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. Because we recognize how ill-advised these declarations were, we can only look with sadness at the way in which they have directly struck our Fraternity, discrediting its mission.

This is something we cannot accept, and we declare that we will continue to preach Catholic doctrine and to administer the sacraments of grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Menzingen, January 27, 2009

Exactly as predicted. Who wants to be on the society putting out such a statement if the excommunications weren’t lifted? anyone? Bueller, Bueller?

Damian Thompson comments:

The arrogant group took its time, I must say, but by punishing and disgracing Williamson it has helped clear the path for eventual reconciliation with Rome. Let’s hope that this nasty old man now takes himself off to the SSPV or some other loony sect. He can be their Pope (or Führer, if he prefers).

I’ve gotta blogroll this guy. One disagreement with his article I suspect the Pope anticipated this result and if he didn’t the Holy Spirit did. Via LGF.

Update: Well this is going to win a lot of friends in the Catholic community. Perfect timing too right after the Society’s move and the Vatican statements.

Well at least Obama will be behind them 100% and if nothing else it will guarantee Israel good press for at least 30 seconds, maybe longer!

Update 2: Catholic and Enjoying says he didn’t know that Bishop Lefebvre’s dad died in a concentration camp. Neither did I.

…It’s going so well that rep Phil Gingrey is on Rush’s show at his request backtracking faster than Michael Phelps in a pool.

Update: Could the Obama administration have demonstrated the power and dependency of Republican congressmen on Rush’s support to keep their seats in any more effective way?

As the country gets hit by a winter storm hearing concerning Unitil and their performance or lack thereof:

The Department of Public Utilities is investigating how Unitil and the state’s three other utility companies prepared for and responded to last month’s storm. The storm at one point knocked power out to all of Unitil’s Massachusetts customers and left some residents without power for up to
two weeks.

Wong said after the hearing that Unitil has been “incompetent” in their preparation and response to the storm. Wong said her singular focus throughout the storm was to ensure the protection of life, but now, she said, she’s ready to talk about Unitil’s response.

Individual residents had plenty to say:

But what angered residents the most was that after weeks of sporadic communications from Unitil, many residents said they received electric bills this month that were higher than usual.

Mary Ingemi, an 84-year-old widow who lives in Fitchburg, said she lost power for a couple of days, then it was erratic. But the biggest surprise was a $1,400 bill for December. She waved the bill at the commissioners. “I’m not going to pay it,” she said causing the crowd to erupt in cheers and applause.

A pretty high bill for a person who lives alone, doesn’t have a computer, cable or even a cell phone. By an odd coincidence Unitil was at her door today to replace her meter. (Full disclosure; Hi Mom!)

She’s in better shape than this lady:

Fitchburg resident Mary Patricia Haxton waited several hours to testify before the commission, and when she did, after 10 p.m., she said her house remains without power.

“This is day 48,” she said her voice cracking.

The elected representatives want Unitil out:

State Rep. Stephen DiNatale, D-Fitchburg, garnered a standing ovation during his statement to the state officials.

“You folks, the DPU, must bring the regulatory hammer down on this company,” he said.

DiNatale reiterated his call to oust Unitil as the city’s power company.

“You must set our people free,” he said.

I’ve known Steve for years and like him, I’ve had my political differences with him in the past but you’ve never seen a rep shine as he has during the storm and its aftermath.

City counselors were rather emphatic:

Ward 6 Councilor Jody Joseph submitted as evidence a petition asking to oust Unitil that has been signed by, he said, 1,500 residents.

Annie DeMartino said she’s been trying to get rid of Unitil for 15 years.

“What this company has done to Fitchburg is raped us,” she said.

That front row must have been a nasty place for the Unitil guys to sit. If we can get another company in here there will be more rejoicing then when the Knights of the round table had to eat Robin’s minstrels.

Money quote from a police officer unwilling to show is face for fear of losing his job

And a warning at the end: “It will happen to you if you let it.” Via Glenn.

I can’t find where I read it but years ago somebody wrote about an old news article about a daylight robbery in England about 100 years ago. Gentlemen hearing of this produced their revolvers and helped in the pursuit of the man in question. This illustrates the difference between British society today and before. Today people would find so many people armed outrageous and unacceptable. The British man of the Edwardian era would have found armed robbery outrageous and unacceptable. That really says it all.

DaTechGuy Jan 24th:

here is what I think the government should do outside of the normal functions of controlling the money supply and interest rates:

Do nothing.

That’s it, no stimulus, no bailouts, no directed loans. Let the business cycle work itself out.

The Politico Jan 28th:

In fact, government stimulus plans have a long history of failure. Remember last February’s $168 billion economic stimulus package? President Bush called it “a booster shot for our economy” and promised that it was large enough to have an effect. It wasn’t, and it didn’t work.

This time around, the Do-Nothing Crowd argues that the new spending — which dwarfs last year’s effort — is probably insufficient and definitely unwise. It is largely an economic argument. But there is also a cultural dimension. Many of the Do-Nothings argue that a painful recession is the best way to destroy America’s runaway culture of irresponsibility and debt. Economic turmoil, after all, has a way of grounding Americans.

Via Glenn who makes this statement of fact:

when it’s prudence vs. pork, prudence usually comes in a poor second.

I’d say when it prudence vs. almost anything it comes in a poor second.

Arab Rockets and bombs, Israel hitting tunnels, Hamas leaders a beating a very brave retreat. It’s deja vu all over again.

As usual Israellycool and the Muqata are the places to be. One great example:

UNRWA has gradually adopted a distinctive political viewpoint that favors the Palestinian and Arab narrative of events in the Middle East. In particular, it seems to favor the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a “return” to the land that is now Israel. UNRWA’s adoption of any political viewpoint is undesirable, but the one it has chosen to emphasize is especially regrettable. In addition to clashing with the objectives of the United States, this view has detracted from UNRWA’s humanitarian assistance, encouraged Palestinians who favor refighting long-lost wars, discouraged those who favor moving toward peace, and contributed to the scourge of conflicts that have been visited upon Palestinian refugees for decades.

and this:

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees employs and provides benefits for terrorists and criminals, asserts a former legal adviser to UNRWA who left the organization in 2007. James Lindsay, now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served as an attorney with the US Justice Department for two decades before leaving to work for UNRWA in 2000.

This stuff is being funded here in the US. I know we are bailing out almost everyone but this takes the cake.

At least they had one quiet week.