Thursday, December 29, 2005

Eastern churches
Russian Orthodox Church suspends relations with Church of Sweden
Because the Swedish Lutheran church will now have gay weddings (maybe in all but name)

The Russians did the same thing to the Episcopal Church because of Gene Robinson (the gay bishop who was consecrated specifically to make a gay statement).

Конечно: of course.
From Tom Tomorrow
The year in review, parts I and II
Disclaimer: Search the blog for my view on the Schiavo case
On the box
Mere Comments
Tempest in a teapot
Or another culture-wars red herring, even though chances are that objectively this depiction of Jesus is wrong and blasphemous. Wildmon and his crew, and probably WND as well, need to get a clue: they’re giving this probably mediocre show free advertising!

As I wrote in the comments, even with this unintended help I predict it will go down the toilet faster than ‘Nothing Sacred’ (about a ‘cool’, irreverent, modelly-looking RC priest) and before that ‘Soul Man’ with Dan Aykroyd as an Episcopal priest and dad. (Remember that? If you blinked you missed it.)

Looks about as realistic a depiction of Episcopalians and their church life as ‘JAG’ was of military lawyers. (That is, not at all.)

I agree that the funniest thing here is that Hollywood is so out of touch they don’t seem to realise that liberal churches are dying.

It’s just a lapsed RC’s bizarro fantasy.

And as my girlfriend points out it’s a ripoff of ‘Desperate Housewives’ (which itself seems a suburbanised copy of ‘Sex and the City’). The viewers who made ‘Housewives’ a hit aren’t going to regard a soap about Episcopalians as ‘must-see’.

P.S. Even though I know it was soft propaganda for the wrong side I found ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ (the occasional vehicle, no longer made, of English comedienne Dawn French) cute and mostly harmless because it wasn’t all that clever.

P.P.S. A quotation:
Liberal habit-less nuns in sensible shoes, whitewashed barren parishes, gee-tars, and cheap polyester vestments make lousy television.
- From Ship of Fools
LRC pick
Why we shouldn’t fight anymore
Dmitry Chernikov is on a roll
Here I say that my disagreement is not with the ultimate ends, if the ends be for the entire world to be united within a web of social cooperation and for all countries to embrace a full set of economic and personal individual liberties.
BTW, the real meaning of Liberty Enlightening the World (the Statue of Liberty’s real name)* is nothing to do with immigration (though all who want to work, as virtually all immigrants do, should be welcome without a hassle) nor the neocons’/liberals’ ‘nation-building’ imperial wars of conquest but rather the hope that America, by setting a good example of freedom at home (the meaning of the metaphor of the lady’s torch), would inspire other countries to adopt the best of the English ‘Enlightenment’/classical liberalism for themselves.

*Fun fact: a court has ruled that she stands in New Jersey, not New York.
From Tantum Ergo
To Timotheus
As only your blogging team can leave comments and you’ve got no e-mail link I’ll write this message to you here. As you start this work, if you haven’t yet please have a look at this page, which tries to do much the same thing. What you wrote echoes Fulton Sheen: many hate what they think the church is, not what it really is. I know that you’ve seen Occidentalis including this entry on a man and essay I’ve blogged before.

You’ve got an interesting entry on icons. The two of Christ straddle either side of the line separating inculturation of Western style while remaining Byzantine (at which the 19th-century Russians excelled) and uncanonical hybridisation (latinisation)*. Regarding the latter you’re correct criticising mixing the practices of two or more rites — I’ve long found it hypocritical and patronising that liberals who act like iconoclasts in their native Western rite say they looooove icons. Confusion of rites is also a mark of a vagante. But when conservative or traditional Western Catholics use icons it’s with the same intention as the Orthodox so no, that’s not offensive.

*Rome bans it because it wants to protect the Eastern rites but this is often disobeyed.
LRC blog pick
The great Becket
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
- Chaucer

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

US judge orders John Demjanjuk deported to the Ukraine
So he wasn’t ‘Ivan the Terrible’ at Treblinka. But was he really a Nazi guard or are the Americans trying to save face after kowtowing to the Israelis (how surprising) and then being found wrong?

I’ve met Russians and Ukrainians who fought for the Germans because they wanted to get rid of the Soviet government* — Galicia initially welcomed them as liberators. And I don’t blame them. (Here is a disclaimer condemning mistreatment of Jews.)

*Which murdered millions more than the Nazis.
Is Mr Blair about to betray the Falklands?
My take
From Worst of the Web
This is from a Web-humour site that’s apparently on the wane:

World Toilet Organization
I’m not sure if this well-made, professional website apparently from Singapore, complete with ‘soft-sell’ stock photos of people (apropos of nothing except perhaps that nearly everybody uses the bog), is for a real business association, but if it is, like Honeydipper Dan* of yore, well, somebody’s got to do it.

Just like there’s a real company called ‘Urinette’ (want that in your CV?).

*Scroll down to the long white quotation box. A hilarious example of fakelore in the form of a folk song. From ‘MadTV’ back when it was funny and cool.
From The Onion
Bush elected president of Iraq
In the top 10 stories of 2005

From The Rockall Times
Britain’s first face transplant
From truthout
CIA ‘rendition’ (torture flight) exposed by mobile use
Even when not in use, a cell phone sends a periodic signal, enabling the worldwide cellular network to know where to look for it in case of an incoming call.

Those signals allowed Italian police investigating Abu Omar's disappearance to construct an almost minute-by-minute record of his abduction in February 2003, and to identify nearly two dozen people as his abductors.
From Slate
The faerie queen
She may be unhip (boomer Muzak?) but I admit that I like a lot of her music. Here’s a reason why:
Enya's real musical sources are less Old Eire than High Church.
I think she’s a native Gaeilge speaker (Daithí?) — her professional name is the phonetic spelling of her Irish name and she’s the sister of Maire Brennan.

No, I haven’t heard her sing in Elvish but like Elizabeth Fraser’s wonderfully echoing songs with the Cocteau Twins (I think their 20-year-old songs still sound hip), whose lyrics you can barely hear, it probably sounds great.
In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
- Matthew 2:18
From Canterbury Tales
The faith of C.S. Lewis
A timely posting tying into ‘the Chroni — what? — cles of Narnia’, LOL. He didn’t identify with the Anglo-Catholicism I like despite its faults but as Fr Taylor Marshall points out in this comprehensive overview to those new to the topic he was far more Catholic than his evangelical Protestant fans in America today. He enjoyed beer — I’ve made my pilgrimage to the Eagle and Child — and pipes and had a bawdy sense of humour, somebody who would have been comfortable in Chaucer’s world. (His academic subject was mediæval English literature.) He didn’t like ACism or go over to Rome (as it was at the time) for at least two reasons: he was a Protestant from Northern Ireland, and never shook that no-popery prejudice, and one of the horrible boarding schools in England he was sent to as a boy was run by an AC priest.
LRC pick
It’s called blowback
As shown dramatically by 9/11. On the US’s world war against the Muslim world.
Hundreds of millions already have "returned to their roots," opting for one of the ever-more radically Islamized movements. Palestine, Lebanon, and Iran were the first nations to do this massively.
Why that’s so of Palestine is a no-brainer.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Whatever we may think of the Church of England now, she did retain the essentials of the faith and carried the country through [a] long period, enabling those who would to pray and provided some degree of assistance for those working out their salvation. Unfortunately, she dropped the bundle about forty years ago, and now she is worse than useless; she is a genuine negative effect for those who wish to hold the faith.
- Fr Michael (Wood)

This applies about as much to what’s being passed off as RC in most places today.
RIP Vincent Schiavelli
Recognised the face immediately but wasn’t sure where from — then I remembered he played Fr Gorky, the (pseudo-, making fun of the) ‘Orthodox’ priest of Andy Kaufman’s and Carol Kane’s Eastern European characters on ‘Taxi’. In real life he was apparently a lovely man.
LRC blog pick
Poll: Impeach Bush
86 per cent agree so far
New bill aims to curtail mail-order marriage abuse
Because of things like this ... the flip side of this. I’ve heard Russians talk about this sort of thing, long considered a joke that only middle-aged saddos fall for: Russian women ripping off American men. (As the Russians told me, ‘Russian women, subservient? HA!’) As you can see why such men are single, so you can see the abuse risk that innocent Russian and other women are taking with this.

By the way I’ve been shown the advertising for these services: unsurprisingly they’re insulting to Russians really. Believe me, being piously Eastern Orthodox isn’t presented as the big draw. Rather, Russians are described as ‘easy’, thanks to their Soviet upbringing, not at all hung up on religion like ‘those Catholic girls’ at Third World dating services so they don’t care if the saddo using the service is divorced, etc.

I’ve seen a suggestion online to start an Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic charity specifically to help wronged/abused Russian and Ukrainian mail-order brides. Maybe the Russians in places like Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where the Russian Church Abroad has a thriving parish, or the Ukrainian Catholic Church can try to reach out to these women.

Господи, помилуй!
Asperger syndrome
Missing mirror neurons may be the cause
Exciting! If it’s true, considering what people are doing with cells, DNA, etc., maybe scientists can create or fix these, curing AS and autism!

Another article I read said that the brains of autistic-spectrum people have a lot of undeveloped cells that would be functioning in normal people.

Time to figure out out to fire up those neurons! (Cletus, get me those jumper cables next to the battery tester...)

But alas, it could be another dead end. Once upon a time the experts blamed bad mothering for these disorders.

Correction to the article: trust me, people with AS don’t necessarily lack empathy — they feel for you but have trouble reading you and you them. Full-blown autistics probably do lack empathy. Put another way, the person with AS who doesn’t know he has it, or doesn’t understand it, wants to reach out to you but doesn’t know how (normal people don’t have to consciously think about how); the autistic person probably doesn’t.

As I like to say, it’s a learning disability like being dyslexic, not a mental illness.
From Anthony’s Banal Adventures
Name that president!
Bloggery and other Internet stuff
No Christmas slump this year
In blog hits — for the first time. Thanks, everyone!

The latest spambot game
I still have a rarely used htmlgear guestbook (redundant now that there are blog comments boxes) and thought I could weed out the diet-pill and herbal-Viagra pedlars by banning the posting of hyperlinks. But they get round that by cramming all their junk into the name field. Alas.

Proof that Friendster is over
I started an account for the hell of it and forgot about it. All it gets is porn-webcam spam like icky tumbleweeds (or used Kleenexes) rolling through a ghost town.

So much of the Internet is a tip anyway — but not this corner of it of course, LOL.
LRC pick
Why the feds love torture
evil incarnate, the carpet-bombing, dictator-installing, WMD-story-fabricating, atom-bomb-inventing-and-dropping, US world empire
Sometimes the truth hurts.
Maybe, just maybe, if we started living up to the ideals for which the USA ostensibly stands, foreigners would stop devoting their lives to killing Americans.
The ideals of the English ‘Enlightenment’, of classical liberalism: the peaceful republic of Washington and Jefferson trading with all and getting entangled with none.
Iraqi protesters call for unity government
Ideally yes, but it’s about as likely as the Ulster Defence Association and the Provos having a coalition government

So let’s see: Hussein’s secular government (which had nothing to do with 9/11 and under which one could have a drink, be Catholic and if a woman have rights) violently suppressed the theocratic Shi’ites (remember when the Ayatollah in neighbouring Iran was America’s Public Enemy No. 1... and Hussein was the good guy, shaking hands with Donald Rumsfeld and buying WMDs from the US?) and now that he’s out of power it’s payback time against the Sunnis. Meanwhile the Sunni insurgents understandably want to get the American invaders out of their country.

Coming up: eventual Iraqisation, followed by a re-enactment of 1975 Saigon and 1979 Teheran all at once. (Will there be a Miss Baghdad Broadway show?)

Monday, December 26, 2005

From Huw Raphael
Well put, sir
From Fr James Tucker
Stop apologising for Christmas or being Christian
From an English atheist:
"Stand up for Christmas, archbishops tell their flocks", our headline read... was a rare instance in our lifetimes of the Church of England actually standing up for something, and actually being right...
They’re right about the war on Iraq as well.
It was also shocking, however, that in a country with an established Christian church, and whose Muslim population (for example) is only around three per cent, such an exhortation should be felt necessary.

... I rejoice wholeheartedly as an atheist that I live in a Christian culture, and I know that, in that undeniably hypocritical act, I am not alone.

Indeed, it is not just those who, like me, were born into Christian families who feel this way: so do many Muslims and Jews, and it is one of the reasons that they are so happy to live in our country and be surrounded by that culture.

It is bewildering, therefore, that there should apparently be people here who take such offence at Christmas, and against whom a brace of archbishops feel the need to take up their croziers. I suspect they are very few in number and exert an influence far in excess of their real strength.
Reminds me of Joe Sobran’s gratitude to Protestant America.
From The Gaelic Starover
Christmas in Iraq
Here is a photo from

A new year’s resolution
Censure and impeachment wouldn’t make everything right but would be good first steps
Was Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka a hypocrite?
Did he disown his stepdaughters, one of whom is learning-disabled, turning them over to the state?
Big lies
The 10 biggest political whoppers of 2005
Bush is good at stating the obviously untrue.
I still suspect that he tells untruths without being guilty of lying (he could pass a polygraph test) because the man admits he doesn’t read newspapers (but how much of that is wilful ignorance?) and he may literally believe (or choose to) what his minders spoon-feed him: a kid’s fantasy world of good armies versus bad armies and himself as the heroic wartime president battling evil.
US to Iraqis: Do as we say, not as we do
Or at least don’t get caught like the Americans did at Abu Ghraib
US: Colin Powell forfeits any claim he once had to coolness
Four from LRC
The case for the gold standard

Victory for whom?

On flag pins

Similarly in Britain the only people who display the national flag a lot are Ulstermen of the Protestant persuasion

The fury of angels
Joe Sobran might like to know that the traditional Book of Common Prayer ends clauses and sentences with prepositions, just like the way many of us talk.

Paul Fussell (search the blog) notes that many people misremember the rules about nominative vs accusative or prepositional cases* (I or he vs me or him: My friend and I went, not Me and my friend went). Half-remembering the schoolmarmish lesson they say between you and I and while Coverdale in the Prayer Book gets it right — O deliver me from my persecutors : for they are too strong for me (Psalm 141/142:8) I’ve seen attempts at Tudor-style English that seem to fall into the trap and say I.

*Learn Latin or Russian (and most other Slavic languages) and you’ll catch onto these right quick.
From truthout
US bombing of Iraq intensifies
From Mark Shea
Backhanded belief
When atheism really means ‘I know the Christian God exists but I think I hate him’. Apparently it often does.
Few atheist websites spend many electrons sneering at animism, or sun-worship, or Norse religion.... It's like the last step in a series of Protestant sectarian splits.
Eastern churches

Site blessed for interdenominational church in Kiev
And not a Catholic-Protestant one either. It is dedicated to St Nicholas. Well and good... except the two churches participating with the Ukrainian Catholic Church aren’t really Orthodox* so I wonder if this well-meant endeavour is more a hindrance than a help towards corporate reunion.

In Samer al-Batal’s native Syria his Melkite Church and the real Orthodox do work together.

The legend of St Peter the Aleut
Popular this time of year among some Orthodox who give it maximum anti-RC spin. If any part of this horrible story is true (the late Gerard Bugge didn’t think it really happened), then according to the Catholic faith the Spaniards who did this committed several sins. Besides the obvious ones of torturing and killing somebody they committed sacrilege because the young man was already not only baptised but chrismated (confirmed) and had received Holy Communion. Sounds rather like a variation of the Black Legend of Spain, fuelling anti-Hispanic prejudice to this day. The truth is the Spanish though not perfect remembered the indios had souls; a slave-owner was punished by law if his Indians weren’t allowed to go to Mass.

Like the ending of The Mission, in which it was unlikely that Spanish soldiers would have shot at a priest, even one from an enemy country, carrying a monstrance with the Sacrament, officials and certainly missionary priests and brothers would have been very dim indeed not to recognise any religious articles on the lad such as a Russian baptismal cross (which may have been a crucifix) and especially icons of Jesus and Mary! (I think a version of the story has cast as handy villains the Jesuits, who are not known for being thick.)

If these monsters were real then they weren’t RC murderers, that is, they weren’t sadists and killers because they were RC. They were so in spite of it. (Especially if they were followers of St Francis, like the Croat Franciscan I’ve heard of who participated in Nazi war crimes against his brother Christians the Serbs. That part of Eastern Europe isn’t exactly overflowing with charity. Funny how I don’t hear of Mr Martic and his lot being described by the tale-tellers as Orthodox criminals.)

Occasional contributor to the blog Lee Penn belongs to San Francisco’s Russian Catholic church (search the blog for more on this church), which commemorates this saint as he is on the OCA calendar — without irony. Because, according to the magisterium, if he existed he was right and his torturers wrong.

And despite American persecution from the government and Protestant missionaries (who really were heretical) the Russian Orthodox Aleut faithful are with us, barely, to this day. Слава Богу.

As for the tellers of tales (Eighth/Ninth Commandment, people), I understand wanting one’s kids to marry within one’s culture and not marry themselves outside one’s venerable rite and church but to try to make this happen by slandering another church when the truth is readily available is beneath contempt.

*Maybe RISU are trying to be impartial about the sectarian rows in the country but they are bad about making this distinction clear.
From Verbum ipsum
Stalin’s 1920s ‘Planet of the Apes’ scheme
Also like ‘The Island of Dr Moreau’... nearly 30 years before the discovery of DNA and ages before anybody could try to make hybrids with it.
Guess that "new communist man" wasn't working out so hot.
One wonders how the bolshies got patriotic Soviet men to, erm, volunteer their services to try to impregnate chimps! Probably like the sperm banks today.
President of Palestine goes to Midnight Mass in walled-off Bethlehem

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Puer natus est nobis
Salvátor noster, dilectíssimi, hódie natus est : gaudeamus. Neque enim fas est locum esse tristítiæ, ubi natális est vitæ : quæ, consumpto mortalitátis timóre, nobis íngerit de promissa æternitate lætítiam. Nemo ab hujus alacritátis participatióne secernitur. Una cunctis lætítiæ communis est rátio : quia Dóminus noster, peccáti mortisque destructor, sicut nullum a reatu líberum réperit, ita liberandis ómnibus venit. Exsultet sanctus, quia appropinquat ad palmam : gaudeat peccátor, quia invitátur ad véniam : animétur Gentílis, quia vocátur ad vitam. Dei namque Fílius secúndum plenitúdinem témporis, quam divini consílii inscrutábilis altitúdo dispósuit, reconciliandam auctori suo natúram generis assúmpsit humani, ut inventor mortis diábolus, per ipsam, quam vícerat, vincerétur.
- Sermo sancti Leónis Papæ (Fourth Lesson, Second Nocturn of Matins for Christmas, the Roman Breviary)

Happy Christmas from us at A conservative blog for peace.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christianity may have reached China within 200 years after it began
About 400 years before Assyrian monks, of the church of what is now Iraq, almost converted the Chinese — Kuan Yin, the principle of mercy, in her modern female form is a copy of Mary

Patriarch Michel Sabbah: Bethlehem ‘a prison’
Part of the Warsaw ghetto West Bank bantustan created by the Zionists
From Hallowed Ground
Jeff Culbreath’s Christmas message
Well put
Maybe we need another Pride and Prejudice like Jane Austen needs the royalty checks.
Still more on the Christmas truce
Apparently somebody has made a film about it, Joyeux Noël

Fr Joseph Huneycutt quotes:
The Christmas truce was a war tradition of the 19th century, and its disappearance marked the end of wartime protocols of that time.
Two from Lew
The Christmas that almost wasn’t
What would have happened to Christmas if they had followed the typical evangelical leader of today? I can just see the wise men extolling the virtues of Herod even when faced with evidence that he was against their religion and had blood on his hands.
Rather like Pat Robertson famously made excuses for abortions in Red China. Overpopulation and all that.


True except:
if you disapprove of abortion, don't get one
violates the harm principle (do whatever you want as long as you don’t harm somebody else) of libertarianism: one is committing murder.

Friday, December 23, 2005

From Mark Shea
More on domestic spying
I think shouting "Don't you know we're at war, dammit?" is reaching its sell-by date as the all-excusing rationale for whatever Bushies want to do. Particularly when unsupervised snooping in the name of the War on Terror immediately leads to investigations of the bloodthirsty Islamofascists at the Catholic Worker.

Apparently it's no longer the War on Terror. It's the war on anything that might vaguely be suspected of not fitting in with generic Republican culture.
Did you know that the official American RC Bible denies that Our Lady said the Magnificat?
LRC blog pick
Britain will be first country to monitor every car journey
After 9/11, that gift to the gestapo, I expected attempted surveillance of car travel. If there is anything a police state hates, it is unsupervised movement. And now we can see what they have in mind, as pioneered by the junior fascist Tony Blair.
US: Alito defended domestic wiretapping under Reagan
Say it: this régime is not moral

These types will never play me with culture-wars issues again.
From Irish Elk
The 1930s and 1940s in colour
The selection of pictures isn’t much but this is true:
For those too young to have lived through them, it can feel like the Depression and World War II happened in black and white and so the brilliance in the rarely seen color photographs of the era is startling.
Search the blog for an even more vivid ‘you are there’ photo experience of tsarist Russia.
From The Remnant via Traditio in Radice
Michael Matt remembers ethnic-German Catholic Christmases past
Our poor children may live long enough to see Christmas outlawed altogether in our brave new world, even as it was once before by the Pilgrims who invented Thanksgiving out of contempt for the “popish” feast of Christmas.
Did the Puritan colonists celebrate it every year and for this reason? I thought that its invention was to do with pro-US government Civil War propaganda, based on the Pilgrim story. Before that, such celebrations were one-offs. And the English Anglicans at Jamestown and, before them, the Spanish Roman Catholics at San Agustín, Florida had thanksgiving celebrations before the first Christmas-hating dissenter set foot in America (more). Harvest Sunday in English churches, also a 19th-century invention but at least somewhat based on mediæval customs, is roughly like it.
From Slate
The secular pundits go out of their way to defame Our Lord and Our Lady at the time of the observance of his birth on earth: a variation on the pagan-Roman slur that he was the bastard of a Roman soldier
When Mary responds to the angel's good tidings in Luke, one translation of her speech is, "How can this be, I do not know a man?" But in the Greek, the word for man is anthropos, which also means "husband."
Which is how some modern mistranslations render it, I understand. Now you can see the false teaching behind that editing. As a sound priest said when he told me of this, over 15 years ago (yes, you’re really hip, Slate), Mary’s being immaculate didn’t mean she was stupid: of course she knew that she could conceive without a husband and so asked the angel how it could be without a man involved.
Can a loyal Christian believe that Christ was not born of a biological virgin?
Perhaps it's worth posing a different question: Why is church authority so intent upon Mary's virginity as a historical fact?
Time to play on post-Protestant Anglo-America’s reflexive anti-Catholicism. The big, bad church is hiding the truth! Sure.
Would Jesus be any less God's son if he had an earthly father? The central message of the Gospel is that God raised up and redeemed his servant from death by crucifixion—the Roman style of execution reserved for the lowest of the low. Why couldn't God have sent the same message of divine solidarity with the world's outcasts by making a Messiah out of a man whose conception was also taboo?
God is perfect. Man in his natural state is obviously not — read the news here and elsewhere for easy proof of that. To deny that Jesus is and always was God is to not be Christian.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
LRC pick
Mass, mainstream pop culture is dying
The good and bad in that

I remember being very electronic media-deprived in pre-Sky, pre-Internet Britain, with the government near-monopoly and only about five TV stations (with repeats of American programmes and local fare like sheep-shearing... I’m exaggerating but not by much) and about as few radio.

I’m still behind the curve — no cable, no satellite-dish, no mobile, no texting, no wireless in the modern sense and no iPod — but still feel the benefit, obviously as I’m here in this medium. Even without an iPod, I don’t buy CDs any more because I don’t have to! My computer is my stereo.

And making all kinds of music available online to all gets rid of the phenom of the rock snob.

On one hand the digital revolution means freedom: no more Auntie-style government control of information and tastes (might TV licences become a thing of the past?) nor the Brave New World kind from Messrs Turner and Murdoch as the article says.

Then again like the article at times I feel a kind of nostalgia for common points of reference. These should be and once were serious things like history and better still religion: RCs in the US had this before Vatican II (or at least before the 1940s)*, as did tsarist Russia and Sabine Barnhart’s Germany (even well into the modern era, the 1970s when she was a little girl) with their myriad folkways. Catholic culture. Now, with many ‘wired’ and iPodded people thinking that original sin was about sex, Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife (hang on, wasn’t she the blonde on ‘Knots Landing’?) and that Jesus committed sins, that’s gone for most of us. (But how can one bring that back without falling into cultism/theocratic fascism, taking away the freedom the new media give?)

But that common culture can revolve around things as banal as make-believe TV characters: Mr Spock** or the Fonz. A social shorthand, especially comforting to the socially challenged: an easy in. Gone now really.

Well, there are still ‘must-see’ things I suppose — I understand that, gack, ‘Desperate Housewives’, which I’ve never seen and is on old-style network TV in the States, is now the No. 1 show in England. But thanks to narrowcasting and the new freedom it produces I’ve not seen them for the most part and have been busy with other, newer electronic pursuits... like this.
This roiling, recombinant technoculture dangles the promise of change, creativity and shared public life — but in the end, will it just come down to always-on, one-click shopping?
People had such high expectations for television when it was new — symphonies and stage plays, high culture, spread to the masses. Then we ended up with ‘Desperate Housewives’ and nasty ‘reality’ game shows.

Rather like the joke I read on Fr Joseph Huneycutt’s blog that the Internet proves that a million monkeys at a million keyboards will eventually produce great literature but first you’ll get lots of monkey porn.

*In a recent history full of bitter irony, ecclesiastical liberals who rabbit on about ‘community’ systematically destroy and make fun of this real example of community, dismissing it as merely sentimental and backward.

**I think the Vulcans are a fantasy version of the Japanese: a culture in which people value intellect and self-discipline but can fight like a samurai when they have to. The Romulans are the samurai side of the Vulcans. Yes, I’m a geek. Went off ‘Star Trek’, though, when I realised it’s a ‘pinko TV show’ (its good guys are really totalitarians, rather like America in the 1960s), intensely anti-religious, and that it was stupid that the whole universe looked suspiciously human and spoke English.
And now a serious Christmas classic
The 1914 Christmas truce
Nasty humour
A Christmas classic from Doc Weasel:

Peace on earth
Or why I’m not a pacifist

And from the recent entertainment news:

Wasn’t the cowboy thing always somewhat gay?
After all the character in the Village People didn’t come from nowhere. (Warning: nasty cartoon graphic.)
The fact that red-staters are blissfully unaware of the fact that Roy Rogers now bats for Lancashire (as we say in Yorkshire) is nowhere more apparent than on the NFL flagship show Monday Night Football, which is as gay as a goose in pink spats.
Here is my serious take on gayness. (Robert Cooper does a better job than I could.)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

From Whitehall
Oxford loses 800-year right to choose undergrads
To paraphrase Fr Will Brown, bye bye, tweed and subfusc; hello, basketball jerseys and backwards baseball caps
From Fr James Tucker
What of the Old Covenant?
A balanced article from First Things by Avery Cardinal Dulles. There is another way besides the dispensationalism of the nutter Protestants on one hand and anti-Semitism on the other. The prophecies about the Messias have been fulfilled and the commandments remain but the ritual practices of that covenant are no longer in themselves salvific:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui
All salvation is at least implicitly through Christ (‘implicitly’ contra Fr Leonard Feeney).
Vatican II brought out the profound truth that the mystery of Israel and the mystery of the Church are permanently intertwined.
This owes nothing to Vatican II:
We are spiritual Semites.
- Pope Pius XI

The Catholic faith of Andy Warhol
Who was at least nominally, by birth (Андрій Варгола), a Byzantine Catholic of this tradition (a Russian cross marks his grave). He was not Slovak but Ruthenian.
Hussein: White House ‘No. 1 liar in the world’
Monomaniacal killer — nothing to do with the safety of people in the First World — he may have been, the rightful president of the secular government of Iraq — nothing to do with 9/11 — has a point

Kudos to CNN for getting forms of address right and calling the man by his surname.
LRC pick
The radical truth that terrifies tyrants
LRC blog picks
Russia suffers international condemnation and boycott over Stalin statue — not!
Germany doubtless would if some town celebrated Hitler’s birthday and had a statue of him

Now you consider impeachment?
To impeach a weakened president for fabricating a wholly unjustifiable war would impinge on the militaristic practices that the corporate-state establishment has long embraced.
Now I can barely stand to listen to Limbaugh or any of his clones because, while they might have seemed conservative back in the Clinton years, they are clearly, as Mr. Vance put it, apologists for the state--as long as the state is run by Republicans.
Laurence Vance is an evangelical not fooled by Mr Bush.
Iraqi vote points to Islamist path
Islamists as in the folks who brought you 9/11 (which Iraq’s secular government had nothing to do with)... brought to power thanks to Mr Bush’s minders. Either that or Iraq will remain occupied by American troops for ever.

US attorney-general: Mr Bush has ‘inherent authority’ to spy on citizens without a warrant
Very scary, kids

Two false options
By military expert William Lind

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

From St Ignatius Church, New York
Photo page: ceremonies of High Mass
From The Onion
Rove implicated in Santa identity leak

US troops draw up own ‘exit strategy’

Operation Screw This
If the real reason we're here is to let the Iraqis run their own country, I have the perfect solution: my ass on a plane to St. Louis.
CIA chief admits to torture after six-hour beating, electrocution
From Slate
Snoop in chief
Has he crossed the Rubicon dividing nominal republic and undisguised empire?

The real war on Christmas
The one waged by Protestants: English (Oliver Cromwell) and early American Congregationalists
...the Americans who succeeded in banning the holiday were the Puritans of 17th-century Massachusetts. Between 1659 and 1681, Christmas celebrations were outlawed in the colony...

...the Rev. Increase Mather lamented in 1687... "...they are consumed in Compotations, in Interludes, in playing at Cards, in Revellings, in excess of Wine, in Mad Mirth."
Benedicamus Domino. Deo gratias.
The Puritan disdain for the holiday endured: As late as 1869, public-school kids in Boston could be expelled for skipping class on Christmas Day.

New England Congregationalist preacher Henry Ward Beecher remembered decorative greenery as an exotic touch that one could see only in Episcopal churches, "a Romish institution kept up by the Romish church."
(Would that it were!) Not altar crosses or candles, which were unknown to 19th-century Anglicans until the second-generation Anglo-Catholics started cautiously using them mid-century and caught hell for it, but Christmas greenery. (Which is a Christianised Germanic pagan custom.) Scandalously popish, LOL!

Philadelphia’s Quakers didn’t try to force their non-observance of Christmas on everybody else but
As late as 1810, the Philadelphia Democratic Press reported that few Pennsylvanians celebrated the holiday.
I imagine only the tiny-minority RCs, German Lutherans (including some of my ancestors: Beeler is really Bühler) and Anglicans did and the German Mennonites (who ironically came to Pennsylvania for freedoms that no longer exist — no taxes, full stop!) didn’t.

Christmas (including the German tree, unknown in England until the 1800s) spread from being exclusively relatively high-church to mainstream Protestantism thanks to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, good Germans, popularising it. (And shallow imperialist Queen Vic was anything but high-church.)
Three from LRC
The lyin’, the Bush and the war crime

The purple finger

‘Turning the corner’ in Iraq... again
From blog member Lee Penn
Cheney carried the nuclear codes in Afghanistan
Lee writes: There is a lot of stuff about the Presidential claim of unlimited power as long as the present war lasts. But there is also this, toward the bottom of the story ...

Quotation, with bold added by Lee:
"Cheney in Afghanistan

Cheney then flew to Kabul, where he watched from the front row as Afghanistan's national assembly took its first oath of office.

Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press describes Cheney's chaotic arrival in Afghanistan.

"The Cheneys' seven-hour visit to Afghanistan began when their unmarked C-17 cargo plane landed at Bagram Air Base. They then flew by helicopter to a spot outside the parliament building. The chopper stirred up a massive dust storm, but the Cheneys were shielded when they ducked into a black sport-utility vehicle.

"Security forces surrounded the Cheneys' vehicle and walked along as it moved with their hands on the side of the vehicle. A gun-toting Afghan soldier dressed in fatigues pushed the rest of Cheney's entourage against an outside wall until the gates to the parliament building closed behind them.

"Afghan security forces insisted on searching all the bags carried by members of Cheney's staff and the press who were left outside.

"Secret Service agents objected, saying they had already been checked. A White House advance staffer already on site came out and angrily demanded that the Afghans admit military aides carrying the briefcase that contains the U.S. government's nuclear weapon codes.

"'I'm telling you to open the gates now,' the White House staffer said. 'These are the vice president's military aides.'

"The Afghans allowed Cheney's military aides through but insisted on doing complete body searches of the rest of his traveling party."
Lee writes this conclusion: The VP carries the nuclear football? Who knew?

And he carried the codes to the Middle East?

Anyway, if Cheney carried the football ... does W have one too? How many others are there?

I think we have our proof of who the real President is, and it is not the Texan. [End.]

We already knew it isn’t the Texan.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

EU orders Spain to start charging Catholic Church sales tax
By Hilary White
Is it a culture-wars red herring or is the EU really trying to wipe out what’s left of Catholic Europe? Contrast this with the description of India I blogged earlier today.
From Apostolicity
Fr Alexander Mackonochie
From truthout
UK minister lied about CIA flights
Scamorama presents: the lads from Lagos
Hilariously unsuccessful attempts at advance-fee fraud by e-mail, known as 419 scams after the Nigerian law they break
More on freedom of religion
It's interesting to note how "multi-faithism" plays out in India vs in the USA. There, it is a secular government as well, but all religions are included in everything, instead of shoved out. So you have all major religions' holidays as state holidays, people are given accomodations for their beliefs at work and school, etc. You see religious symbols everywhere in India. As a Christian minority there when I visited twice, I never felt uncomfortable, and was happy that they could do their thing and I could do mine.
From Fr James Tucker
Still more
To be more accurate, it's about the silly PC notion that [only] certain minorities have a right not to be offended.
Yes, privileged classes: the Marxist notion that blacks can never be guilty of racism, to give only one example, because they’ve been oppressed and that exempts them from acting like decent human beings. (Which in that case, if you think about it, sounds rather racist of the liberals to believe!)
If we're civilized, we'll politely make a certain effort not to be offensive to others; but, at the same time, if we're civilized, we'll realize that offensiveness is generally a relative sort of thing, and we'll not allow ourselves to get all indignant at the fact that someone, somewhere is doing something we don't approve of. You have a right to be offended, and a right (I suppose) to be offensive within reasonable limits, but you don't have a right not to be offended. That's the price of living with other human beings.
Saddam, Osama: what’s in a name?
They all look alike to him anyway
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Quick guide to Mormonism
Those well-scrubbed, friendly missionaries at your door aren’t from a Christian church

They like to give the impression they are, which they do by not telling you the whole truth about themselves (Fr Joseph presents it here) and they can pull it off because they grew out of 19th-century Protestantism and thus blend well into Anglo-American culture.
The holy capitalists
Modernity often wrongly gets credit for progress
Five hundred years before Adam Smith, St. Albertus Magnus explained the price mechanism as what "goods are worth according to the estimate of the market at the time of sale."
The no-contraception page
From Robert Thomas Llizo
Democracy or theocracy?
While not my favourite writer, Fr Ambrose (Alexey/Craig Young) sometimes makes good Catholic points including here — religious liberty as a relative good. It doesn’t work as an absolute and can corrupt one’s view of the church (making one think one can change revelation, natural law and defined doctrine by vote... rather how the Anglican Communion operates today).

Of course parents, clergy, kings, PMs and American presidents (everybody really) have to answer to a higher authority (as the old Hebrew National hot-dog ad said) and when they don’t, that deserves ridicule and those who don’t can and should be replaced.
the noble and courtly etiquette of church and Divine services
isn’t clericalism (exalting the priesthood for its own sake) but sacerdotalism, a Catholic principle, and reflects the hierarchy of the universe as Fr Ambrose alludes to.
We can cultivate true piety, reverence and devotion only by submitting ourselves — not to "majority rule"
Nor to tyrants.
but to the All-Holy Trinity — Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God. This is the authority that counts.
No objections here.
Three new blogs
Canterbury Tales

Rorate cæli

Tantum ergo
Three from LRC
Creeping fascism

Watch what you read, comrade
On persecuting world-travellers who’ve got lots of them furrin-type books and stuff
Much as we praise bourgeois industry and commerce at this web site, the attachment of the bourgeoisie to social and political stability, and to the state as the best way to ensure that stability, is the kind of thing that gets us to goons knocking on doors asking probing questions about one's reading habits.
The phoney war and the Prince of Peace
The war on Christmas as a neocon scare tactic
From Mark Shea
Neocon Christians defending torture: beyond parody

Torture’s long shadow

By a former Soviet dissident and prisoner who, unlike so many clever pundits eager to defend Strength Through the Sacrifice of Conscience, actually experienced cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatments and says that differentiating them from torture is ridiculous.
From LRC
More on the subject

Monday, December 19, 2005

Eastern churches
Carpatho-Rusyn Society
The Ruthenian people: you can find out more about them by searching in this blog

The Mother of God of Povch (Mariapovch)
A miraculous Ruthenian icon with a centenary anniversary today. Also, their remaining churches in Carpathian Mountain villages are probably celebrating the feast-day of St Nicholas like the Russian Orthodox.
Lifeboats that are sinking
The Ruthenians’ old cathedral near Pittsburgh may become a cultural centre
I understand from this source that they are trying to fill their empty seminary there with ordinands from Slovakia

From The Rome Report
No future for the Anglican Use
I’ve been warning about this for some time

Photo from ‘The Wizard of Oil’ in My Left Wing

Rice defends domestic eavesdropping
Amidst all this posturing and taking people’s rights away in the name of protecting them, Osama bin Laden is still at large
From truthout
RIP Jack Anderson
Who made the top of Nixon’s enemies list
LRC blog pick
Chemical weapons
I've always liked Craig Roberts's point: if the US had thought Iraq could defend itself with "WMD," it would never have parked all the troops in a compact area, for months ahead of the invasion, right on the border.
Three from LRC
The total corruption of the régime

No Such Agency

The history of the US government illegally spying on its own citizens. I think the NSA was started after World War II but I could be wrong. Officially it didn’t exist for about 10 years until word accidentally got out.

‘The end justifies the means’
On real conservatives selling out and ‘lying for the Lord’

Sunday, December 18, 2005

US Army meets recruiting goal by raiding bottom of bell curve
with troops facing more complex duties involving nation building
Which Mr Bush in 2000, contrasting himself to Mr Clinton and making conservative noises, promised he wouldn’t do.
From Verbum ipsum
Liberals and conservatives join Feingold in PATRIOT Act scepticism
From Whitehall
DNA exonerates two falsely convicted men in Virginia
• Hooray for technology
• Another reason for the almost seamless-garment position of this blog on the death penalty
From nearly a year ago
Rebutting Tony Blankley point by point
From blog member Samer al-Batal

The final days of Holy Trinity Church
Original headline: Sale of traditional church signals death knell for Catholic Boston

Indigenous churches vs. the Protestant menace
The piece is a couple of years old, but Samer thought it was still worth posting.

Samer writes: Or alternatively, plain old Christians vs. glittery, *$@VE|}* Christians

Religious tussle in the Middle East, from present-day Evangelicals...
"They concentrate 100 percent on Christians," says Reverend Ibrahim N. Ibrahim, bishop of the Chaldean diocese in the United States. "They never proselytize Muslims." the Protestants of yore.
"The Oriental Church is the canker at the heart of Christianity, and inasmuch as it is the chief point of contact with Islam, it behoves the Christian world to renovate the system which so unworthily represents its cause in the Near East."
Samer writes: To be fair, however, and painful as it is to concede this, any criticism such may have or have had of the ever-ongoing and shameful Holy Land spectacle of squabbling clerics of different churches duking it out over Christianity’s holiest sites would likely not be too off the mark. This probably wasn’t the precedent St Nicholas had in mind to set.

Bulgaria begins pullout from Iraq

Indonesian Muslims to guard churches this Christmas
Spiritual OCD
By the Revd James Gordon Anderson

I don’t share Mr Anderson’s anti-Romanism on principle but the comments under that thread, especially from the Revd Aaron Bayles and also from LutherPunk (a Lutheran pastor), essentially are my views on the position of Catholics vis-à-vis mainstream RC.
Answering anti-Catholic polemics about the Atonement
Appeasing an angry Father and all that:
I grew up in the pre-Vatican II ’50s, in an urban neighborhood so Catholic I wasn't aware other communions even existed. I was taught by some pretty tough-cookie nuns, and if they'd believed that the Son was satisfying an Angry Father, believe me, they'd have said so. But guess what? They NEVER did. I never encountered that view of the Atonement until I ran into Reformational Protestants, many many years later.

Another thing. My kids are being home-catechized with some pre-VCII materials. These very old materials say
NOTHING--nothing--about Jesus satisfying the wrath of an Angry Father. Nothing. One book--an illustrated section of the old Baltimore Catechism [America’s version of the Penny Catechism] --sticks in my mind especially. It shows Our Lord on the Cross, with fire streaming from His Sacred Heart up to the Father. The Father looks down on His Son with inexpressible love. The caption talks about how the love of Christ rose to the Father and also came down to us (there's another stream of fire going down to Mary, beneath the Cross) through the Crucifixion. If that conveys "Appeasing Angry Father" to you, then I suggest you may need your eyes checked.
- Diane Kamer

Saturday, December 17, 2005

At the cinema
Sarah Silverman
Putting aside Narnia (I read the books as a kid) and gay-cowboy stories (here’s my take on gayness) for now (let’s leave those to the culture-warriors to rip into each other about) I wanted to see what all the hipster buzz was about — is the ‘meta’ thing real or is she only nasty? Her act is for adults but she’s real — smart, funny and yes, pretty, which she knows how to use.

It’s a challenging, ironic (I think her act, American as it is, would work in the UK) updating of raucous, ribald Jewish-American humour. My girlfriend likes Jerry Seinfeld’s and Larry David’s acts (recently saw the latter on the box and understand the appeal) and I think would like this as well.

‘Jesus is magic’ is just a random line from Sarah’s act, not the theme of the film. In context it captures well an outsider’s view of Christians.

As for the American RC bishops having somebody rate films, it’s a good idea in theory but I agree with Domenico Bettinelli and his readers that some of the ratings are off the wall and the reviewer seems strangely enthusiastic about Brokeback Mountain’s (which I’ve not seen) theme. The ‘L’ rating is a good idea. (Even Evelyn Waugh wanted to drop the Index Librorum Prohibitorum.) Of course people one doesn’t necessarily agree with can and do make good art.
From Paradosis via Fr Joseph Huneycutt
Kwanzaa is kraap (my comment)
And Morgan Freeman is cool but we already knew that. Search the blog for more on this fake-African holiday.
Three from Fr James Tucker
O Sapientia

The 1662 Book of Common Prayer has this listed for yesterday (one of the black-letter days with no propers — there are no antiphons in the book! — in the calendar as a half-hearted attempt to bring in Catholics) because as Huw Raphael has mentioned the Sarum Use started the O antiphons a day earlier than the Tridentine. (Sarum also counted ‘Sundays after Trinity’.)
O WISDOM, Who camest forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end mightily, and disposing all things sweetly; come and teach us the way of prudence.
Bush and the safeguards of liberty
Caught in lies, lies, lies
Bush has finally agreed (after much hemming and hawing) to the McCain torture ban. I can't understand how any moral person would have opposed it in the first place, especially since (supposedly) we never use torture anyway.

A new Congressional report has concluded that Congress did not see all of the same evidence as the White House in the lead-up to the Iraq War. This contradicts Mr Bush's repeated excuse that Congress voted for war after seeing the same evidence that he had.

More frightening is the revelation that the President secretly authorized the NSA to spy on American citizens and foreign nationals within the country, in contravention of the law and without any judicial oversight.
Hillary Clinton jumps on the anti-flag-burning nonissue
On which Antonin Scalia is right

Friday, December 16, 2005

Three from LRC
The war on strawmen
By Harry Browne

There is a place for ‘Happy holidays’
It acknowledges two sets of holy days and thus is better than ‘Season’s greetings’. I used it yesterday in a work e-mail to somebody whose faith (or lack thereof) I of course don’t know. It respects both religion and people’s freedom and privacy. (English reserve, BTW, is largely about that kind of freedom — ‘personal space’ as Americans might say.)

‘Holiday tree’ is stupid though, which even the moderate secularisers are acknowledging.

Common sense on cases of teacher-teen affairs
They’re not child-molesters; they made a mistake. Probation and losing one’s teaching licence for ever are fair enough.

Modern secularism including political correctness isn’t big on common sense. It separates sex from both the unitive and the procreative, gives contraceptives to teens and shows them how to use them (and assures them there’s always an Endlösung when after much use those methods inevitably fail) yet pillories adults for taking all this to a logical conclusion. (One could mention media images like Britney Spears as well.)
From blog member Lee Penn
Lee wrote all of the following:

I just saw these items:

This new column by Joel Hirsch who is on the left:

Nuclear deployment for an attack on Iran
Read the whole thing; on the right-hand side of the page are links to Hirsch’s earlier columns on the same topic, which all point in the same direction.

And this, from a right-wing site:

Northeast Intelligence Network
Relevant quote:
Goss warns Ankara to be ready for a possible U.S. aerial operation against Iran and Syria

15 December 2005: As people in the U.S. readied themselves for Christmas, few were aware that CIA Director Porter Goss was in Ankara, Turkey on Monday, engaged in a meeting that lasted over four hours with Turkish Intelligence officials. Goss, accompanied by a large delegation, brought secret data about Iran as he met with officials of the Milli Istihbarat Teskilati, or MIT. Goss allegedly asked for Turkish support for the Bush administration's policies on Iran's nuclear activities, telling Turkish officials that Iran has nuclear weapons, a situation that created a huge threat to Turkey and other countries in the region.

Goss said that Iran sees Turkey as an enemy and will "export its regime," warning Ankara to be ready for a possible U.S. aerial operation against Iran and Syria.

On Tuesday Goss was driven in his armored BMW to a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Additional dialogue reportedly focused on the intelligence data, with Goss warning Ankara to be ready for a possible U.S. aerial operation against Iran and Syria.
The right-wing site is corroborated by this Turkish press site:

CIA’s Goss reportedly warned Ankara of Iranian threat
During his recent visit to Ankara, CIA Director Porter Goss reportedly brought three dossiers on Iran to Ankara. Goss is said to have asked for Turkey’s support for Washington’s policy against Iran’s nuclear activities, charging that Tehran had supported terrorism and taken part in activities against Turkey. Goss also asked Ankara to be ready for a possible US air operation against Iran and Syria. Goss, who came to Ankara just after FBI Director Robert Mueller’s visit, brought up Iran’s alleged attempts to develop nuclear weapons. It was said that Goss first told Ankara that Iran has nuclear weapons and this situation was creating a huge threat for both Turkey and other states in the region. Diplomatic sources say that Washington wants Turkey to coordinate with its Iran policies. The second dossier is about Iran’s stance on terrorism. The CIA argued that Iran was supporting terrorism, the PKK and al-Qaeda. The third had to do with Iran’s alleged stance against Ankara. Goss said that Tehran sees Turkey as an enemy and would try to “export its regime.”
On the same prep-orientated BBS where I saw the preceding two stories, a member posted this quote from a premium (i.e., subscriber-only) STRATFOR report. The report itself is not online, so there is no link to post. But here is what the BBS member quoted:
December 15, 2005, 2027 GMT - Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz will visit Turkey on Dec. 22, Turk.US news reported Dec. 15. Halutz is expected to meet with Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul. Halutz's visit comes shortly after visits to Turkey by high-ranking U.S. officials, including CIA Director Porter Goss and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
This item is consistent in timing and direction with the foregoing reports. STRATFOR is a private intel service in Texas; I have heard rumours that it has CIA ties. You may know far more than I do about them.

I would love to be wrong about this... but the evidence points in a certain direction.
From blog member Lee Penn
Lee’s pick:

For the jingo who has everything
By Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt

There is this updated secular carol from the 1950s, too...

This year, TomDispatch offers Sid Tepper’s and Roy C. Bennett’s 1955 classic, ‘Nuttin’ For Christmas’, with some new lyrics for your carolling pleasure:
I lied about double-U-M-Ds;
Somebody snitched on me.
I tortured a bunch of detainees;
Somebody snitched on me.
I spilled beans on a covert spook;
I refused to be rebuked.
Lied and said we’re gonna be nuked;
Somebody snitched on me.

So, I'm getting’ nuttin’ for Christmas,
Even hawkish Dems are mad.
I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas,
’Cos I ain’t been nuttin' but bad.

I lied about the yellow cake;
somebody snitched on me.
The documents proved to be fake;
somebody snitched on me.
I set up an offshore gulag,
Willy-Pete shells I did lob,
said Brownie did a ‘heckuva job’,
somebody snitched on me.


I lied about an Iraqi drone;
Somebody snitched on me.
An antiwar mom chased me from my home;
Somebody snitched on me.
Ignored N’Orleans until too late,
With Iraq I sealed my fate,
It’s looking more like Watergate,
’Cos somebody snitched on me.

So you better be good – unlike me;
’Cos if you're bad, you’ll surely see;
You’ll get nuttin' for Christmas!
LRC blog pick
Bethlehem: forgotten in the ‘war on Christmas’
Eastern churches
From Fr Joseph Huneycutt

Russian Orthodox Church backs Vatican on not ordaining gays
Understandable and the church has the right to make that disciplinary rule but again (search the blog) I fear that there is a loophole to ban simply because of orientation (which is a temptation like any other)... which would have ruled out Fr Seraphim (Rose) (search the blog for my last word on him)

More on ROCOR/Moscow reunion
A spanner in the works?

Ukrainian president prays at Chernobyl
Search the blog for Pripyat’ for more on the place