Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Eastern churches news
The pilgrim looks East
On Pope John Paul II's goodwill to the Russian Orthodox and the return home of Our Lady of Kazan

To the alarm of the Moscow church hierarchy, the Vatican originally mooted the idea of trading the return of its Kazan icon for a papal visit—something the Orthodox Church has opposed so long as disputes over the “poaching” of worshippers in Russia and elsewhere remain unresolved.
The RC authorities are scrupulously not doing that in Russia. And Patriarch Alexis II's broken-record rabbiting on about the western Ukraine is groundless - the Ukrainian Catholic Church rebounded from his old Communist bosses trying to kill it and took back the parish churches those bosses had stolen from them.

Patriarch Alexis II:

We still have good relations with dioceses, parishes and monasteries of the Catholic Church and cooperation with Catholic humanitarian organizations and educational institutions.
As Fr Deacon Lance Weakland has translated it:

Even though we continue to harass the Catholic Church in Russia, we gladly continue to accept any money Catholics like Aid to the Church in Need are handing out.
A punto.
From Ship of Fools
Now that’s a church website
Tasteful use of Flash, the sampled polyphonic Agnus Dei, the Gothic architecture, the candles, the statuary... so Catholic. Hard to believe it's Methodist! Reminds me of acquaintance now-Fr Ben Sharpe, who when I met him was a longtime Methodist minister who actually held the Catholic faith.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
From The American Conservative
Coalition of the Coerced
America’s allies rethink their Iraq commitment
By Eric S. Margolis

Samer’s LRC pick
Heads they win – tails you lose
By Michael Peirce
S al-B: Peirce's choice: vote Constitution Party or don't vote at all. Either way, opt out of America's one-party system.

Gandhi’s ‘march home’ cry
S al-B: I wouldn't support this with the loss of life it would bring, but one can't help but imagine the political consequences.

Secret tomb may hold key to pyramid mystery
French team claims discovery of Cheops' final resting place
S al-B: Could be interesting. Is there an egyptologist in the audience?
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Half of New Yorkers think US knew 9/11 attack would happen and let it
DM: We know they knew. We New Yorkers are fast learners.... It's the rest of the country (along with their respective electoral votes) that concerns me...

Et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos.

- Ioannes VIII:32

There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again. You've got to understand ...

- George W. Bush, 17th September, 2002

Dave was in the World Trade Center when the first plane hit it.

Join the Unemployment Line demonstration in New York tomorrow

Monday, August 30, 2004

From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Standoff bolstered Sadr’s support
Interviews with Iraqi Shiite clerics reveal that moderates are increasingly supporting Sadr's anti-US campaign

Al-Sistani again shows he's most powerful political figure in Iraq

First steps in cloning from dead
Quotation: ‘Among these dark satanic mills
...in my experience the young people of today have a much greater affinity for the complex and intricate post-Tridentine rites and ceremonies than for anything which came out of the disreputable 1970s. It is, I feel, the sense of mystery and awe that these rites and ceremonies impart which makes them so appealing to the wage-slaves and cubicle-dwellers of the 21st century; "noble simplicity" is something which might work in a conference room, but has no resonance in the religious practice of those who already hear similar catchwords bandied about sixty hours a week at work.

- Paul Goings
The Catholic faith
International Crusade for Holy Relics

An example of the belief involved here, beautifully put:

Because Orthodox are convinced that the body is sanctified and transfigured together with the soul, they have an immense reverence for the relics of the saints. Like Roman Catholics, they believe that the grace of God present in the saints’ bodies during life remains active in their relics when they have died, and that God uses these relics as a channel of divine power and an instrument of healing. In some cases the bodies of saints have been miraculously preserved from corruption, but even where this has not happened, Orthodox show just as great a veneration towards their bones. This reverence for relics is not the fruit of ignorance and superstition, but springs from a highly developed theology of the body.
- Bishop Kallistos (Timothy Ware)
From Charley Wingate
GOP = ‘God’s own party’
CW: Found this one in getreligion.org today. It makes we want to run out and read some Harvey Cox!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Protest covers miles of New York
From Amy Welborn
New York Times update on Archbishop Pius Ncube
A Catholic witness against that racist thug in Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe
From Dappled Things
Teleporting across the Danube
One small step for protons, one giant leap towards the technology imagined in 'Star Trek'
Quotation
Ghost? I don't see any ghost! But I did find this Newsweek from 1986: 'Why America loves Saddam Hussein'.

- Homer Simpson
Fun with spam
Shameless
The text is a .jpg image in this one!

Dear Citibank Member,

(I haven't got a Citibank account.)

This email was sent by the Citibank server to verify your e-mail address. You must complete this process by clicking on the link below and entering in the small window your Citibank ATM/Debit Card number and PIN that you use on ATM. This is done for your protection -- because some of our members no longer have access to their email addresses and we must verify it.
Various and sundry
Iron Horse Adventure Deluxe Chinese-made piece of shit
After only two months/about 300 miles it's starting to fall apart - perhaps a slightly heavier true mountain bike would have been better than this 'hybrid'. Friday the back tyre came down on the road from one kerb too many and pop! Today the shock-absorber seat broke off - turned out the piece holding it in the shock was ... (semi-quoting the older guy in The Graduate) plastic! Perhaps it serves me right for buying something probably made by slave labour/political prisoners in the most ghoulish pro-abortion major country in the world, but you just can't avoid their stuff!

My house, my house, my house is falling down
That is, the two beautiful rooms (original living room and kitchen) and bathroom in this Edwardian house, which a slumlord has owned the past three of the four years I've been here. When part of the bathroom's panelled false ceiling caved in the first time, his choice of contractor didn't fix the leaky pipe that caused it or even replace the true ceiling directly under it; he just chopped a big hole in the latter, then replaced the panel. I was gobsmacked. Could be worse - could have been tub-smacked or at least hit by beams and rocks when it happened again yesterday.

Some things are right with the world
‘The Family Guy’ is back on free TV and is resuming production! All the things that make us effing cry.

On the box
‘Oliver Beene’
I know it rips off 'The Wonder Years' and 'Malcolm in the Middle' but it works for me and the early-1960s American details are very good. There are anachronisms for some of the jokes but the period feel never really goes away. Some of that makes sense as the now-grown main character is narrating à la 'Years'. And incidentally I'm in love with Wendy Makkena* in her Laura Petrie mode.

Hope this didn't bore you too much; Samer is back from a family wedding in Jordan so we should be getting more real news soon.

*Known best perhaps as the cute nervous nun in the execrable Sister Act (I was a captive audience for it on a long trip once).

Saturday, August 28, 2004

St Augustine of Hippo
Who honours my living-room chapel with his presence in the form of a first-class relic. (See entries for the 15th August on the Assumption, the Julian-reckoning observance of which is today.)

O God, who openedst the eyes of blessed Augustine to the deep mysteries of thy wisdom, and in his heart didst set alight the fire of divine charity: give us grace at his intercession; that, seeing clearly in thy light, and burning with godly love, we may run in the way of thy commandments. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord: Who livest and reignest with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
- The English Missal and Anglican Breviary
Quotation (paraphrase)
From Dan Lauffer, attributed to G.K. Chesterton (recommended reading):

Luther was right about what was wrong with the Church, for the most part, but was wrong about what was right.
More real-conservative noises
About literally reaching a conservative goal - ending the post-World War II American imperial occupation of parts of Western Europe and of Asia - while nothing really has changed. The soldiers simply are moving into new NATO/ex-Warsaw Pact Eastern Europe and are being freed up for war in the Middle East.
Cheney makes libertarian/real-conservative noises...
... about the civil-law matter of gay marriages, reverting to his pre-Bush position: kick it back to the states. (Incidentally his daughter is a lesbian and his wife wrote a bad Western-themed historical novel with a lesbian story line 25 years ago.) What I wonder is 'Is this a show of character/principle, of breaking with Bush as the media are painting it, or is it simply part of a Republican 'big-tent' strategy to snag whatever borderline libertarians/real conservatives might possibly take Bush seriously?' (Going against the 'vote for me or the homos will get you' tone of the campaign as reciprocal link The Gutless Pacifist put it.)

Some common sense from Huw Williamson about the matter
Eastern churches news from blogforlovers
BBC photos: Our Lady of Kazan icon goes home to Russia
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
FBI probes Pentagon spy case
Spying for Israel.

DM: My, what a surprise!.... So, I suppose that the White House will issue another terror distraction...er...I mean "alert"...any day now.
LRC pick
Paul Gottfried on ‘It’s the Jews’
Well and good but why is nobody outside this blog calling Fred Reed on this racialist remark?

What does Hollyork promote? Toleration of foul language and a concomitant coarsening of society; hostility between men and women; truculent illiteracy and the values of the black ghetto; the elevation of homosexuality and promiscuity; disdain for religion; use of drugs, interracial sex, destructive feminism, eradication of the remnants of Anglo-European Christian civilization. It is not accidental.
Ruined by two words.

From Mr Gottfried:

I wonder whether my anti-Jewish correspondents have ever thought the obvious, that minorities often behave the way majorities want them to.
I have. 'Yo, yo, wazzup, y'all? Yeah, we s'pozed to be bad.' Maybe Two-Beer White Guy isn't the only one being a bad caricature.
The Raveonettes
That hipster a$$es like this band is a strike against them but putting that aside they're quite good. Mick Jagger may have been right that rock music has spent itself and only can recycle its styles endlessly but if the Hamburg and Cavern-era Beatles have a kind of romance for you (thought of that especially looking at the CBGB's pics - haven't been there, just to the more sedate CB313 Gallery next to it), you'll like this retro act. Oh, yes, and Sharin Foo is somewhat hot.
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Two good antiwar articles opposing disorderly protest at the Republican convention:

Rage against the machine
By Justin Raimondo

Then this, about the Commie-led protest groups such as ANSWER:

Give protests a chance
What did pre-emptive war have to do with Mumia?

Exactly.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Eastern churches and Anglican–related history
Isabel Florence Hapgood
Lifelong Anglican and a friend of the Russian Orthodox Church all her adult life — hers was one of the (if not the) first translations of their services into English, still used by many Orthodox today, and how felicitous that somebody from the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer and King James Bible did the job! (Many Orthodox when using English use an Elizabethan-sounding style, with all its deferential Godwardness, to this day... thanks to her?)

She reminds me of Canon Edward West a few decades later, from the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in New York, a lifelong friend of the Serbian Orthodox in his city, who helped them get a redundant Episcopal church in town that's now St Sava's Cathedral. Seems he held the Catholic faith - now and then, in tribute and emulation and not to deceive anybody, he'd suit up in Byzantine Rite vestments and celebrate the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom in his cathedral.

I haven't got Hapgood in my library but do have a wonderful 100-year-old paperback with the same kind of beautiful period drawings as her book of all the vestments and other hardware for the Orthodox services, along with outlines and explanations in English of the services, from St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in New York. Somebody was going to throw them away but a priest saved them and gave them away.
From Greg Krehbiel via El camino real
Men don’t like sissy religion
Vestments, even with lace, etc., aren't inherently sissy - suiting up in church gear (like for a sport or a military operation) to serve at a sacrifice at a stone altar is anything but. Note that the proponents of modern sissy religion hate all those things. Thomas Day has written about that - hard vs. soft 'worship spaces'. Ours, of whatever rite, are the former.

Challenge boys today - teach them to serve, MC or be subdeacon at the Roman Mass or serve an Orthodox-recension Liturgy!

Mr Krehbiel mentions another problem in modern religion, and by 'modern' I mean at least the last century: 'But we get doe-eyed Jesus, meek and mild, who’s oh-so-gentle and ever-so-sensitive'. A.k.a. 'Jesus is my boyfriend', as a teen-girls'-magazine pin-up. Aside from naturally repelling men (or attracting some men for the wrong reasons), is this problematic and even potentially blasphemous? Oh, yes! Just like, heaven forbid, images of 'sexy Mary' would be. (I understand some cynical Italian publisher has done a calendar of just that with Page Three-type girls in tableaux of great Western paintings of Our Lady. Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.)
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Get mad. Act out. Elect George Bush.
By Rick Perlstein
The Village Voice's case against civil disobedience at the Republican convention
From Katolik Shinja
My favourite Beatle
The tall elegant one who didn't tour with them or appear on 'Ed Sullivan'

In his own words
He told his own story 25 years ago and it has a far broader scope than rock music - everybody from Peter Sellers and the Goons (Cooke and Moore) to (wow) Sophia Loren.
From First Things (neoconnish but with Catholic intentions) via Joshua Snyder
The politics of architecture
By Peter Kreeft
JS: A classic of granola conservatism. (See links at right for more on that.)
Internment chic
By Ilana Mercer
I'd recently heard about the hateful Michelle Malkin and her awful book (she thinks FDR's interning Americans of Japanese descent during World War II was a good idea) - here Ilana Mercer rubbishes it. This is what we're up against. I don't like WND but like her.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Politics or idolatry
By Fr John Garvey
Prolife
Judge rules partial-birth abortion ban unconstitutional
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
‘We could control this country’: 33 extreme reasons to give Bush the boot
DM: This is SCARY!
From Joseph Oliveri
Bikes Against Bush
My Iron Horse can join the parade
From Dustin Hudson
Photo album of Prague (Czech Republic) and Prešov, Žilina and Bratislava (Slovakia)
Slavic and Catholic Europe, West and, via a glimpse in eastern Slovakia, East

Highlights:

Prague
Looks beautiful and from what I understand is very Germanized though not devout like nearby southern, Catholic Germany (more on Germany), while Slovaks are friendly and also devout like their Polish neighbours.

Slovakia’s Eastern Orthodox cathedral
Prešov/Прияшёв is a centre of Ruthenian culture. Around 100 years ago they were pro-Russian, as evidenced here.

Iconostasis, Greek Catholic cathedral, Prešov
Most Ruthenians are Greek/Byzantine Catholics - wonderful cathedral but the diocese is heavily latinized/modernized. I understand Košice to the west, a newly established one, is better. Here is a picture of a new, 'high-church', unlatinized Byzantine Catholic church in Bratislava.

Žilina (and a church)
Looks like a wonderful place - Dustin says one can rent a flat there for only about $100 a month so maybe a stay for a trip of a lifetime to Eastern Europe is doable.

The way things were not so long ago
The image people my generation and older have of Eastern Europe, because 20 years ago it was true. The best car in Russia then was the Лада, a (licensed?) knockoff of the Fiat (fix it again, Tony)! Now they've got Tesco's in Slovakia, and their version of Home Depot - colour and abundance! (I can read part of the sign over the door - 'high quality'. There are enough cognates with Russian to read things but when natives talk all I understand are numbers!)
Today’s Byzantine Rite saint (Julian reckoning)
St Maximus the Confessor
Who maintained the Catholic faith regarding Jesus Christ as true God and true man (the hypostatic union in Him) as Pope St Leo I the Great taught at the council of Chalcedon - 'Peter hath spoken through Leo' - and for his troubles had his tongue and right hand hacked off by the Byzantine emperor, who at the time had a different theological belief.
Harassment in the workplace
Harassment by political correctness, that is. My main job is blessedly un-corporate but recently the company had everybody take a 30-minute computer quiz on 'tolerance' and sexual harassment, a predictable mix of well-intended common sense and charity and PC rubbish favouring certain groups à la racialist affirmative action. I'd say about 75% of the time common sense/charity gave me the 'right' answer; the rest of the time I had to override that and tell the quizzers what they wanted to hear. The most chillingly Orwellian/Soviet part is when the site tells you that pointing out that there are protected classes and that people are being favoured because of that are verboten (запретный in Sov-speak).
From Pontifications
More on the Catholic faith
A good Anglican blog on autopilot these past few weeks with edifying patristic and other saints' quotations

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Language-geek fun
Slovio (more)
Mark Hucko has come up with a modern answer to Slavonic, like Esperanto and other attempts at an artificial second language. Like lingua franca (Latin-based; pidgin Italian?) naturally was in the mediæval Mediterranean, this is a simplified/pidgin Slavic language for Eastern Europe and Asian Russia. I can understand it! Like Esperanto, etc., probably unnecessary as, thanks to the British Empire and its American continuation, English is now the world language/the common second language but a lot of fun.
From blogforlovers



Пресвятая Богородице Казанская, спаси нас.

Pope returns Our Lady of Kazan to Russia
He wanted to do it in person - magnanimous - but was dissed by the Patriarch of Moscow - rather something else. Saved from the Communists, the icon was kept safe by Russian and Roman Catholics all these years. Fr John Mowatt, sometime parish priest of the Russian Catholic church in Boston under this icon's dedication, gone since 1974, put it in the Byzantine Rite chapel at Fátima before it was entrusted to the Pope. This copy is the one whose print, from Aid to the Church in Need, I have laminated in the inside cover of my Byzantine Rite office book.

It goes back to Kazan the 28th August, the Julian-reckoning feast of the Assumption.

Cardinal Kasper - a liberal who isn't friendly to the Orthodox - isn't the most felicitous choice as the courier but it's still a great gesture.
From The Onion
Infographic: the coming Republican convention
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
The New Testament issued for the first time in Cornish
Or as Gaelic-speaker Dave titled this, 'An Tiomna Nua i gCoirnís...'. (See the cognates with English?) This sister Celtic language became extinct in the 1700s; this is an attempt to revive it. The last living native speaker was a stroppy old woman who'd charge you to listen to her and would become fierce if you didn't put those coins in her palm.
LRC pick
Why the Protestant religious right are barking mad
Extreme weather
Hurricane Charley: an eyewitness
Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer
From blogforlovers
The public witness of al-Islam at the Olympics
Putting God first: Allahu akbar!

LRC pick
Islam: a simple man’s view
By Robert Klassen
A punto
If Deal Hudson hadn't insinuated himself as the 'Catholic' voice in the radical right at the White House, and hadn't been throwing stones for years at the behavior of others, this would not have been news.

But he had, and he had, and so what happened to him happened, and justice of a sort was done. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. That
NCR was an instrument of that justice does not make it 'despicable, unCatholic, and even prurient.'

- R.P. Burke

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

From the comments-boxes
Beards, etc.
What do you think? Which kinds if any do you like or have?
Outside my window
The lovely redbrick Gothic pile across the street - I call it 'St Mary's'; it would make a perfect convent chapel - has changed hands from one devout black congregation to another. I don't know what became of the African Methodist Episcopal congregation whose church it originally was but now it's a Seventh-Day Adventist church. This congregation seem smaller and more subdued, the preaching not as loud. (I could listen to the sermon booming out of the church early Sunday afternoons just sitting on the porch.) And of course these quieter services are held Saturdays, not Sundays. The SDA Church was started in the US in the 1840s when a man called Miller predicted the end of the world in 1844; when it didn't happen, obviously, his followers amazingly didn't disperse but rather formed this sect. I understand they range in theology from nice evangelical Protestants who go to church on Saturday to weird borderline cult - don't know how that faction are cultish. Unlike the AMEs they're not an historically black church.

Fun obscure facts
• Actor Clifton Davis, who played a minister in a TV series 15 years ago and is black, is actually an SDA minister as well.
• Adventist missionaries converted the whole populations of Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands in the South Pacific, home of the descendents of the Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives, to their church. One of the treasures of the islands is in a village church on one of them: the Bounty's presumably Anglican (complete with deuterocanonical books/Apocrypha) Bible.
Fallout from Deal Hudson
Yes, Crisis, home of 'mature Christians' like Dr H. (He was at about the same rung as, and maybe lower than, using roofies to score. Really mature.) RC neocon bogosity: where have I seen this before? Well, there was the quack therapist I went to, recommended, 12 years ago, paying him $60 a half-hour (when I was making a pittance at a library, and no, my benefits didn't cover it) to chat while he did nothing resembling psychological or psychiatric (he was a medical doctor) diagnosis or treatment. Found out on my own what was wrong, eight years later, no thanks to him. Now he's one of the American RC bishops' favourites writing about homosexuality re: the mostly gay-priest scandal that hit the papers two years ago. News flash: not saying things that are formally heretical doesn't make you an ace therapist. This is what sex-offender priests were sent to? No wonder it all happened, again and again. And no wonder some of them still won't own up to what they did.
I hab a code
First one I've had in, oh, a year and a half? Actually by the grace of God it's not that bad - unlike when I was a kid and nothing worked on my nose and sinuses (it was like suffocating every night). Today my lifesaver is Contac (pseudoephedrine) - it may not really be ephedrine (whatever that is) but now that I'm technically grown it does the job!
On this day
Nothing is lost with peace; everything can be lost with war... At present, in spite of our repeated exhortations and our special interest, the fears of a bloody international conflict are ever more tormenting. Today, when the tension of spirits has reached a level that makes the unleashing of the tremendous whirlwind of war imminent, in a spirit of paternity we make a new and heartfelt appeal to governments and peoples: to the first so that, laying aside accusations, threats, and the reasons for reciprocal mistrust, they try to resolve present differences through the only suitable means, that is, loyal, joint agreements. To the peoples, so that in calm and serenity, and devoid of uncontrolled agitation, they will encourage efforts for peace on the part of their leaders. ...Along with us, the whole of humanity hopes for justice, bread and freedom, instead of iron that kills and destroys.

- Radio broadcast of Pope Pius XII trying to prevent World War II, today in 1939
Eastern churches–related news
An ethnic neighbourhood near Washington, DC carries on
Ukrainians (note the spelling, Washington Post) have lived here since World War II, coming from displaced-person camps in Germany. I am and have been acquainted with several such; all speak Russian.

Today the Ukraine officially celebrates its independence day - meaningful for the far southwestern corner, which had been Polish-ruled since the 1300s (the final, real cause of the continued estrangement between the Russian Orthodox and the Pope) and thus has a separate history, language and identity (it is the home of the Ukrainian Catholic Church), and significant worldwide as it was part of the collapse of the atheistic Soviet empire, but face it - the rest of the country is Russia.

In that spirit, the naval fleet at Sevastopol flew the Russian naval ensign when independence was declared in 1991. (The cross of Christ and St Andrew vs. the secular blue and gold.) За великой Руси!
The Remnant on the fall of Deal Hudson
A follow-up to 'Eew', posted three days ago. Conservative Novus Ordo-ism among RCs and the political neoconservatism that often accompanies it are built on sand, says Christopher Ferrara.
St Bart’s, Brighton

Monday, August 23, 2004

From blog correspondent John Boyden
Fear follows plan to build more deadly-disease labs
LRC pick
On the abuse of the military
When David Calderwood was a child, he thought as a child.

So did I. Then I had a similar realization.

Years have passed and over that time my views of those sleek planes and the (mostly) guys that fly them have shifted. I now see something I didn’t see before. It isn’t about aerobatics or shiny blue paint, or traveling a thousand miles per hour or zooming in a vertical climb to the edge of space.

Those planes are simply killing machines, and the folks that fly them, no matter how skilled, dedicated, or bright, are puppets.

Like the carriers on which they ride, F/A-18’s are tools for delivering bombs and other ordnance onto places where other people live or work. If those people are working to attack Americans minding their own business at home, the pilots’ work would be honorable
[again, this is not a pacifist blog], but you don’t need to transport such complex weaponry halfway around the world to attack aggressors. After all, aggressors need some proximity to be a threat.

The other problem with being an operator of one of those sleek jets is that one is not an owner. Someone else tells you where to go and who to bomb, and the agreement you entered into says that you don’t get to say no, not if you want to go on playing with the toys. I think "puppet" is fairly apt.

So pilots have little option but to rationalize what they do as "good," and their military and civilian superiors who tell them who to kill as, "wise and well-informed." While we know this last is empirically false, humans have a tremendous capacity to lie to themselves when that’s the only bridge required to get them to what they want. In this case, pilots get to play with toys that are at the very top of the grownup-toy food chain. Like politicians and bureaucrats who love the power they wield, rationalizing any evil is a natural part of the human condition.

The Blue Angels perform thrilling feats of synchronized flight at airshows, but those games are basically just a circus to keep us enthralled. The purpose of those aircraft is to drop death from the air, no more and no less, and this power resides in the hands of people whose own interests create a murderous conflict of interest.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

From The Gutless Pacifist (one of my links at the upper right-hand corner of this page)
Why many people in the world hate America
By Tony Campolo
The politically correct like him, which is suspect, but despite whatever political and theological errors he holds this makes many good points
Centralia mine fire
A new site from respected writer on the subject David DeKok. As many of you know or can see by using the wonderful new search option at the top of this page, I was there the 24th July.
Happy feast-day, Roman Rite!



Almighty and everlasting God, who in the heart of the blessed virgin Mary didst prepare an habitation meet for the Holy Ghost, mercifully grant that we, celebrating the feast of the same immaculate heart, may be enabled to live after thine own heart. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

- The English Missal
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Thieves pinch an original ‘Scream’ by Munch
In his native Norway

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Olympics-related Eastern churches news
The Olympics: pagan? Some priests think so
Of course I agree with the Church of Greece's official position that the Games are harmless - and a good way to acquaint Westerners with their tradition - but the priests have a point, believe it or not. I'm uncomfortable with the Greeks emphasizing the classical period in their history (as in 'come here, little boy') - yes, I recognize the Hellenes' gifts to humanity - while seeming to downplay the Catholic aspect of their culture, which has far more to do with who Greeks are today, as one of several Christian Balkan countries. Today's Orthodox Greek isn't a Hellene, a pagan, but a Rhomaios, a Roman, 'Rome' being the metaphor east and west for the Church Catholic.
Eew
Of course I don't like NCR and I'm sure they have their own unsavoury reasons for publishing this - they probably like John Kerry for the wrong reasons and they hate it when Pope John Paul II stands with the historic Catholic faith (they're the quisling variety of RCs) but what is is. At least Bill Clinton's shenanigans were consensual. Shows what kind of people are among the neocons.
From Ecclesia Anglicana
Mirfield sells out
It was only a matter of time really as the highest theological college of them all has been gone for a long time - I got there 30 years too late
LRC picks
A pox on both their houses
Unromantic looks at both hippies and boomers in general on one hand and Ronald Reagan (by the godfather of American libertarian politics, the late Murray Rothbard - long but worth it) on the other.

In the first Robert Klassen remembers and explains succinctly:

I drove through the Haight district and Golden Gate Park every day, marveling at the colorful costumes and the wild hair these children wore. Where did they come from? How could they afford to bum around like this?

I found some answers eventually. They came from post-war middle-class suburbs all over the country, and their parents were paying for their juvenile antics. That they had access to money was not lost on marketing departments, especially in the recording industry.
I've said it before but it's a great line: Frances McDormand in Almost Famous saying 'Adolescence is nothing but a marketing campaign'.

Comments: First a minor nitpick. I don't think the boomers grew up with full-fledged, all-indoor shopping malls. Those appeared in America just after the boomers came of age and as I recall still were largely unknown in Britain 15 years ago (you were starting to see them).

Second, more importantly, one can't blame the boomers for all this - the generation before them had ditched objective truth paving the way for them. (Elaine Pagels has said when she was growing up no thinking person took religion seriously. Also, did you know that TV's Ozzie Nelson was a lifelong atheist?) The élite had been rejecting it for decades, with 19th-century scepticism and the 18th-century 'Enlightenment'... all the way back at least to northern Europe rejecting the Catholic faith at the 'Reformation'.

The hippies were in part an understandable, healthy romantic reaction to a lot of this, with their interest in Asian religions, going back to the land and baking bread, but of course as Klassen points out nobody taught them any better so in a lot of ways they just didn't have a clue. That and simply the results of fallen human nature - hepatitis, VD and people on drugs jumping out of windows.

On being a thin fat person, especially approaching middle age
Imagine Chris Farley's belly on Mick Jagger's frame. That's me.

Me too. The holistic approach to things is right - 'it's all connected' (that's how God made it) - so when one has a brain glitch one's body often has quirks too. That's one of mine even though I bicycle up to 85+ miles a week. (Another example: Glenn Gould, who was a brilliant but in ways Rain Man-like person, lived on scrambled eggs and Arrowroot biscuits.)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Yo, YO!
slambush.net
Eastern churches-related rant
Ruthenian doings in the States, or what’s wrong with Byzantine Catholic practice
From here:

3:30 p.m., "Mystery of Reconciliation" (Confessions), Retreat Center Patio

And:



and



Oх, Боже мой. I'm not trying to push schism with this blog (which ticks some people off - you can't please everybody and I don't bother trying) but these three things illustrate so much of what's wrong among Byzantine Catholics. From the jumbled jargon ('Mystery of Reconciliation' - that's a larf) to the modern nun doing her thing to the beardless priests in plain bedsheet vestments, it all proves things said both by a cyber-acquaintance (before he went completely barmy) and good friend Paul Goings.

Cyber-man: 'they're modern(ist) RCs [kinda/sorta halfheartedly] trying to act Orthodox' - because Rome is making them. They bollocks it up ’cos they don't know how to do it and the rank and file really don't care to learn.

Paul: 'They've got different (and better) words in their rite and a different and better setting than the Novus Ordo but their approach to church practice is exactly the same'. This isn't the Russian Orthodox world of Dostoevsky and The Way of a Pilgrim or even of the rest of the historic Catholic mainstream such as the Roman Rite until 35 years ago.

BTW, happy feast of the Transfiguration in the Julian-calendar Byzantine Rite (one of Eastern Orthodoxy's 12 important holy days besides Easter, commemorated on the iconostasis) and happy St John Eudes' day to the Roman Rite.

Преобразился еси на горе, Христе Боже... Thou wast transfigured on the mount, O Christ our God...
Eastern churches-related
Photos of Carpatho-Rus’ (Ruthenia)
From the Czech edition of National Geographic. Dustin Hudson posted this link on the Web today after visiting Slovakia with his Slovak wife. The title in Czech means (from what I can suss from the cognates in Russian) 'Transcarpathian Rus': the last romantic paradise'.
From antiwar.com (see perma-links at right) via blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
US Congressman: Iraq war is a mistake
DM: Obviously, a wild-eyed anarchist pinko bomb-throwing drug-crazed bleeding-heart terrorist-loving ant-eye-Amurkin! Heck! Just look an that picture! He might even be a "LIBRUL"!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

On the risks of American-style porch sittin’ in August
Which I did last night and have the six or so welts to prove it.

Homer: C'mon, Flanders, you must hate something! What about mosquito bites?
Ned: Hmmm, mmmm! Sure are fun to scratch! Pure pleasure!
(source)
Fun news
Wild bear passes out after drinking 36 cans of favourite beer
I see an advertising campaign coming out of this.

Dogs and horses love beer too.
From The Onion this week
Homosexual tearfully admits to being governor of New Jersey
No story, just a mock headline
From CounterPunch
Presbyterian Church (USA) divests from Israel
Wonderful!
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Strange bedfellows
LP: Amidst the celebrations in the Episcopal Diocese of California on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Bishop William Swing's consecration, Swing is giving lots of interviews .... like this one.

Money quote:

Also, I'm a conservative person. I'm a Republican. I voted for George W. Bush. Yet I am seen as a raving liberal throughout the church. I'm very conservative about marriage. I'm very conservative about hard work. I'm very conservative that you celebrate the sacraments; if you're going to preach, you say your prayers, and you read the Bible and you do your homework. Inside myself, I have an awful lot of conservative tendencies, and I serve a constituency that is primarily liberal, and we get along just fine. And so, I'm really glad I'm not a raving liberal in San Francisco, because I think we'd all go off the deep end.
Bush likes Swing, too. He praised Swing and the URI in the fall of 2001. Here is the letter, on the occasion of an award to Swing from the International Diplomacy Council.

At the end of the letter, Bush said:

Both the United Religions Initiative and the International Diplomacy Council exist to foster a greater understanding among peoples. I salute these organizations for their roles in facilitating interaction among people and nations.
Meanwhile, I have not uncovered any evidence that the Clintons or Al Gore have endorsed the URI, or participated in it.

Go figure ....... [End.]
Eastern churches news
Greeks take break from Olympics to celebrate feast of Assumption
LRC’s fumble
In an otherwise unobjectionable, unremarkable article criticizing television, Fred Reed makes a racialist remark:

What does Hollyork promote? Toleration of foul language and a concomitant coarsening of society; hostility between men and women; truculent illiteracy and the values of the black ghetto; the elevation of homosexuality and promiscuity; disdain for religion; use of drugs, interracial sex, destructive feminism, eradication of the remnants of Anglo-European Christian civilization. It is not accidental.
Hang on! Two words ruin what otherwise is an entirely true statement. Did Mr Reed simply slip up and mean to type 'premarital' or 'extramarital sex'? Of course the races have been having sex with each other for centuries, including long before Philo Farnsworth invented the television - for example the late Alex Haley who wrote 'Roots' was as much Irish as he was Ghanian ethnically. If he'd traced his father's family, not his mother's, he would have ended up in Ireland; James Earl Jones would have said something like 'Seamus Haley, I have found you!'

And of course the Catholic faith and libertarianism (LRC usually is a shining example of the latter) don't object to interracial dating and marriage. (Don't mind if you do!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Bush the nasty dry drunk
From The Gutless Pacifist
Holy See willing to negotiate for Najaf
From The Rockall Times
Britain’s Olympic prospects
Blind man's bluff
UK home secretary David Blunkett is in a class of his own in the twilight world of political shenanigans. Pundits predict that Blunkett will carry off gold for his peerless voluntary/compulsory ID card scheme — something that no-one takes particularly seriously but will certainly hit home when most of Britain's population is in cattle trucks heading for "relocation" in the east.

US public split on Iraq war
Down from 2-1 in favour back in December. Good.
Let Bobby Fischer go!
Famous lost words
Did you know that when President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced the Social Security program (FICA) he promised that the program would be completely voluntary, that the money that participants put into the program would be income tax-deductible each year, and that the annuity payments to retirees would never be taxed as income? My, my. How things have changed.

- Ray Hoffman, Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Monday, August 16, 2004

Olympics alternative on the box
‘John Denver: Let This Be a Voice’
Hard to believe that 30 years ago, which I barely remember, the sensitive-man thing actually was in vogue in some quarters, and that it's been seven years that this gentle man has been gone (dying in a rather macho way too - his homemade plane disintegrated over the Pacific). This is a wonderful film capturing him at his best and yes, in or out of style, his music is quite good. Awe and good stewardship of God's creation - a lot of his message resonates with this at least partial granola conservative (see perma-links at right for a link to a description of this).

We miss you, guy.
Today’s life lesson from The Evangelical Outpost
Lesson about women that I (re)learned this week: When women say that the quality they prefer in a man is a “sense of humor,” what they mean is they prefer a man who looks like Brad Pitt.
From The Onion Dome
Russian history as amusement park
Dog bites man
From El camino real:

Teen-agers aren’t very nice
And thanks to the dehumanizing, sex-mad consumer and secular culture, they're getting meaner. I don't think a few consciousness-raising sessions round the campfire with Mr Van Driessen (from 'Beavis & Butt-Head') are going to do the trick either.
Who was that black-turbaned man?
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. I never knew - his mother was Indian, from Kashmir, and his father English, William Richard Williamson of Bristol!
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
I saw this story last night and almost posted it then.

Returning US troops lose jobs
Which isn't supposed to happen - by law - but does.

DM: I suppose that this is how comfortable neo-conservatives "support our troops".

Further info here....
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
This site is interesting and lately, it's been comforting for the obvious reasons.

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004

However, we know how dangerous a cornered beast can be. One shudders to think of the capabilities of desperate neo-conservatives. What atrocities would they permit or even perpetrate themselves to maintain the power of their court-ordered sock-puppet?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Evan Dorkin
His 'Dork' comics are often spot-on and ROTFLMAO funny

Evan’s blog
The Pope’s Ukrainian heritage
His mother: that story again. I'd always written it off as 'so many people love the reigning Pope that everybody wants to claim him' but it seems it may be true after all. Poles historically haven't been kind to their brother Slavs to the east, including those who ended up in Poland thanks to shifting borders, or their form of the Catholic faith. Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky), the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church for half the 20th century, came from a similar polonized Ukrainian heritage, and Archbishop Vsevolod, Constantinople's Ukrainian Orthodox bishop in Chicago, was born in Poland and is one of the nicest people you ever could meet.

A bit of history: the Ruthenian (western Ukrainian) mountaineers in the Carpathians, most of them Byzantine Catholics, waged an heroic guerrilla war against the Communists in Poland in the 1940s - and lost. Operation Wisla destroyed their villages - including their centuries-old wooden Byzantine churches - or handed them over to Poles (some churches were given to the RCs) and the people were either deported across the border to the USSR or scattered elsewhere in Poland.
Eastern churches news, off the beaten path
Romania primps up faraway churches to lure tourists
Sounds vaguely Dracula-like but of course it's really a good thing
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Civil-liberties watch:

Test devices to serve as snooper troopers
Blessed be her glorious Assumption
Fr James Tucker, a reverend father who is nine years younger than me, on the importance of the body and on modernity's contradictory message about it as on so many things.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

From Tolle Blogge (a literate Protestant blog)
N.T. Wright on Mel Gibson’s The Passion
He said what I thought about the linguistic inaccuracy:

And fourth, as a historian I was deeply affronted by various things, particularly the absence of Greek. If you’re going to get people to speak first century Aramaic, you do not then have Jesus talking Latin for goodness sake to Pontius Pilate. They would have spoken Greek. And this is taken to ridiculous extremes. I have no idea. Gibson must have had some advisers. And were they asleep at this point where you get this whole business of the title on the cross ought to be in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and it’s in Hebrew and Latin. I mean, what on earth is going on?
Thank you! Efharistó! (I haven't configured this blog to do Greek letters yet.) The Romans would have spoken among themselves in Latin (the Italian actors barking orders to each other seemed authentic) but to the Jews in Greek or maybe in some halting Aramaic (Pilate was stationed in Judæa a few years and could have picked up the lingo so that was OK).
New transitional page from the old site, pointing to this blog
Sideshow Bob’s Cavalcade of Whimsy
From the Ship of Fools board
Whom do you consider an overrated, crap novelist?
From Huw Richardson via Karl Thienes
Taking apart/debunking the Internet-legendary ‘11 Rules’ speech to teenagers
For first time in history, Orthodox priest is chaplain to Russian Olympic teams
Хорошо! Didn't watch much of the opening ceremonies but read that the Greeks incorporated some of their church symbolism into them. I noticed a row of bells, five for the rings in the Olympics symbol, that looked like Eastern Orthodox church bells.
LRC pick
A quiet city in Japan

Friday, August 13, 2004

10 reasons to fire Bush
And 9 why Kerry wouldn't be any better
You’re not and there is
Woodrow Wilson based his campaign on the slogan 'He Kept Us Out of War!' FDR campaigned for a third term by pledging to keep America out of 'the European war'. Dean Acheson, Harry Truman's secretary of state, said that Korea was outside the defensive parameter of the United States - while Kim Il-Sung's troops were massing at the 38th Parallel. LBJ said in his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in 1964 that 'We seek no wider war' in Vietnam. April Glaspie, US ambassador under George H.W. Bush, told Saddam Hussein that 'We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait... [t]he Kuwaiti issue is not associated with America.

And finally George W. Bush, while he was sending US troops to the Middle East, told America that war was 'the last resort'. Am I crazy or is there a frighteningly clear pattern here?


- Mark F. Wheeler, Philadelphia (source)
Oy, gevult ist mir
One of the joys of living someplace with a large Jewish population... but alas, it seems the local shops finally have run out of this year's supply of hamentashen. Why, oh, why, must Purim come but once a year?
From Ecclesia Anglicana
The ‘youth Bible’
Condescending revisionist crap from the mainline Protestant world
Eastern churches
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch
Beautiful new site - you can hear (looped) some Arabic chanting. The culture of our own Samer al-Batal.
L’affaire McGreevey
A real reason for him to quit: corruption/favouritism that potentially compromised national security, not gayness or adultery, issues for the confessional that don't matter as far as doing one's job as governor is concerned.

Of course since McG was divorced and remarried and he's pro-abortion he had enough issues with the church before adultery and misusing his office as governor to secure high-level employment for Mr Cipel.

I saw him 'drop the bomb' on live TV yesterday. Impressive speech, heartfelt, but the corruption issue with Mr Cipel is, again, the real issue.

I feel sorry for Mr McGreevey - but more for lovely Dina and his kids.

That said, I can imagine somebody like Howard Stern having a field day with this. Seriously, I don't care what his orientation is, but...

Background: this past year the governor, with wife and kids at his side, made some charming, 1950s-nostalgic TV adverts promoting summer tourism at the New Jersey Shore, a place that's an institution for generations of Philadelphians, both old-money and (many, many) proles.

I can see it now - same twanging 1950s electric guitar but with guys in Speedos playing in the sand and surf. Cut to McGreevey in a Speedo and rainbow-coloured shirt, perhaps holding a Cosmo in one hand with Mr Cipel at his side in the wifely pose.

McGreevey's lines:

'Vacation at the Jersey Shore: it's faaaaabulous!'

'Eat your heart out, Provincetown - New Jersey is the place to cruise!'

"His sexual orientation doesn't matter to me...," said Donald Bowman, 52, of Kearny, a school district worker in Newark.

"To each his own," said Vera Allen, 44, of Newark. "As long as he's doing his job, it shouldn't make a difference."


Quite right. The real prob was in a way he wasn't.

The speech, besides being no doubt sincere - the poor man seems like a tortured soul, and I'm not one of those people who wants to force homosexuals to live a lie - hit the note of old-fashioned honour: 'I lied to my family so I have no right to be governor, therefore I quit'.

But that's not the point.

BTW, it was found out in the straitlaced late 1800s that Grover Cleveland, running for president, had fathered an illegitimate child. 'Ma, ma, where's my pa? In the White House, ha ha ha'. He came clean and apologized - and won the election.
The Olympics: so what?
Not only do I not 'grok' sport as my friend Byrd puts it but, watching a documentary comparing the real games in ancient Greece to the history of the modern ones, I realized the only reason I was interested in this at all as a kid was it was where the Cold War was vicariously fought. A propaganda stunt all the way, disguised as peace in a sweat-suit and trainers.

The last straw for me was not long after that war fizzled, mercifully without going hot in a nuclear way. When pros were let in and you had men like Charles Barkley (a fine athlete, and honest, but he didn't belong there) going for medals that didn't mean much to them, stealing them from amateurs from little countries who, in the context of the ideal of the games, deserved them.

Today: I love the Russian people I remember from those times - very like the ones I've since met - and hate their government... rather the same way I feel about the US.

Two Olympic sports that are fun to watch, both winter ones: speed-skating (Eric Heiden in 1980) and the luge.
LRC picks
Bush or Kerry?

Saddam Hussein, Chalabi and Allawi epitomize US foreign policy

...to invade Iraq, an action that has killed or maimed thousands upon thousands of innocent people, including both Iraqi civilians and military personnel — innocent in the sense that they had nothing to do with 9/11 and were guilty of nothing more than resisting an illegal invasion and occupation of their country by the most powerful nation in history or being at the wrong place at the wrong time when a missile, cluster bomb, or 500-pound bomb was fired or dropped in their direction.

...U.S. military forces killing every Iraqi who dares to resist an unelected, foreign-imposed tyrannical regime, despite the fact that the insurgents had nothing to do with 9/11.


For the US government's purposes, including selling the war to the proles, one 'raghead' is as good as another.

A parody ‘interview’ with Osama bin Laden
NYP: What is it about Americans that makes you so bent on killing us?

OBL: I… I hate you for your freedom.

NYP: Really?

OBL: (laughs) No, I'm just fucking with you. Mainly we hate you because you support Israel and because you maintain army bases in the Arabian peninsula.
He contorts, I decide
Ilana Mercer on Bill O’Reilly

Thursday, August 12, 2004

From Dappled Things
The rise of grass-roots eugenics
Very scary, kids
Unscripted TV humour
Early this morning I heard one of a national network's low-level newsreaders pronounce the weather announcer's name - the Irish form of John, Sean - as 'Seen', more than once, and he didn't correct her.
LRC picks
On the right approach to war and defence: Switzerland
The first step in the defense of Americans is to pull back the American empire. The Swiss have not been invaded in 500 years. They have also not attacked. The Swiss understand patriotism: defend yourself, and leave others alone. They have done very well.

On the black legend of Spain and concomitant anti-Catholicism
The number of people who died in the Spanish inquisition was under a thousand.

On ‘those dirty Japs’ vs. the truth
It is worth noting that Japanese pilots attacked military targets at Pearl Harbor. They did not deliberately target civilians. They maintained the warrior's code in that attack, and it cost them the Battle of Midway six months later. Instead of targeting the oil depot, which would have put the Navy out of commission in the Pacific for a year or more, they attacked battleships, which were obsolete strategically.

- Gary North

The US, when fire-bombing Tokyo and nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, did not maintain the warrior's code.

On combat the Catholic way
My friend Ernst Winter, the son-in-law of Col. von Trapp, told me of a remarkable event in his father-in-law's military career. His father-in-law had been a U-boat commander in World War I. He came upon a French military ship. He surfaced, told the captain that he was going to sink the ship, and told him to tell his crew to abandon ship. He was met with explosive resistance.

He took the U-boat beneath the enemy vessel, re-surfaced on the other side, and gave the warning again. More shots. He submerged, fired his torpedoes, and sank the ship. Hundreds of French sailors drowned.

After the War, the French awarded von Trapp a medal.


- Gary North

Actually he was Captain Georg von Trapp (one of the few facts in The Sound of Music) - 'Colonel' of course is an army rank - a commoner who got his noble title of baron from Austria because of his naval service, before World War I destroyed the empire and made Austria a landlocked country. (Austria's coast was what's now Croatia - historically Dalmatia.) As the story relates, even in battle he was always a nice fellow. Actually Maria was no affectionate, fun-loving Julie Andrews - she was a perambulating bitch on wheels.

On conservative Christian-bashing
From a libertarian standpoint, I’ve written that I have a problem with terminating the lives of unborn children as it violates many libertarian (not to mention Biblical!) principles. But when it comes to matters of lifestyle, I don’t believe in using the state to "impose" my values on others. Neither do many other Christians. However, that is not enough for the rabid Christian hater. They despise the fact that certain moral standards even exist and that people could be "dumb" enough to hold them.

Not only true of the militant atheists but liberal churchgoers and liberal church workers as well. Bill Barnwell might read the Ship of Fools board, mostly such types both in the UK and the US, where my position statement on homosexuality - which my Catholic friends in person who are homosexual have read and understood - generated not only site and blog hits (which were a legit goal of mine, legit because I wasn't trying to sell something for money) but a fire-storm of juvenile ad hominem postings and dishonourable conduct from the board's moderators, changing one of my links to one of their choosing. (To be fair the head moderator reversed this later.) And wiping out the link to my statement, eliminating context. Other than that the 'shipmates'' main MO was to ignore what I actually said to explain myself and proceed to create a caricature of me - a piñata if you will - made out of their words and bash away at that.

Not the worst treatment of me online - that was identity theft, when a mad nominal Byzantine Catholic chap from Washington, DC impersonated me on two fora - but it shares second prize with byzcath.org.

Anyway, Mr Barnwell 'gets it':

The angry secularist [and liberal Christian] assumes that every Evangelical is a Left-Behind fanatic that wants to nuke the Middle East. They assume that every conservative Catholic and Protestant wants to usher in a theocracy run by Ralph Reed. They believe that every Christian is out to get them. Run for cover!

Another major reason that these people hold the attitudes they do is that they are lovers of self. They hate the idea that man needs as "Savior" and completely resent the idea that Jesus is the path to eternal life. It annoys them that Christians believe such things and that Christians have the nerve to "witness" or share their faith with others.


IOW, 'I will not serve'.

And knowledge of one's mere existence is all it takes to piss those people off.

As The 100 Worst Hit Songs put it re: the lyrics/story line to 1977's 'Lonely Boy' by Andrew Gold ('I had a sister - my life is ruined' - yes, I remember that song), 'F*ck, even Sartre wasn't that sensitive.' At least the sensitive-songwriter genre back then - from Bread to Dan Fogelberg and suchlike - was better than Britney Spears.

Well, if you don’t like it then there is a very libertarian answer to this: Ignore them. Don’t listen to them. Go on your merry little way and enjoy life. If you don’t want to hear the televangelist on TV, turn the station. If you don’t like church, then don’t go. If you think Christians are annoying, then don’t associate with them.

As I wrote on the Ship, their forum is a video game. Click something else or turn off the computer and zap! It's as if they don't exist.

My experience 'on board' was educational though - it let me 'get into the head of' mainline Protestant churches on both sides of the herring-pond, including what usually passes as RC. (Got condescended to by the RC version of them myself 15-20 years ago - before I knew better than to waste my time with such - which seems like a whole other lifetime.) Such people are the gauntlet that ordinands and prospective ordinands, of whom I know several, have to run through - interviews, selection conferences, etc. It takes a man a lot tougher and more skilful than me. He has to be made of Teflon.
From Katolik Shinja
The two options, equally bad, given American RCs
Re: Bishops questionnaire criticized for seemingly supporting Democratic positions & New poll says practicing Catholics more likely to support Bush

One side, the US RC bishops and their apparatchiki, have mistaken the faith for its knockoffs, secular humanism and socialism, whilst the other are functionally in the Protestant religious right, faults and all ('lip service against abortion is worth the life of a raghead or two, Bush is a rah-ghteous may-un', ad nauseam).

The real Catholic tradition, the historic mainstream far bigger and older than the American experiment or the RC presence in that experiment, within its theological and, yes, liturgical boundaries, is as 'diverse' as tsardom and Action Française on one hand and Dorothy Day and Catherine de Hueck Doherty on the other. (A 'diversity' that's missing from revival attempts like the Society of St Pius X, which can degenerate into a Jansenist, cardboard caricature of RC clerical culture from years ago.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Why Kerry might not be a real peace candidate
He'd take sides in Kosovo. Echoing Bismarck (IIRC), the Balkans aren't worth the life of a single American, British or German soldier. Those people all hate each other and want to kill each other, but they're no threat to us. Let them go at it. Last man standing gets to clean up, all by himself. And 'Holy Orthodoxy' has got jack to do with it. It's just like Northern Ireland - as P.J. O'Rourke said, one side doesn't go to one church and the other doesn't go to a different house of worship. Misplaced loyalties based on such brought Europe - and America thanks to that prat Woodrow Wilson - the jolly good show of World War I, which effectively destroyed Catholic Europe, the destruction of which included the murder of the Russian tsar.
From The Watley Review
The preppy version of The Onion:

Reinventing national political conventions
Turn them into 'reality' game shows like 'Survivor'
Book pick
Loose Canon: A Portrait of Brian Brindley

The man nearly personified the Anglo-Catholic movement - its seriousness about the Catholic faith, its charm and its faults. He knew how to 'live large' with Old World style.
LRC pick
Yo! ‘Support our troops’ - get out of Iraq now

Monday, August 09, 2004

Пресвятая Богородице Смоленская, спаси нас!

Our Lady of Smolensk
Whose feast-day the Russian Church celebrates today. Съ праздникомъ!
More from Katolik Shinja
A Traditionalist movement
Including but not limited to Christianity - fascinating. (Which shares its name only with good RCs who defend the Roman Mass, generally favour monarchy and oppose indifferentism but also with an obscure heresy condemned decades ago by the Holy Office. I think the mistake was it said one couldn't use reason to defend the faith.) ISTM 'soft Traditionalism' is acceptable to the Catholic faith. The writer mentions T.S. Eliot here - it seems that particular version might include the general mediævalism, the hankering after a wholeness compromised by the 'Enlightenment' and before that the 'Reformation', that made Eliot and, before him, my hero A.W. Pugin (of the Gothic Revival in architecture) and the second-generation Anglo-Catholics try to restore Catholic Europe in England. The architecture of the Victorian era, the novels of Sir Walter Scott, all part of the same longing described here.

(And the Slavophile movement in Russia at the time and before that the Old Believer movement there.)

The writer mentions René Guenon, who as is mentioned ended up a Sufi and posthumously was a formative influence on Eugene Rose, later the Orthodox monk Fr Seraphim.

Like Rose it has a lot of good things to say but may have its shortcomings particularly in its other-than-soft form.

The fad of Far Eastern religions 30 years ago - Buddhism, Hinduism and the Westernized Hindu offshoot Hare Krishna, for example - is part of the same craving.

As is the phenom as mentioned in the article of Western converts to Islam - in its extreme form people like John Walker Lindh or, more respectably, the former singer Yusuf Islam (better known as Cat Stevens) and the many American blacks who after Elijah Muhammad's death in the 1970s followed EM's son (and Malcolm X 10 years after the NOI shot him for it) out of the bogus reverse-racist Nation of Islam and became real, admirably observant Sunni Muslims. (The NOI, nothing to do with real Islam, then ceased to exist but Louis Farrakhan revived it.) I see them particularly in one city neighbourhood I cycle through every week.

And of course the convert boomlet to Eastern Orthodoxy that Eugene Rose anticipated by about 25 years is part of all this too.

But with all these new movements, with all their good points, one also sees the same problems: that of 'Orientalism', projecting one's utopianism onto a foreign, exotic culture, throwing out the intellectual tradition of the West in 'to hell with the West' hysteria, etc. John Walker Lindh, the Hare Krishnas at the airport 30 years ago, the annoying whitebread boys who discover the Orthodox churches and then become nuisances online... so similar.
401(k) savers survived bear market
You mean the downturn is over? If so, then, owing solely to the grace of God, as they say down east in Maine, aaayup!

Fitness
I reckon in the 1.5 months I've had the silver Iron Horse Adventure Deluxe hybrid bicycle (their site appears to be down) I've reached the 250-mile mark! Am taking it 25 miles three times a week now weather permitting.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Reform rabbi criticizes US Congress for pro-Israel bias
From Katolik Shinja
Remembering Nagasaki

Common sense about adoption
Childless Koreans should adopt unwanted children here in Korea and the abortion industry in America and in Korea should be ended and those children saved be given to parents in their home countries. I say this realizing it will never happen.
LRC picks
Anguished Iraqi Christians flee to Syria
The last Baathist regime is pro-Christian, like Saddam's

Persecuting Christians again
As usual, the elites don't care

On property rights

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints
St Panteleimon (Pantaleone)
His Byzantine Rite (Julian reckoning) feast-day is today. One of my most unusual icons in my living-room chapel is a Russian one of him printed on a piece of silk, like a miniature banner or the antimension that goes on the Holy Table.

Troparion, Tone 3
O holy prize-winner and healer Panteleimon,/ intercede with our merciful God/ that He may grant to our souls/ the forgiveness of our sins.

Kontakion, Tone 5
Thou didst faithfully follow the Merciful One/ and wast granted the grace of healing./ O prize-winner and Martyr of Christ our God/ by thine intercessions/ heal the diseases of our souls/ and banish the snares of the enemy/ from those who cry with faith: Save us, O Lord.

St John Mary Vianney
Link from Lee Nelson's blog

Antiphon: I will liken him † unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.

V. The Lord loved him and adorned him.
R. He clothed him with a robe of glory.

Almighty and merciful God, who didst endue Saint John Mary with zeal for thy flock and a continual desire for prayer and penance, grant, we beseech thee, that by his example and intercession we may win the souls of our brethren for Christ and with them attain unto everlasting glory.